Vitex agnus castus extract in the treatment of luteal phase defects due to latent hyperprolactinemia. Results of a randomized placebo-controlled double-blind study


Milewicz A, Gejdel E, Sworen H






The efficacy of a Vitex agnus castus preparation (Strotan capsules) was investigated in a randomized double blind study vs. placebo. This clinical study involved 52 women with luteal phase defects due to latent hyperprolactinaemia. The daily dose was one capsule (20 mg) Vitex agnus castus preparation and placebo, respectively. Aim of the study was to prove whether the elevated pituitary prolactin reserve can be reduced and deficits in luteal phase length and luteal phase progesterone synthesis be normalized. Blood for hormonal analysis was taken at days 5-8 and day 20 of the menstrual cycle before and after three month of therapy. Latent hyperprolactinaemia was analysed by monitoring the prolactin release 15 and 30 min after i.v. injection of 200 micrograms TRH. 37 complete case reports (placebo: n = 20, verum: n = 17) after 3 month of therapy were statistically evaluated. The prolactin release was reduced after 3 months, shortened luteal phases were normalised and deficits in the luteal progesterone synthesis were eliminated. These changes were significant and occurred only in the verum group. All other hormonal parameters did not change with the exception of 17 beta-estradiol which rouse up in the luteal phase in patients receiving verum. Side effects were not seen, two women treated with the Vitex agnus castus preparation got pregnant. The tested preparation is thought to be an efficient medication in the treatment of luteal phase defects due to latent hyperprolactinaemia.