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The endocrine responses to the 5-hydroxytryptamine (5HT) precursor, L-tryptophan, were assessed in 10 depressed patients before and after at least 4 weeks of treatment with amitriptyline. Overall, amitriptyline did not alter either prolactin or growth hormone responses to L-tryptophan. When three subjects with severe pretreatment weight loss were excluded, however, the remaining seven patients showed a significant increase in the prolactin response to L-tryptophan, consistent with other published studies. The findings suggest that severe recent weight loss may alter the effects of tricyclic antidepressants on 5HT-mediated prolactin release.


Journal article


Psychiatry Res

Publication Date





201 - 208


Adult, Amitriptyline, Depressive Disorder, Female, Growth Hormone, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Personality Tests, Prolactin, Tryptophan, Weight Loss