The effect of propranolol treatment in schizophrenia on CSF amine metabolites and prolactin

R. H. Belmaker*, R. P. Ebstein, H. Dasberg, A. Levy, G. Sedvall, H. M. Van Praag

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent reports have suggested that high doses of propranolol may be an effective treatment in schizophrenia. To determine whether such treatment has effects on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) amine metabolites and prolactin similar to the effects of the neuroleptic drugs, we studied CSF from ten patients before and after propranolol therapy. The initial CSF sample was removed after a drug-free period and propranolol dosage was then increased over 1 week to 1000 mg daily in all ten patients. A second CSF sample was removed after 3 weeks of propranolol therapy. Propranolol levels and prolactin in CSF were measured by radioimmunoassay. Homovanillic acid, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, and 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylethylene glycol were measured by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Propranolol had no effect on the prolactin or amine metabolite concentrations. CSF propranolol levels averaged 40 ng/ml (range <1-78).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-296
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1979
Externally publishedYes


  • 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylethylene glycol
  • 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Homovanillic acid
  • Propranolol
  • Schizophrenia


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