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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1999 Nov;147(1):108-10.

Role of estradiol in puerperal psychosis.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Helsinki City Hospital, Finland. antti.ahokas@kolumbus.fi

Abstract

RATIONALE:

Postpartum period has been considered a time of increased risk for the development of psychiatric disorders with long-lasting adverse consequences. Psychoses are the most severe of these illnesses and can be resistant to psychiatric medication.

OBJECTIVE:

We present two women with puerperal psychosis who had low serum estradiol, were refractory to neuroleptic medication but responded successfully to estradiol treatment.

METHODS:

Serum estradiol concentration was measured at baseline and during the treatment with sublingual 17-beta estradiol. Treatment effect was evaluated using Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale.

RESULTS:

Both patients had a low pretreatment estradiol concentration (28 and 54 pmol/l). During treatment with estradiol, the rise in serum estradiol coincided with a decline of psychotic symptoms. Discontinuation of estradiol treatment resulted in a rebound of florid psychotic symptoms in both cases.

CONCLUSIONS:

Estradiol may have a causal relation to postpartum psychosis and significance in the treatment of this illness.

PMID:
10591876
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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