Fluoxetine, but not tricyclic antidepressants, potentiates the 5-hydroxytryptophan-mediated increase in plasma cortisol and prolactin secretion in subjects with major depression or with obsessive compulsive disorder

Herbert Meltzer, Bijan Bastani, Karuna Jayathilake, Michael Maes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

It has been suggested that the clinical efficacy of chronic treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine and perhaps all antidepressants is due to their ability to enhance serotonergic activity. The effects of chronic treatment with fluoxetine or tricyclic antidepressants on the L-5-hydroxytryptophan (200 mg, L5-HTP; PO)-induced increases in plasma cortisol and prolactin (PRL) concentrations were studied in patients with major depression or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Administration of L-5-HTP increased plasma cortisol and PRL levels in mediated and unmediated patients with major depression or OCD. The L-5-HTP-induced cortisol and PRL responses were significantly higher in fluoxetine-treated than in tricyclic-treated or unmedicated major depressed patients. The latter two groups did not differ significantly in their cortisol or PRL responses to L-5-HTP. The L-5-HTP-induced increases in cortisol and PRL in fluoxetine-treated patients with major depression or OCD were not significantly differ ent. The results suggest that fluoxetine, but not tricyclic antidepressants, potentiates 5-HT receptor-mediated stimulation of cortisol and PRL secretion in humans, consistent with available evidence that fluoxetine treatment, but not tricyclic antidepressants, increases central serotonergic activity in patients with MD or OCD by a presynaptic mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalNeuropsychopharmacology
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1997

Keywords

  • Cortisol
  • Depression
  • Fluoxetine
  • L-5-HTP
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Prolactin
  • Serotonin
  • Tricyclic antidepressants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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