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Effect of fluoxetine on noradrenergic mediated growth hormone release: A double blind, placebo-controlled study

  • Karen O'Flynn
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Medical School, St. James's Hospital, Jame's Street, Dublin 8, Republic of Ireland
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  • Veronica O'Keane
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Medical School, St. James's Hospital, Jame's Street, Dublin 8, Republic of Ireland
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  • James V. Lucey
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Medical School, St. James's Hospital, Jame's Street, Dublin 8, Republic of Ireland
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  • Timothy G. Dinan
    Correspondence
    Address reprint requests to T.G. Dinan, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Medical School, St. James's Hospital, James's Street, Dublin 8, Republic of Ireland
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Medical School, St. James's Hospital, Jame's Street, Dublin 8, Republic of Ireland
    Search for articles by this author
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      Abstract

      Twelve patients with DSM-III-R major depressive illness were tested for growth hormone (GH) response to desipramine (DMI), a noradrenergic (NA) reuptake inhibitor. The response is mediated by NA α2 receptors. They were then randomly assigned to treatment under double-blind conditions with either fluoxetine, the highly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or placebo. After 4 weeks they were retested. Fluoxetine but not placebo was effective in promoting recovery in four of the six patients treated. Patients treated with fluoxetine showed a significant decrease in DMI-mediated GH release irrespective of therapeutic outcome. This is consistent with marked alteration of NA function and raises questions as to the selectivity of fluoxetine.
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