Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 191
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825442

High basal prolactin values predict response to reboxetine treatment in major depression

O Moeller 1, G Hetzel 1, N Michael 1, V Arolt 1, A Erfurth 1
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Muenster, Germany

Basal prolactin values (BPV) have been suggested to predict response to treatment with tricyclic antidepressive drugs [2]. In order to examine whether BPV predict response to selective monoaminergic therapy, 24 in-patients with major depression were treated in a single-masked, randomised study using the most selective noradrenergic or serotonergic reuptake inhibitors available for antidepressant treatment, reboxetine and citalopram. A highly significant correlation between BPV and treatment response to reboxetine was found (r=0.727, p=0.006). BPV are influenced by noradrenergic function [1]. In our study BPV predict the quality of antidepressant response to the selective noradrenergic agent, reboxetine. As measurement of BPV are simple, further studies are suggested to examine the possible clinical value of the link between hormonal function in major depression and treatment response to reboxetine.

1. al-Damluji S, Francis D: Activation of central alpha 1-adrenoceptors in humans stimulates secretion of prolactin and TSH, as well as ACTH. Am J Physiol 1993;264:E208–214

2. Porter RJ, Mulder RT, Joyce PR: Baseline prolactin and L-tryptophan availability predict response to antidepressant treatment in major depression. Psychopharmacology 2003;165:216–221