Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

The effect on plasma prolactin, growth hormone and luteinising hormone concentrations of single oral doses of propranolol and tolamolol in normal man

  • 18 Accesses

  • 14 Citations


In a placebo controlled double-blind study in six healthy male volunteers the effects of single oral doses of 100 mg and 200 mg of tolamolol on plasma concentrations of prolactin, growth hormone and luteinising hormone were investigated. In a second placebo controlled single-blind study in a further six healthy male volunteers the effects of single oral doses of 200 mg tolamolol and 160 mg propranolol on the same plasma hormone concentrations were compared. A dose dependent increase in plasma prolactin concentration was demonstrated after tolamolol. The increase in plasma prolactin concentration was not evident after propranolol. Plasma growth hormone and luteinising hormone concentrations were not significantly changed by either propranolol or tolamolol.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.

    Winnik HZ, Tennenbaum L (1955) Apparition de galactorrhee au cours du traitement de largactil. Presse Med 63: 1092

  2. 2.

    Polisuk WS, Kulckar S (1956) Effects of chlorpromazine on pituitary function. J Clin Endocrinol 16: 292–293

  3. 3.

    Pettinger WA, Horwitz D, Sjoerdsma A (1963) Lactation due to methyldopa. Br Med J 1: 1460

  4. 4.

    Reichlin S (1968) Neuroendocrinology. Textbook of endocrinology. WB Saunders, Philadelphia, p 1006

  5. 5.

    Friesen H, Hwang P, Gwyda H, Tois G, Tyson J, Myers R (1972) A radioimmunoassay for human prolactin. p 64. In: Boyns AR, Griffiths K (eds) Prolactin and carcinogenesis. IV: Tenovus Workshop. Alpha Omega, Cardiff

  6. 6.

    Turkington RW (1972) Prolactin secretion in patients treated with various drugs. Arch Intern Med 130: 340–354

  7. 7.

    Gold EM, Ganong WF (1967) Neuroendocrinology, 2nd ed. Academic Press, New York

  8. 8.

    Kopin I (1968) False adrenergic receptors. Annu Rev Pharmacol 8: 377–394

  9. 9.

    Finch L, Haeusler G (1973) Further evidence for a central hypotensive action of alpha-methyldopa in both the rat and cat. Br J Pharmacol 47: 217–228

  10. 10.

    McLeod RM (1969) Influence of norepinephrine and catecholamine-depleting agents on the synthesis and release of prolactin and growth hormone. Endocrinology 85: 916–923

  11. 11.

    Wartofsky L, Diamond RC, Noel GL, Frantz AG, Earll JM (1975) Failure of propranolol to alter thyroid iodine release, thyroxine turnover, or the TSH and PRL responses to thyrotropin-releasing hormone in patients with thyrotoxicosis. J Clin Endocrinol 41: 485–490

  12. 12.

    Adam KR, Baird JRC, Burges RA, Linnell J (1974) The beta blocking potency and cardioselectivity of tolamolol and its isomers in rodents. Euro J Pharmacol 25: 170–175

  13. 13.

    Taylor SH, Thandani U, Davidson C, Singleton W, Myint S (1968) Comparative activity of beta-adrenoreceptor antagonists in man. Clinical experiences with tolamolol. Excerpta Medica, Amsterdam, p 25

  14. 14.

    Groom GV (1977) The measurement of human gondotrophins by radioimmunoassay. J Reprod Fert 51: 273–286

  15. 15.

    Donoso AO, Bishop W, Fawcett CP, Kaulich L, McCann SM (1971) Effects of drugs that modify brain monoamine concentrations on plasma gonadotrophin levels in the rat. Endocrinology 89: 774–784

  16. 16.

    Friesen H, Guyda H, Hwang P, Tyson JE, Barbeau A (1972) Functional evaluation of prolactin secretion. A guide to therapy. J Clin Invest 51: 706–709

  17. 17.

    Frohman L, Stachara ME (1975) Neuropharmacologic control of neuroendocrine function in man. Metabolism 24: 211–234

  18. 18.

    Martin JB, Lal S, Tolis G, Frieser HG (1974) Inhibition of apomorphine of prolactin secretion in patients with elevated serum prolactin. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 39: 180–182

  19. 19.

    Del Pozo E, Varga L, Wyss H, Tolis G, Friesen H, Wenner R, Vetter L, Uettwiler A (1974) A clinical hormonal response to bromocriptin (CB-154) in galactorrhea syndromes. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 39: 18–26

  20. 20.

    Malarkey WB, Jacobs LS, Doughaday WH (1971) Levodopa suppression of prolactin in nonpuerperal galactorrhea. N Engl J Med 285: 1160–1163

  21. 21.

    MacLeod RM, Lehmayer JE (1974) Studies on the mechanism of the dopamine-mediated inhibition of prolactin secretion. Endocrinology 94: 1007–1085

  22. 22.

    Takahara J, Arimura A, Schally AV (1974) Suppression of prolactin release by a purified porcine PIF preparation and catecholamines infused into a rat hypophysial portal vessel. Endocrinology 95: 2079–2090

  23. 23.

    Bremner RM, Greengrass PM, Morville M, Blackburn KJ (1978) Effect of tolamolol and other beta-adrenoceptor blocking drugs on [3H] haloperidol binding to rat striatal membrane preparations. J Pharm 30: 388–389

  24. 24.

    Naorallah HA, Freed WJ, Rogal A, Wyatt RJ (1977) Propranolol and prolactin. Lancet 2: 1175

  25. 25.

    Gala RR, Subramanion MG, Peters JA, Pieper DR (1977) The effects of serotonergic and adrenergic receptor antagonists on prolactin release in the monkey. Life Sci 20: 631–638

  26. 26.

    MacLeod RM, Lehmeyer JE (1974) Further studies on effects of adrenergic, serotonergic and cholinergic drugs on afternoon surge of plasma prolactin in ovariectomied, oestrogen-treated rats. Endocrinology 94: 1077–1085

  27. 27.

    Subramanian MG, Gala RR (1976) Further studies on the effects of adrenergic, serotonergic and cholinergic drugs on the afternoon surge of plasma prolactin in ovariectomized, oestrogen-treated rats. Neuroendocrinology 22: 240–249

  28. 28.

    Middlemiss D, Blackeborough L, Leather SR (1977) Direct evidence for an interaction on beta-adrenergic blockers with the 5HT receptor. Nature 267: 289–290

  29. 29.

    Meltzer HY, Fang BS (1976) The effect of neuroleptics on serum prolactin in schizophrenic patients. Arch Gen Psychiatry 33: 279–286

  30. 30.

    Noel GL, Suh HK, Stone JG, Frantz AG (1972) Human prolactin and growth hormone release during surgery and other conditions of stress. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 35: 840–851

Download references

Author information

Additional information

Report prepared by Pfizer Central Research, Europe

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Saxton, C.A., Faulkner, J.K. & Groom, G.V. The effect on plasma prolactin, growth hormone and luteinising hormone concentrations of single oral doses of propranolol and tolamolol in normal man. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 21, 103–108 (1981).

Download citation

Key words

  • tolamolol
  • propranolol
  • prolactin
  • beta-blockade
  • growth hormone
  • luteinising hormone