Context: Atypical antipsychotics (AAs) are the first-line treatments for schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder. However, they are now extensively utilized as off label in a myriad of diseases despite their frequently serious metabolic side-effects and hyperprolactinemia.
Objective: The purpose of our study was to observe long-term (one year) prolactin level change in first episode schizophrenia patients treated with one of the four AAs: olanzapine, quetiapine, amisulpride, ziprasidone.
Design: This study is an analysis of the prolactin level associated with the atypical antipsychotics used in European First Episode Schizophrenia Trial (EUFEST) study.
Subjects and methods: Seventy-three first episode schizophrenia patients from the 113 patients, randomized to one of the four AAs treatment arms. Prolactin level was obtained at baseline, 6 and 12 months for all the four AAs. Analyses have been done for each antipsychotic separately for each sex.
Results: For the male patients neither of the four antipsychotics have been associated with a statistically significant increase of prolactin level in the entire study (p>0.05). In case of the female patients, treatment with olanzapine (p=.021) and ziprasidone (p=.005) has been associated with a decrease of prolactin level in one year compared with baseline.
Conclusions: In both men and women, the administration of these four AAs is not associated with the increase of prolactin levels, moreover, in women's case, there is a reduction of prolactin values at administration of Olanzapine and Ziprasidone. These results are optimistic, suggesting that long term administration of these antipsychotics is safe regarding prolactin level.
Keywords: antipsychotics; hyperprolactinemia; psychosis.