Prolactin response to D-fenfluramine challenge test as a predictor of treatment response to haloperidol in acute schizophrenia

Pavel Mohr, Jiří Horáček, Lucie Motlová, Jan Libiger, Pál Czobor

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23 Citations (Scopus)


D-fenfluramine has been identified as a highly selective serotonin (5-HT) releaser and re-uptake inhibitor. The objective of our study was to investigate prolactin response to D-fenfluramine challenge in non-medicated, first episode schizophrenics. We hypothesized that 5-HT reactivity can predict a response to the neuroleptic treatment. Twenty-three inpatients, 11 males and 12 females, at the Prague Psychiatric Center participated in the study. Inclusion criteria were: ICD-10 diagnosis of schizophrenia, first episode or duration of illness shorter than 36 months. D-fenfluramine challenge test was performed before 4 weeks of the haloperidol treatment. During the test, prolactin plasma levels were measured. The Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) was administered before and after the treatment. A statistically significant negative correlation was found between prolactin response to the D-fenfluramine challenge and improvement of psychopathology measured by the change in total BPRS score (p = 0.0004), in positive (p = 0.0403), negative (p = 0.0267), and anxiety-depression symptoms of BPRS (p = 0.0014). Our data support the original hypothesis that there is a relationship between 5-HT system activity and treatment response. The higher responsiveness of the 5-HT system in first episode, non-medicated schizophrenics, was associated with a poorer treatment response to haloperidol, an antidopaminergic neuroleptic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-99
Number of pages9
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 27 1998



  • D-fenfluramine challenge
  • Prolactin
  • Schizophrenia
  • Serotonin
  • Treatment response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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