Research Article

Pituitary responsiveness to gonadotrophin-releasing and thyrotrophin-releasing hormones in children receiving phenobarbitone.

Br Med J 1980; 281 doi: (Published 01 November 1980) Cite this as: Br Med J 1980;281:1175
  1. A Masala,
  2. T Meloni,
  3. S Alagna,
  4. P P Rovasio,
  5. G Mele,
  6. V Franca


    The effect of long-term treatment with phenobarbitone on pituitary responsiveness to gonadotrophin-releasing hormone and thyrotrophin-releasing hormone was studied in 20 boys being treated with the drug to prevent febrile convulsions. Baseline concentrations of luteinising and follicle-stimulating hormones were reduced as well as the responses of these hormones to stimulation with gonadotrophin-releasing hormone. Baseline prolactin concentrations were raised in comparison with those in normal children. The response of prolactin to thyrotrophin-releasing hormone, however, was impaired only in the children who had been receiving the drug for a long time. Phenobarbitone had no effect on the secretion of growth hormone. Further studies should be carried out to ascertain how long these effects on pituitary function last after phenobarbitone is withdrawn and whether this interference with pituitary function modifies the child's subsequent development.