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Treatment response of depressed outpatients unresponsive to both a tricyclic and a monoamine oxidase inhibitor antidepressant.

Author(s): McGrath PJ, Stewart JW, Nunes EN, Quitkin FM

Affiliation(s): New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York 10032.

Publication date & source: 1994-08, J Clin Psychiatry., 55(8):336-9.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND: Data regarding effective treatment options for the minority of patients refractory to initial antidepressant trials are essential to guide therapeutic choices and to sustain the hope of patients and perseverance of clinicians. Few such data are available concerning the treatment of patients refractory to treatment with both a tricyclic antidepressant and a monoamine oxidase inhibitor given singly. METHOD: In a study of mood reactive depressed patients, most of whom met Columbia criteria for atypical depression, 20 patients refractory to vigorous 6-week double-blind trials of both imipramine and phenelzine given singly were given clinician's choice open treatment. A chart review of course in open treatment was conducted. RESULTS: Eleven patients (55%) had a full response to subsequent treatments, principally continued phenelzine and the combination of phenelzine with amitriptyline. Another 6 (30%) had at least moderate benefit from a variety of other treatments. CONCLUSION: These data suggest that even among patients who have failed to respond to two vigorous trials of different antidepressants, at least half appear to benefit from other pharmacologic regimens.

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