Octopamine (molecular formula C8H11NO2) is an organic chemical closely related to norepinephrine. In many types of invertebrates it functions as an important neurotransmitter and hormone, but in the human body it normally exists only at trace levels and has no known function. Because it shares some of the actions of norepinephrine, octopamine has been sold under trade names such as Epirenor, Norden, and Norfen for use as a sympathomimetic drug, available by prescription. Very little information exists concerning its clinical usefulness or safety.
In mammals, octopamine may mobilize the release of fat from adipocytes (fat cells), which has led to its promotion on the internet as a slimming aid. However, the released fat is likely to be promptly taken up into other cells, and there is no evidence that octopamine facilitates weight loss. Octopamine may also increase blood pressure significantly when combined with other stimulants, as in some weight loss supplements.
^ abHengstmann, J. H.; Konen, W; Konen, C; Eichelbaum, M; Dengler, H. J. (1974). "The physiological disposition of p-octopamine in man". Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology283 (1): 93–106. PMID4277715.
^d’Andrea, Giovanni; Nordera, Gianpietro; Pizzolato, Gilberto; Bolner, Andrea; Colavito, Davide; Flaibani, Raffaella; Leon, Alberta (2010). "Trace amine metabolism in Parkinson's disease: Low circulating levels of octopamine in early disease stages". Neuroscience Letters469 (3): 348–51. doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2009.12.025. PMID20026245.
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