Effect of dexamethasone on plasma prolactin and cortisol levels in psychiatric patients

H. Meltzer, V. S. Fang, B. J. Tricou, A. Robertson, S. K. Piyaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations

Abstract

In addition to its ability to decrease plasma cortisol levels, dexamethaxone can also significantly decrease plasma prolactin levels. In 52 psychiatric patients, including 26 patients with primary major depression or schizoaffective depression, primarily affective type, there was a significant association between nonsuppression of plasma cortisol and prolactin after administration of dexamethasone. These results suggest that the abnormal cortisol response to dexamethasone in some psychiatric patients may be due to a pituitary gland abnormality rather than to a limbic sysem abnormality. The sensitivity and specificity of the dexamethasone suppression test for endogenous depression were less than previously reported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)763-768
Number of pages6
JournalUnknown Journal
Volume139
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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