Estrogens and SERMS as adjunctive treatments for schizophrenia

Jayashri Kulkarni, Surina Butler, Anita Riecher-Rössler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


More than thirty years have passed since sex and gender differences were noted in the age of onset, course and outcomes for schizophrenia. The ‘estrogen hypothesis” was coined in the 1990′s to describe neuroprotective effects of estrogen. Intervention studies in schizophrenia patients with estradiol and selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) are promising but psychiatrists and other health practitioners do not generally take up this useful adjunctive treatment for their female patients with schizophrenia. The reasons for this are manifold, but overall a cultural shift in the practice of psychiatry is needed to recognise the specific needs of women with schizophrenia and tailor treatments, such as hormone adjuncts to improve the outcomes for this significant population. The two main aims of this article are to review the evidence and theory of estrogen treatments in schizophrenia and to recommend translation of adjunctive estrogen treatment into clinical practice for women with schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100743
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers in Neuroendocrinology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • Estrogens
  • Schizophrenia
  • SERMs
  • Sex
  • Women

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