Acute citalopram administration produces
correlated increases in plasma and salivary cortisol.
Bhagwagar Z, Hafizi S, Cowen PJ.
University Department of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, Oxford OX3 7JX, UK.
RATIONALE: Intravenous administration of the selective serotonin (5-HT)
re-uptake inhibitor, citalopram, increases plasma cortisol. This would be
expected to produce a parallel increase in salivary cortisol concentration.
OBJECTIVE: To find out whether IV citalopram produces correlated increases in
plasma and salivary cortisol levels. METHODS: Twelve healthy volunteers were
tested on two occasions receiving either citalopram (10 mg IV) or saline in a
double-blind, randomised, cross-over design. Plasma and salivary cortisol
levels were measured before and for 150 min after each infusion. RESULTS:
Relative to placebo, citalopram significantly increased cortisol levels in both
plasma and saliva. The size of the increases in plasma and saliva cortisol
correlated significantly with each other. CONCLUSIONS: Monitoring changes in
salivary cortisol might be a valid and acceptable means of measuring
5-HT(serotonin)-mediated cortisol release.