Background: There is relatively little comparative information on elevations in plasma prolactin level (PRL) with conventional versus novel antipsychotic agents. Objective: This paper examines the comparative effects on PRL of olanzapine, risperidone, and haloperidol based on data from 3 multicenter, double-blind, randomized clinical trials. Magnitude of response, dose dependency, time course, effects of sex and age, and response to switching from haloperidol to olanzapine are assessed. Methods: The effects of olanzapine, risperidone, and haloperidol on PRL were assessed in patients with schizophrenia or related psychoses participating in 3 double-blind clinical trials: (1) a 6-week acute trial comparing olanzapine 5 to 20 mg/d (n = 1336) and haloperidol 5 to 20 mg/d (n = 660), with a 1-year, open-label olanzapine extension for responders; (2) a 54-week study comparing olanzapine 5 to 20 mg/d (n = 21), risperidone 4 to 10 mg/d (n = 21), and haloperidol 5 to 20 mg/d (n = 23) in early illness; and (3) a 28-week study comparing olanzapine 10 to 20 mg/d (n = 172) and risperidone 4 to 12 mg/d (n = 167). Results: PRL elevations were significantly greater with risperidone than with either olanzapine or haloperidol in study 2, and significantly greater than with olanzapine in study 3 (all, P < 0.001). PRL elevations were significantly greater with haloperidol than with olanzapine in study 1 (P < 0.001). A dose-response relationship was not consistently confirmed with any of the drug treatments. Risperidone-associated PRL elevations peaked relatively early in treatment. In haloperidol- and risperidone-treated patients, the mean change in PRL was greater in women than in men. PRL decreased significantly when treatment was switched from haloperidol to olanzapine. Conclusions: This side-by-side analysis of 3 independent studies suggests that with the 3 antipsychotic drugs studied, PRL is elevated moderately by olanzapine (mean change, 1-4 ng/mL), intermediately by haloperidol (mean change, ≃17 ng/mL), and strongly by risperidone (mean change, 45-80 ng/mL). No consistent dose-response relationship was observed, and the time course and sex-dependency of the response differed between the 3 agents. Patients with haloperidol-induced hyperprolactinemia may benefit from a switch to olanzapine. Long-term studies examining the health consequences of chronic hyperprolactinemia during antipsychotic treatment are needed.
- Atypical antipsychotic agents
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)