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Orthostatic side effects of clomipramine and moclobemide during treatment for depression.

Author(s): Stage KB, Danish University Antidepressant Group

Affiliation(s): Department of Psychiatry, Odense University Hospital, DK-5000, Odense C, Denmark. kurtstage@yahoo.com

Publication date & source: 2005, Nord J Psychiatry., 59(4):298-301.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial

From a clinical point of view, orthostatic hypotension is a significant side effect during antidepressant treatment, particularly in the case of tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). This prospective, randomized clinical trial evaluated the effects of clomipramine and moclobemide on orthostatic blood pressure during treatment for depression. One hundred and fifteen depressed inpatients, age up to 70 years, were randomized to treatment with either moclobemide (400 mg/day) or clomipramine (150 mg/day) after 1 week of placebo treatment. Orthostatic blood pressure was measured weekly over the 6-week study period. Clomipramine, but not moclobemide, caused a statistically significant fall in systolic (F = 9.37, P = 0.0037) and diastolic orthostatic blood pressure (F = 3.74, P = 0.0017). In the clomipramine-treated group of patients, we found no correlation between subjective complaints of orthostatic dizziness and the size of systolic orthostatic blood pressure. In conclusion, this study indicates that moclobemide does not induce orthostatic side effects, which is a significant problem in treatment with TCAs. However, the choice of antidepressants depends on other factors as well, e.g. the therapeutic efficacy.

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