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Cabergoline Treatment of Risperidone-Induced Hyperprolactinemia: A Pilot Study

J Clin Psychiatry 2004;65:187-190

Background: D2 blockers, including the atypical antipsychotic risperidone, induce hyperprolactinemia in a significant number of patients treated. The endocrine and sexual side effects related to hyperprolactinemia significantly impair tolerability and compliance in patients, including those with a good response to risperidone. This pilot study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of a low dose of cabergoline, a D2 agonist, in the treatment of risperidone-induced hyperprolactinemia.

Method: Nineteen male and female DSM-IV-defined schizophrenic patients who were clinical responders to risperidone but were suffering from symptomatic hyperprolactinemia were treated with cabergoline, 0.125 to 0.250 mg/week for 8 weeks. Plasma prolactin level was assessed at baseline and at the end of the study. Data were collected from January 2002 to April 2003.

Results: After cabergoline treatment, the mean decrease in plasma prolactin levels was statistically significant (p < .05) for the total sample, and 11 patients showed remission of clinical signs with prolactin values within the normal range. No side effect was observed or reported, and the patients' psychopathology was unchanged.

Conclusions: Results suggest that low-dose cabergoline treatment of risperidone-induced hyperprolactinemia may be safe and clinically effective in a relevant number of patients.