Quiz 12: Review of Neurotransmitters and the Autonomic Nervous System
Hepatic microsomal enzymes which include the cytochrome P450 group of enzymes are important for metabolizing several drugs and harmful substances. Also, the metabolization of drugs and medications by these enzymes might result in generating harmful metabolic byproducts. It is known that nicotine can induce hepatic microsomal enzymes. Such an induction will lead to increased breakdown of drugs, leading to preventing the effects for which the medications were administered to a person. Also, there is a possibility of generating harmful metabolic byproducts as a result of hepatic microsomal enzyme induction.
Several naturally occurring compounds such as phytochemicals have pharmacological effects. Such effects have been utilized by the traditional and alternative medicine practitioners. One such plant with well-defined pharmacological effects is the herb St. John's wort. St. John's wort is known to inhibit the serotonin uptake by presynaptic nerves in the central nervous system (CNS). This will prevent transmission of nerve impulses within the CNS and will reduce the nerve conduction activity. Major depressive disorder (depression) is the most common indication for which St. John's wort is used.