Research Article

Effect of an oral serotonin antagonist, ketanserin, on plasma ACTH concentrations in Nelson's syndrome.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 289 doi: (Published 29 September 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;289:787
  1. R W Prescott,
  2. W A Ratcliffe,
  3. P K Taylor


    A study was performed to see whether ketanserin, a serotonin antagonist, would reduce the raised concentrations of adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) in patients with Nelson's syndrome. Six patients who had undergone bilateral adrenalectomy for Cushing's disease and who had Nelson's syndrome were given ketanserin 40 mg twice daily and placebo, for at least two months each, in a double blind crossover study. Ketanserin had no effect on ACTH concentrations. In healthy people serotonin seems to have a stimulatory role in the regulation of ACTH secretion, and the effect of ketanserin in reducing the ACTH response to hypoglycaemia suggested that it might prove useful in Nelson's syndrome. These results show that it is not indicated in these patients.