Hyperprolactinaemia in first episode psychosis - A longitudinal assessment.

Little is known about hyperprolactinaemia (HPL) in first episode psychosis (FEP) patients. We investigated longitudinal changes in serum prolactin in FEP, and the relationship between HPL, and antipsychotic medication and stress.

Serum prolactin was recorded in FEP patients at recruitment and again, 3 and 12 months later. HPL was defined as a serum prolactin level > 410 mIU/L (~ 19.3 ng/ml) for males, and a serum prolactin level > 510 mIU/L (~ 24.1 ng/ml) for females.

From a total of 174 people with serum prolactin measurements at study recruitment, 43% (n = 74) had HPL, whilst 27% (n = 21/78) and 27% (n = 26/95) had HPL at 3 and 12 months respectively. We observed higher serum prolactin levels in females versus males (p < 0.001), and in antipsychotic treated (n = 68) versus antipsychotic naïve patients (p < 0.0001). Prolactin levels were consistently raised in FEP patients taking risperidone, amisulpride and FGAs compared to other antipsychotics. No significant relationship was observed between perceived stress scores (β = 7.13, t = 0.21, df = 11, p = 0.0.84 95% CI − 72.91–87.16), or objective life stressors (β = − 21.74, t = − 0.31, df = 8, p = 0.77 95% CI − 218.57–175.09) and serum prolactin.

Our study found elevated rates of HPL over the course of the first 12 months of illness. We found no evidence to support the notion that stress is related to elevated serum prolactin at the onset of psychosis.