Serum Prolactin and Macroprolactin Levels among Outpatients with Major Depressive Disorder Following the Administration of Selective Serotonin-Reuptake Inhibitors: A Cross-Sectional Pilot Study

>Clinical trials evaluating the rate of short-term selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)-induced hyperprolactinemia have produced conflicting results. Thus, the aim of this study was to clarify whether SSRI therapy can induce hyperprolactinemia and macroprolactinemia. Fifty-five patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) were enrolled in this study. Serum prolactin and macroprolactin levels were measured at a single time point (i.e., in a cross-sectional design). All patients had received SSRI monotherapy (escitalopram, paroxetine, or sertraline) for a mean of 14.75 months. Their mean prolactin level was 15.26 ng/ml. The prevalence of patients with hyperprolactinemia was 10.9% for 6/55, while that of patients with macroprolactinemia was 3.6% for 2/55. The mean prolactin levels were 51.36 and 10.84 ng/ml among those with hyperprolactinemia and a normal prolactin level, respectively. The prolactin level and prevalence of hyperprolactinemia did not differ significantly within each SSRI group. Correlation analysis revealed that there was no correlation between the dosage of each SSRI and prolactin level. These findings suggest that SSRI therapy can induce hyperprolactinemia in patients with MDD. Clinicians should measure and monitor serum prolactin levels, even when both SSRIs and antipsychotics are administered.

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