Open Access

Effects of treatment with haloperidol and clozapine on the plasma concentrations of thyroid hormones in rats


Objectives. Psychoactive drugs are group of compounds used to treat severe mental problems, including psychosis, as well as other conditions. This study assessed clinically relevant side effects of haloperidol and clozapine on the thyroid hormones.

Methods. Haloperidol (0.05 and 2 mg/kg) or clozapine (0.5 and 20 mg/kg) was intraperitoneally injected to male Wistar rats for 28 days. The control group received 2 ml of physiological saline. A chemiluminescent immunoassay was used to measure the plasma levels of thyroid hormones.

Results. Plasma concentrations of thyroxine (T4) in rats treated with high-dose (2 mg/kg) of haloperidol decreased significantly compared to the control group (p=0.001). However, both low (0.5 mg/kg) and high clozapine (20 mg/kg) doses did not have a significant effect on the plasma concentrations of T4 and triiodothyronine (T3) (p>0.05). Neither of the compound had a significant effect on T3 plasma concentration levels (p>0.05).

Conclusions. Haloperidol and clozapine act via different mechanisms and may have dissociable effects on thyroid hormones. Following treatment with haloperidol, significant changes in T4, but not in T3, serum levels were observed. Haloperidol and clozapine had different effects on the thyroid hormone levels. These results indicate that antipsychotic treatment can contribute to the thyroid dysfunction. Therefore, greater caution should be applied to the antipsychotics use. The thyroid function of the patients should be closely monitored, while using these drugs.