It has been hypothesized that enhancement of brain serotoninergic (5-HT) function is involved in the mechanism of action of some antidepressants. To test this, the prolactin response to intravenously administered tryptophan, a clinical measurement of 5-HT function, was assessed before and during antidepressant treatment. Depressed patients received the tricyclic desipramine hydrochloride (N = 24) or the 5-HT reuptake inhibitor fluvoxamine maleate (N = 30). The prolactin response was significantly enhanced after long-term treatment (4 weeks) but not as reliably increased after short-term (1-week) desipramine treatment. Fluvoxamine enhanced the prolactin response after both short- and long-term treatment. Enhancement of the prolactin response was not clearly correlated with clinical improvement. The results of this study are consistent with preclinical evidence of enhanced 5-HT function during treatment with these classes of antidepressants, but also indicate that enhanced 5-HT function is not a sufficient condition for antidepressant efficacy.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Archives of General Psychiatry|
|State||Published - Jul 1989|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Psychiatry and Mental health