Adaptol (aka Mebicar)

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adaptol aka mebicar


Adaptol, also known as Mebicar, is a Russian anxiolytic medication used to treat anxiety disorders, ADHD and some cardiac diseases. 

The clinical usage of Adaptol started in 1979 in the Soviet Union. Initially, it was used as a daytime tranquilizer with a wide spectrum of anxiolytic activity. Further discoveries of new pharmacological effects of the drug extended its range of clinical applications. 

By its chemical structure, Adaptol is similar to endogenous metabolites of the human body. One molecule of the drug contains two methylated urea molecules. The word “Mebicar” is an abbreviation of “MEthylated BIcyclic derivative of CARbamide (urea)”.  It is chemically inert and does not interact with food or other medications. Does not cause dependence and withdrawal syndrome, unlike benzodiazepine tranquilizers. 

Usage of Adaptol in medical practice

The main indication for use is neurotic disorders. This includes irritability, anxiety and anxiety-depressive disorders, emotional lability as well as phobic and panic disorders. 

Another possible clinical application is cardiology. The official indications for use include heartburn (if not caused by ischemic heart disease) and rehabilitation after myocardial infarction. 

In pediatric practice, it is sometimes used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. 

The less common usages are the treatment of alcohol and nicotine dependence, and relieving the adverse effects of treatment with antipsychotics and tranquilizers. 

Mechanism of action and pharmacological effects

The mechanism of action is pretty complex. Pharmacological effects of Adaptol are related to its GABAergic, serotonergic, antiglutamatergic and subtle cholinergic action. The drug exhibits antagonistic activity towards excitatory adrenergic and glutamatergic systems and enhances inhibitory serotonergic and GABAergic neurotransmission. It reduces norepinephrine levels in the brain and prevents an increase in glutamate levels caused by stress. 

Adaptol also found its usage in the treatment of cardiovascular disorders, panic disorders, treatment of alcohol and nicotine withdrawals and in pediatric psychiatry. The usage of Mebicar in cardiology is determined by its ability to reduce sympathetic activity, thus relieving vasospasms and tachycardia. 

Besides anxiolytic action, it also has nootropic effects. As clinical studies show, Mebicar can improve logical thinking, attention and overall mental performance. 

A big advantage of this substance over benzodiazepines is fewer side effects. Adaptol does not cause oversedation or impair cognitive functions. The side effects listed by the manufacturer are: 

  • Possible allergic reactions (skin rash).
  • At high doses – short term hypotension and hyperthermia, digestive problems.

Those side effects do not require cessation of treatment (except allergic reactions and digestive problems). 

Contraindication for use is hypersensitivity to the drug and its components. The drug can be combined with antipsychotics, antidepressants, tranquilizers and psychostimulants. 

The dosage suggested by the manufacturer is 500 mg 2-3 times a day. The maximum single dose is 3g, the maximum daily dosage is 10g. The length of the treatment course varies from couple days to 2-3 months. 

In the complex treatment of nicotine dependence, recommended dosage to reduce nicotine cravings is 600-900mg three times a day for 5-6 weeks.