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Antipsychotic-induced hyperprolactinaemia in women: pathophysiology, severity and consequences: Selective literature review

  • A. Wieck (a1) and P. M. Haddad (a2)



Hyperprolactinaemia has for decades been an inevitable and neglected side-effect of antipsychotic medication. The recent introduction of prolactin-sparing antipsychotic agents makes a re-examination of this problem timely.


To review the literature on antipsychotic-induced hyperprolactinaemia and its consequences.


A search was made of the Medline database (1966–2002) for key articles, supplemented by cross-referencing.


During antipsychotic treatment prolactin concentrations can rise to ten times normal levels or above, and existing data indicate that 17–78% of female patients have amenorrhoea with or without galactorrhoea. Survey data, however, suggest that clinicians underestimate the prevalence of these conditions. Long-term consequences of antipsychotic-related hypo-oestrogenism require further research but are likely to include premature bone loss.


Antipsychotic-induced hyperprolactinaemia should become a focus of interest in the drug treatment of psychiatric patients.

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Corresponding author

Dr A. Wieck, Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust, Laureate House, Wythenshawe Hospital, Southmoor Road, Manchester M23 9LT, UK. e-mail:


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Declaration of interest

Both authors have received research grants, lecture fees and conference expenses from the manufacturers of several atypical antipsychotic drugs.



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Antipsychotic-induced hyperprolactinaemia in women: pathophysiology, severity and consequences: Selective literature review

  • A. Wieck (a1) and P. M. Haddad (a2)


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Antipsychotic-induced hyperprolactinaemia in women: pathophysiology, severity and consequences: Selective literature review

  • A. Wieck (a1) and P. M. Haddad (a2)
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