Endocrine Effects of Neuroleptics

  • F. G. Sulman
  • Y. Givant
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 55 / 1)


Psychotherapeutic drugs have been reported to interfere with a variety of endocrine functions, including lactation in man and experimental animals. In 1954, Wilkins reported the development of gynecomastia following treatment with Rauwolfia alkaloids. Winnik and Tennenbaum showed in 1955 that treatment with chlorpromazine (Largactil, Thorazine or Megaphen) could lead to milk secretion in women. Sulman and Winnik, and Winnik and Sulman, studying this problem in 1956, described spontaneous lactation in women and animals, and other endocrine disturbances after treatment with chlorpromazine. Our experience with psychopharmaca was confirmed and lactation was reported to occur in women who received either reserpine or chlorpromazine (Marshall and Leiberman, 1956, and Platt and Sears, 1956). Animal experiments also confirmed our findings, treatment with reserpine resulted in milk secretion in rabbits (Meites, 1957, Sawyer, 1957). Administration of various other phenothiazine derivatives also produced mammary differentiation and milk secretion in rats (Sulman et al., 1970). These endocrine disturbances were presumed to result from the action of major tranquilizers on the reticular formation and hypothalamic regions which regulate the releasing and inhibiting functions of the pituitary. The name “hypothalamic tranquilizers” has, therefore, been given to those agents which cause endocrine disturbances such as lactation or suppression of gonadotropins and STH.


Prolactin Secretion Prolactin Release Endocrine Disturbance Milk Secretion Phenothiazine Derivative 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Adrenocorticotropic hormone


Antidiuretic hormone, vasopressin


Follicle stimulating hormone


Interstitial stimulating hormone (in the male)


Luteinizing hormone (in the female)


Luteotropic hormone, lactotropic hormone (prolactin)


Monoamine oxidase


Melanophore stimulating hormone (intermedin)


Prolactin inhibiting factor


Prolactin releasing factor


Somatotropic hormone, growth hormone


Thyrotropic hormone


Uterus contracting hormone (oxytocin)


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. G. Sulman
  • Y. Givant

There are no affiliations available

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