This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of sexual dysfunction, evaluated by the Nagoya Sexual Function Questionnaire (NSFQ), and hyperprolactinemia in patients with schizophrenia and examine a relationship between sexual dysfunction and serum prolactin levels. This cross-sectional, comparative study was performed using a sample comprising 195 Japanese schizophrenic in- and outpatients treated with antipsychotics (117 males and 78 females). Data were collected from October 2009 to January 2010 using single, cross-sectional ratings of sexual function assessed by the NSFQ and concurrent measurement of serum prolactin levels. The prevalence of sexual dysfunction in patients with schizophrenia was high (males 66.7%; females 79.5%). Hyperprolactinemia (>25ng/ml) was highly prevalent among schizophrenia patients, affecting 53.8% of females and 51.3% of males. Among female patients, 16.7% had prolactin levels>100ng/ml. There was no relationship between sexual dysfunction and serum prolactin levels. The present study demonstrated a higher prevalence of sexual dysfunction and hyperprolactinemia in Japanese schizophrenia patients. Clinicians should keep these problems in mind and discuss potential solutions with patients to improve patients' quality of life and adherence to therapy.
"Sexual dysfunction appears to be a particularly salient issue in women treated with antipsychotic medications: Howes et al.  found an odds ratio (OR) of 15.2 for risk of sexual dysfunction in women with schizophrenia compared to normal controls, compared to an OR 3.7 in men. Recent reports suggest 59%  to 80%  of women with schizophrenia experience sexual dysfunction, particularly those treated with conventional antipsychotics or risperidone. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prolactin elevations occur in people treated with antipsychotic medications and are often much higher in women than in men. Hyperprolactinemia is known to cause amenorrhea, oligomenorrhea, galactorrhea and gynecomastia in females and is also associated with sexual dysfunction and bone loss. These side effects increase risk of antipsychotic nonadherence and suicide and pose significant problems in the long term management of women with schizophrenia. In this manuscript, we review the literature on prolactin; its physiology, plasma levels, side effects and strategies for treatment. We also present the rationale and protocol for an ongoing clinical trial to treat symptomatic hyperprolactinemia in premenopausal women with schizophrenia. More attention and focus are needed to address these significant side effects and help the field better personalize the treatment of women with schizophrenia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hyperprolactinemia (HPRL) has until recently been considered an unavoidable side effect inherent to antipsychotic treatment and probably this has been the reason why its clinical effects are underestimated in daily clinical practice. In this review we evaluate the different prolactin (PRL) raising potential of the antipsychotic (AP) drugs as well as the clinical and individual situations where special precautions must be taken when using these medications. The most common and better known clinical consequences of HPRL-induced by APs are sexual and reproductive symptoms, with different characteristics depending on gender, but recently more evidence has been provided of also an involvement in bone mineral density, carcinogenesis and cardiovascular system. Though these effects still require more evidence, they are important to be taken into account when prescribing APs drugs in susceptible patients. It is essential to prevent and minimize the effect of HPRL-induced by APs and, once established, to consider its severity and clinical effects and to provide a proper management, treatment and consideration of other disciplines.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since the 1970s, clinicians have increasingly become more familiar with hyperprolactinemia (HPRL) as a common adverse effect of antipsychotic medication, which remains the cornerstone of pharmacological treatment for patients with schizophrenia. Although treatment with second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) as a group is, compared with use of the first-generation antipsychotics, associated with lower prolactin (PRL) plasma levels, the detailed effects on plasma PRL levels for each of these compounds in reports often remain incomplete or inaccurate. Moreover, at this moment, no review has been published about the effect of the newly approved antipsychotics asenapine, iloperidone and lurasidone on PRL levels. The objective of this review is to describe PRL physiology; PRL measurement; diagnosis, causes, consequences and mechanisms of HPRL; incidence figures of (new-onset) HPRL with SGAs and newly approved antipsychotics in adolescent and adult patients; and revisit lingering questions regarding this hormone. A literature search, using the MEDLINE database (1966-December 2013), was conducted to identify relevant publications to report on the state of the art of HPRL and to summarize the available evidence with respect to the propensity of the SGAs and the newly approved antipsychotics to elevate PRL levels. Our review shows that although HPRL usually is defined as a sustained level of PRL above the laboratory upper limit of normal, limit values show some degree of variability in clinical reports, making the interpretation and comparison of data across studies difficult. Moreover, many reports do not provide much or any data detailing the measurement of PRL. Although the highest rates of HPRL are consistently reported in association with amisulpride, risperidone and paliperidone, while aripiprazole and quetiapine have the most favorable profile with respect to this outcome, all SGAs can induce PRL elevations, especially at the beginning of treatment, and have the potential to cause new-onset HPRL. Considering the PRL-elevating propensity of the newly approved antipsychotics, evidence seems to indicate these agents have a PRL profile comparable to that of clozapine (asenapine and iloperidone), ziprasidone and olanzapine (lurasidone). PRL elevations with antipsychotic medication generally are dose dependant. However, antipsychotics having a high potential for PRL elevation (amisulpride, risperidone and paliperidone) can have a profound impact on PRL levels even at relatively low doses, while PRL levels with antipsychotics having a minimal effect on PRL, in most cases, can remain unchanged (quetiapine) or reduce (aripiprazole) over all dosages. Although tolerance and decreases in PRL values after long-term administration of PRL-elevating antipsychotics can occur, the elevations, in most cases, remain above the upper limit of normal. PRL profiles of antipsychotics in children and adolescents seem to be the same as in adults. The hyperprolactinemic effects of antipsychotic medication are mostly correlated with their affinity for dopamine D2 receptors at the level of the anterior pituitary lactotrophs (and probably other neurotransmitter mechanisms) and their blood-brain barrier penetrating capability. Even though antipsychotics are the most common cause of pharmacologically induced HPRL, recent research has shown that HPRL can be pre-existing in a substantial portion of antipsychotic-naïve patients with first-episode psychosis or at-risk mental state.
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