|Chemical and physical data|
|Molar mass||313.821 g/mol|
|3D model (Jmol)||Interactive image|
Based on its profile in animal models, ecopipam was first studied as a treatment for schizophrenia but showed no activity. Side effects including sedation, restlessness, emesis and anxiety were generally rated mild. There were no reports of Parkinsonian-like extrapyramidal symptoms typically seen with D2 antagonists.
Human clinical studies also showed that ecopipam was an effective antagonist of the acute euphoric effects of cocaine. However, the effect did not persist following repeated administration.
Researchers have postulated that dopamine via D1 receptors in the mesolimbic system is involved with rewarded behaviors and pleasure. One such behavior is eating, and ecopipam has been shown in a large clinical study to be an effective treatment for obesity. However, reports of mild-to-moderate, reversible anxiety and depression made it unsuitable for commercialization as an anti-obesity drug, and its development was stopped.
Recent (2014) open label studies have shown ecopipam to reduce gambling behaviors in subjects with pathological gambling and to decrease the motor and vocal tics in adults with Tourette’s Syndrome. Ecopipam is currently in clinical trials conducted by the biotechnology company Psyadon Pharmaceuticals for the treatment of Tourette syndrome in children ages 7–17.
Ecopipam can be synthesized from a simple tetralin derivative:
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