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March 1985

Evaluating Prolactin Response to Dopamine Agonists in SchizophreniaMethodological Problems

Author Affiliations

From Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Bronx Veterans Administration Medical Center, New York.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1985;42(3):259-264. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1985.01790260053006

• Serum prolactin (PRL) level was assessed after chal lenges with apomorphine hydrochloride, saline, dopamine hydrochloride, or levodopa-carbidopa (Sinemet) in 19 control and 38 chronic schizophrenic subjects. Baseline PRL level varied inversely with age. High correlations existed between baseline PRL level and any subsequent absolute measure of PRL after administration of a dopamine agonist or placebo. Percent decrease was not a function of baseline concentrations and was therefore the only independent measure of drug response. Baseline PRL level was generally lower during exacerbation than remission in patients studied during two states of illness. Percent PRL level decrease after apomorphine administration was significantly greater in normal subjects than in schizophrenics. Correction of apomorphine responses for corresponding placebo (saline) values abolished differences between groups. Prolactin responses after dopamine or levodopa-carbidopa did not differ; however, placebo correction was not possible.