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Claims for Patent: 5,206,248

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Claims for Patent: 5,206,248

Title: Method for reducing emotional lability
Abstract:This invention discloses that certain types of non-addictive opioid drugs such as dextromethorphan (which is widely used in cough syrups) provide a highly effective means of treating the feelings and symptoms of emotional lability in at least some patients suffering from neurologic impairment, without sedating, tranquilizing, or otherwise significantly interfering with consciousness or alertness in the patient. In several patients tested to date who were suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), dextromethorphan, administered orally, was remarkably effective and became quite obvious to the patients even though it was being tested for an entirely different purpose. Its effectiveness is enhanced by co-administration of a second drug such as quinidine which reduces the degradation of dextromethorphan by oxidative enzymes and which therefore increases dextromethorphan concentrations in the blood.
Inventor(s): Smith; Richard A. (La Jolla, CA)
Assignee:
Application Number:07/859,105
Patent Claims: 1. A method for reducing emotional lability in human patients, comprising orally administering, to a patient in need thereof, a therapeutically effective quantity of non-addictive analog of morphine which penetrates a mammalian blood-brain barrier, and which causes a reduction in spasmodic outbursts of emotion without significantly interfering with consciousness or alertness in the patient.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein the non-addictive analog of morphine is a dextrorotatory enantiomer of an analgesic morphinan.

3. The method of claim 2 wherein the non-addictive analog of morphine is selected from the group consisting of dextromethorphan and dextrorphan.

4. The method of claim 1 wherein the non-addictive analog of morphine is co-administered with a second compound which inhibits oxidative degradation of the non-addictive analog of morphine.

5. The method of claim 1 wherein the second compound which inhibits oxidative degradation of the non-addictive analog of morphine comprises quinidine.

6. A method for reducing emotional lability in humans, comprising the oral administration to a patient in need thereof a therapeutically effective quantity of a non-addictive analog of morphine which penetrates mammalian blood-brain barriers and which reacts with dextromethorphan-binding receptors, thereby suppressing the release or excitatory neurotransmitters by neurons containing such receptors, wherein the non-addictive analog of morphine causes a reduction in spasmodic outbursts of emotion without significantly interfering with consciousness or alertness in the patient.

7. The method of claim 6 wherein the non-addictive analog of morphine is a dextrorotatory enantiomer of an analgesic morphinan.

8. The method of claim 6 wherein the non-addictive analog of morphine is selected from the group consisting of dextromethorphan and dextrorphan.

9. The method of claim 6 wherein the non-addictive analog of morphine is co-administered with a second compound which inhibits oxidative degradation of the non-addictive analog of morphine.

10. The method of claim 6 wherein the second compound which inhibits oxidative degradation of the non-addictive analog of morphine comprises quinidine.

11. A method for reducing inappropriate displays of emotion, comprising a oral administration, to a patient suffering from inappropriate emotional outbursts, of a therapeutically effective quantity of non-addictive analog of morphine which penetrates mammalian blood-brain barriers and which reacts with dextromethorphan-binding receptors, thereby suppressing the release of excitatory neurotransmitters by neurons containing such receptors, wherein the non-addictive analog of morphine causes a reduction in outbursts of emotion without significantly interfering with consciousness or alertness in the patient.

12. The method of claim 11 wherein the non-addictive analog of morphine is a dextrorotatory enantiomer of an analgesic morphinan.

13. The method of claim 11 wherein the non-addictive analog of morphine is selected from the group consisting of dextromethorphan and dextrorphan.

14. The method of claim 11 wherein the non-addictive analog of morphine is co-administered with a second compound which inhibits oxidative degradation of the non-addictive analog of morphine.

15. The method of claim 11 wherein the second compound which inhibits oxidative degradation of the non-addictive analog of morphine comprises quinidine.
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