The effect of amoxapine and imipramine on serum prolactin levels

Arch Intern Med. 1981 Jul;141(8):1023-5.


The effect of traditional tricyclic antidepressants on serum prolactin levels is controversial. In a five-week double-blind study of depressed outpatients, imipramine hydrochloride therapy did not lead to any significant change in serum prolactin levels. In contrast, amoxapine, a new antidepressant, produced significant elevations in serum prolactin levels in female and in male patients. Amoxapine may block dopamine receptors in central tuberoinfundibular pathways, which would account for its prolactin-elevating activity. On the other hand, imipramine and other traditional tricyclic antidepressants do not affect dopamine transmission, do not raise serum prolactin levels, and are not effective antipsychotic drugs.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amoxapine / pharmacology*
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / pharmacology*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dibenzoxazepines / pharmacology*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imipramine / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Prolactin / blood*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Dibenzoxazepines
  • Prolactin
  • Imipramine
  • Amoxapine