aetiology

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Drugs are a common cause of hyperprolactinaemia. The major tranquilisers e.g. chlorpromazine block the D2 dopamine receptor, releasing the inhibition on prolactin production.

A common cause of hyperprolactinaemia is a prolactin secreting tumour or prolactinoma.

Occasionally a craniopharyngioma or other tumour may compress the pituitary stalk or hypothalamus. This interrupts the hypothalamic dopaminergic inhibition of prolactin release.

Other causes of hyperprolactinaemia are rare.

Last reviewed 01/2018

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