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Dopaminergic means "related to the neurotransmitter dopamine". A synapse is dopaminergic if it uses dopamine as its neurotransmitter. A substance is dopaminergic if it is capable of producing, altering, or releasing dopamine.

A dopaminergic, or dopaminergic agent, is any chemical which functions to enhance the effects mediated by dopamine in the central nervous system. These include dopamine precursors and cofactors, dopaminergic enzymes, as well as dopamine reuptake inhibitors.


Dopaminergics are substances that affect the neurotransmitter dopamine or the components of the nervous system that use dopamine. Dopamine is produced in the synthesis of all catecholamine neurotransmitters, and is the rate limiting step for this synthesis. Dopaminergic nootropics include dopamine precursors and cofactors, agonists, MAOIs, and dopamine reuptake inhibitors:

  • L-dopa - Prescription drug. Precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine, anti-depressant.
  • Phenylalanine (requires Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C) - Essential amino acid. Precursor to dopamine, anti-depressant, sleep reducer.
  • Theanine - Found in tea. Increases serotonin, GABA and dopamine levels in the brain. Increases alpha-wave based alert relaxation.
  • Tyrosine (requires Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C) - Amino acid. Precursor to dopamine, anti-depressant, sleep reducer.
  • Vitamin C- improves cardiovascular elasticity and integrity, membrane stabilizer and major anti-oxidant (protects brain cells and prevents brain cell death), cofactor in the production of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.
  • Vitamin B6 - co-factor used by the body to produce dopamine.
  • Yohimbe - Bark. Boosts dopamine levels as much as 80%[citation needed], though how it does this is not yet understood. Aphrodisiac. Yohimbe poses some health risks through its side-effects: it is a neuro-paralytic which slows down breathing and induces acidosis, some symptoms of which are malaise, nausea, and vomiting. Contraindicated for users of megadoses of acidic vitamins or nutrients.
  • MAOIs such as Selegiline which inhibits MAO-B (an enzyme that breaks down dopamine) thus raising dopamine by partially inhibiting its breakdown. (In large doses it also inhibits MAO-A)
  • Tolcapone - Inhibits COMT (an enzyme that breaks down the neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine) and increases performance in tasks depending on working memory in individuals with the val/val and val/met genotype of the val158Met polymorphism of the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene, while decreasing it in presence of the met/met version. Tolcapone presents the risk of deadly side effects.
  • Buproprion atypical antidepressant. Dopamine reuptake inhibitor.
  • Dopamine agonists such as pergolide

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dopaminergic". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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