Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 37
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825288

Cortisol-reducing properties of quetiapine in healthy subjects under an undisturbed and an acoustic stress condition

S Cohrs 1, A Rodenbeck 1, Z Guan 1, K Pohlmann 1, W Jordan 1, A Meier 1, E Rüther 1
  • 1Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Göttingen

Background: The aim of this study was to investigate noninvasively the effects of quetiapine on HPA-axis activity in healthy male subjects.

Methods: This double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized cross-over study examined the excretion of overnight urinary cortisol as part of a larger study investigating the effects of quetiapine 25mg and 100mg in comparison to placebo given to 18 healthy male subjects under standard sleep laboratory condtions (N1) and acoustic stress (N2). A complete data set for urinary cortisol was available for 13 subjects.

Results: ANOVA showed a significant (p<0.01) effect for N1 vs. N2 with elevated total amount of cortisol excretion after acoustic stress. Quetiapine 25mg and 100mg significantly (p<0.001) reduced total amount of cortisol excretion and urinary cortisol concentration (p<0.0001) in comparison to placebo.

Conclusions: Acute administration of low doses of quetiapine is associated with a down- regulation of the HPA-axis in healthy subjects. This down-regulation of the HPA-axis may be an important aspect in quetiapine’s mode of action in patients.