Testosterone and 17-OH progesteron levels in women with depression and the effects of antidepressant treatment

Kartalci S., Ozsoy S. , ÜNAL S., EŞEL E.

ANADOLU PSIKIYATRI DERGISI-ANATOLIAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY, vol.11, no.4, pp.285-292, 2010 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Page Numbers: pp.285-292


Objective: Women suffer from depression more often than males, indicating that sex hormones might be involved in the etiology of this disease. The aim of this study was to investigate whether testosterone and 17-OH progesterone are related to the pathophysiology of depression in depressed women. We also investigated if any alteration takes place in these hormonal variables with antidepressant treatment. Methods: Forty female inpatients suffering from a depressive episode and 20 healthy female controls were recruited in the study. In the patient and control groups, serum total testosterone, 17-OH progesterone and SHBG levels were assayed. Pharmacotherapy was given to the patient group for 6-10 weeks (venlafaxine n=19, fluoxetine n=12, imipramine n=9). Hormonal measurements were repeated after the treatment in the patient group who responded to antidepressant treatment. Results: Serum testosterone levels were higher in the depressive women than in the healthy women. The testosterone levels were normalized by antidepressant treatment. 17-OH progesterone and SHBG levels did not differ between patients and controls. Conclusions: The result of normalized testosterone levels with pharmacotherapy suggests that testosterone may have a relationship with depression. Elevated levels of testosterone in depressed women might be a result of over activation of the adrenal glands, which are the main source of this hormone in women. (Anatolian Journal of Psychiatry 2010; 11:285-292)