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      Adjunctive Aripiprazole Versus Placebo for Antipsychotic-Induced Hyperprolactinemia: Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

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          To compare the safety and efficacy of adjunctive aripiprazole versus placebo for antipsychotic-induced hyperprolactinemia.


          Population: adult patients presenting with antipsychotic-induced hyperprolactinemia diagnosed by prolactin level with or without prolactin-related symptoms. Interventions: adjunctive aripiprazole vs. adjunctive placebo. Outcome measures: adverse events and efficacy of treatment. Studies: randomized controlled trials.


          Five randomized controlled trials with a total of 639 patients (326 adjunctive aripiprazole, 313 adjunctive placebo) met the inclusion criteria. Adjunctive aripiprazole was associated with a 79.11% (125/158) prolactin level normalization rate. Meta-analysis of insomnia, headache, sedation, psychiatric disorder, extrapyramidal symptom, dry mouth, and fatigue showed no significant differences in the adjunctive aripiprazole treatment group compared with the placebo group (risk difference (Mantel-Haenszel, random or fixed) −0.05 to 0.04 (95% confidence interval −0.13 to 0.16); I 2 = 0% to 68%, P = 0.20 to 0.70). However, sedation, insomnia, and headache were more frequent when the adjunctive aripiprazole dose was higher than 15 mg/day. Meta-analysis of the prolactin level normalization indicated adjunctive aripiprazole was superior to placebo (risk difference (Mantel-Haenszel, random) 0.76 (95% confidence interval 0.67 to 0.85); I 2 = 43%, P<0.00001). The subgroup analysis confirmed that the subjects who received adjunctive aripiprazole 5 mg/day showed a degree of prolactin normalization similar to that of all participants. No significant differences between groups in discontinuation and improvements of psychiatric symptoms.


          Adjunctive aripiprazole is both safe and effective as a reasonable choice treatment for patients with antipsychotic-induced hyperprolactinemia. The appropriate dose of adjunctive aripiprazole may be 5 mg/day.

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          Most cited references 33

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          Aripiprazole, a novel antipsychotic, is a high-affinity partial agonist at human dopamine D2 receptors.

          Aripiprazole is the first next-generation atypical antipsychotic with a mechanism of action that differs from currently marketed typical and atypical antipsychotics. Aripiprazole displays properties of an agonist and antagonist in animal models of dopaminergic hypoactivity and hyperactivity, respectively. This study examined the interactions of aripiprazole with a single population of human D2 receptors to clarify further its pharmacologic properties. In membranes prepared from Chinese hamster ovary cells that express recombinant D2L receptors, aripiprazole bound with high affinity to both the G protein-coupled and uncoupled states of receptors. Aripiprazole potently activated D2 receptor-mediated inhibition of cAMP accumulation. Partial receptor inactivation using the alkylating agent N-ethoxycarbonyl-2-ethoxy-1,2-dihydroquinoline (EEDQ) significantly reduced the maximum effect of aripiprazole on inhibition of cAMP accumulation. This effect was seen with concentrations of EEDQ that did not alter the maximal inhibitory effect of dopamine. Consistent with the expected effects of a partial agonist, increasing concentrations of aripiprazole blocked the action of dopamine with maximal blockade equal to the agonist effect of aripiprazole alone. The efficacy of aripiprazole relative to that of dopamine varied from 25% in cells that lacked spare receptors for dopamine to 90% in cells with receptor reserve. These results, together with previous studies demonstrating partial agonist activity at serotonin 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)1A receptors and antagonist activity at 5-HT2A receptors, support the identification of aripiprazole as a dopamine-serotonin system stabilizer. The receptor activity profile may underlie the unique activity of aripiprazole in animals and its antipsychotic activity in humans.
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            Risperidone in the treatment of schizophrenia.

            The purpose of this study was to investigate the safety and efficacy of risperidone in the treatment of schizophrenic patients and determine its optimal dose. This double-blind study included 388 schizophrenic patients drawn from 20 sites in the United States. Patients were randomly assigned to 8 weeks' treatment with placebo, one of four doses of risperidone (2, 6, 10, or 16 mg), or 20 mg of haloperidol daily. Clinical improvement (20% reduction in total scores on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale for Schizophrenia) at the study end point was shown by 35% of the patients receiving 2 mg of risperidone, 57% receiving 6 mg, 40% receiving 10 mg, and 51% receiving 16 mg; and by 30% receiving haloperidol and 22% receiving placebo. Statistically significant differences in clinical improvement were found between 6 and 16 mg of risperidone versus placebo and versus haloperidol. Positive symptom scores were significantly lower after 6, 10, and 16 mg of risperidone and 20 mg of haloperidol than placebo; negative symptom scores, however, were reduced significantly, compared with placebo, only after 6 and 16 mg of risperidone. The incidence of extra-pyramidal side effects (measured by the Extrapyramidal Symptom Rating Scale) was significantly higher in patients treated with 16 mg of risperidone or 20 mg of haloperidol than placebo. The results indicate that the optimal daily dose of risperidone for most schizophrenic patients in this study was 6 mg; this dose was as effective as 16 mg, and the incidence of extrapyramidal symptoms in patients receiving 6 mg of risperidone was no higher than that in patients receiving placebo. Risperidone is a safe antipsychotic that is effective against both the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia.
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              Antipsychotic-induced hyperprolactinaemia: mechanisms, clinical features and management.

              Hyperprolactinaemia is an important but neglected adverse effect of antipsychotic medication. It occurs frequently with conventional antipsychotics and some atypical antipsychotics (risperidone and amisulpride) but is rare with other atypical antipsychotics (aripiprazole, clozapine, olanzapine, quetiapine, ziprasidone). For this reason the terms 'prolactin-sparing' and 'prolactin-raising' are more useful than 'atypical' and 'conventional' when considering the effect of antipsychotic drugs on serum prolactin. During antipsychotic treatment prolactin levels can rise 10-fold or more above pretreatment values. In a recent study approximately 60% of women and 40% of men treated with a prolactin-raising antipsychotic had a prolactin level above the upper limit of the normal range. The distinction between asymptomatic and symptomatic hyperprolactinaemia is important but is often not made in the literature. Some symptoms of hyperprolactinaemia result from a direct effect of prolactin on target tissues but others result from hypogonadism caused by prolactin disrupting the normal functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Symptoms of hyperprolactinaemia include gynaecomastia, galactorrhoea, sexual dysfunction, infertility, oligomenorrhoea and amenorrhoea. These symptoms are little researched in psychiatric patients. Existing data suggest that they are common but that clinicians underestimate their prevalence. For example, well conducted studies of women treated with conventional antipsychotics have reported prevalence rates of approximately 45% for oligomenorrhoea/amenorrhoea and 19% for galactorrhoea. An illness-related under-function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in female patients with schizophrenia may also contribute to menstrual irregularities. Long-term consequences of antipsychotic-related hypogonadism require further research but are likely and include premature bone loss in men and women. There are conflicting data on whether hyperprolactinaemia is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in women. In patients prescribed antipsychotics who have biochemically confirmed hyperprolactinaemia it is important to exclude other causes of prolactin elevation, in particular tumours in the hypothalamic-pituitary area. If a patient has been amenorrhoeic for 1 year or more, investigations should include bone mineral density measurements. Management should be tailored to the individual patient. Options include reducing the dose of the antipsychotic, switching to a prolactin-sparing agent, prescribing a dopamine receptor agonist and prescribing estrogen replacement in hypoestrogenic female patients. The efficacy and risks of the last two treatment options have not been systematically examined. Antipsychotic-induced hyperprolactinaemia should become a focus of interest in the drug treatment of psychiatric patients, particularly given the recent introduction of prolactin-sparing antipsychotics. Appropriate investigations and effective management should reduce the burden of adverse effects and prevent long-term consequences. Copyright 2004 Adis Data Information BV

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                1 August 2013
                : 8
                : 8
                [1 ]Beijing Key Lab of Mental Disorders, Beijing Anding Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
                [2 ]Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America
                Baylor College of Medicine, United States of America
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: CW XL. Performed the experiments: XL CW. Analyzed the data: XL CW. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: XL CW. Wrote the paper: XL YT.


                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Pages: 11
                The study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81071083). This study was also funded by the Beijing Science and Technology Commission (D101107047810001 ). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Research Article
                Clinical Research Design
                Systematic Reviews
                Mental Health
                Mood Disorders
                Neuropsychiatric Disorders
                Sexual Dysfunction
                Drug Psychotherapy



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