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Review: most antipsychotic drugs more than double the prolactin levels in children and adolescents

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What is the incidence of hyperprolactinaemia and prolactin-related side effects in children and adolescents taking antipsychotic drugs?


Prolactin level, incidence of hyperprolactinaemia (defined as >15 ng/ml); prolactin-related side effects (sex hormones, pubertal development, neuroendocrine and sexual side effects, bone-mineral density).



Systematic review.

Data sources:

MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO and EBM databases were searched from 1965 to August 2008.

Study selection and analysis:

Open-label, observational and double-blind studies examining the effects of antipsychotic drugs in children (aged ≤12 years) and adolescents (aged 12–18 years) on prolactin levels and prolactin-related side effects were selected. There were no restrictions on diagnoses requiring antipsychotic medication. Studies with duration of <3 weeks, meeting abstracts and non-English-language articles were excluded. Weighted averages were calculated by multiplying the number of patients and the matching variable in each study, and then the sum of the amounts in the different studies was divided by the total number of patients. Seven studies did not report prolactin baseline measurements, and two did not report medication-free prolactin baseline measurements; these studies were excluded from the prolactin baseline weighted averages.

Main results

A total of 29 studies met the inclusion …

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  • Source of funding De Open Ankh foundation, The Netherlands Foundation to support VCVGZ, Fund for Scientific Research of Sexuality, The Netherlands.


  • Competing interests CC has been a consultant and/or advisor to Actelion, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cephalon, Eli Lilly, Janssen/J&J, GSK, Hoffmann-La Roche, Otsuka, Pfizer, Schering-Plough, Supernus, Takeda and Vanda. TK has been a speaker and/or advisor to Banyu, Dainippon-Sumitomo, Eli Lilly, Janssen, Otsuka, Pfizer. HC has been a consultant to Eli Lilly and Lundbeck.

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