Hyperprolactinemia and associated side effects often occur with antipsychotics.
Researchers at Inje University, Republic of Korea, investigated the effect of adjunctive treatment with Aripiprazole ( Abilify ) on hyperprolactinemia and psychopathology in patients with schizophrenia maintained with Haloperidol ( Haldol ).
Fifty-six patients with hyperprolactinemia taking Haloperidol were enrolled.
Haloperidol dose was fixed; Aripiprazole was dosed at 15 mg/day for the first 4 weeks, then 30 mg/day for the following 4 weeks.
Symptoms and side effects were assessed with the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale ( BPRS ), Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms ( SANS ), Clinical Global Impression ( CGI ) symptom scale, Simpson-Angus Rating Scale ( SAS ), and Barnes Akathisia Rating Scale ( BAS ) at weeks 1, 2, 4, 6, and 8.
Prolactin levels of patients receiving Aripiprazole significantly decreased over time.
In the Aripiprazole group, 88.5% of patients at week 8 had prolactin levels normalize compared to 3.6% of patients receiving placebo.
Among 11 female patients with menstrual disturbances randomly assigned to Aripiprazole, seven patients regained menstruation during the study, whereas none receiving placebo did.
Plasma levels of Haloperidol were not significantly altered.
Adjunctive Aripiprazole treatment reversed hyperprolactinemia in both sexes, resulting in reinstatement of menstruation in female patients, with no significant effects on psychopathology and extrapyramidal symptoms, said the Authors. Aripiprazole has higher affinity to dopamine D(2) receptors than Haloperidol, which is the likely cause of this observation.
Source: American Journal of Psychiatry, 2007