Drugs and synapses

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Drugs affect the action of neurotransmitters at synapses in various ways.

Some drugs affect synaptic transmission. Here are some examples of how drugs can affect synaptic transmission:

1. Some drugs are the same shape as neurotransmitters so they mimic their action at receptors (these drugs are called agonists). This means more receptors are activated E.g. Nicotine mimics acetylcholine so binds to nicotinic cholinergic receptors in the brain.

2. Some drugs block receptors so they can’t be activated by neurotransmitters (these drugs are called antagonists). This means fewer


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