Rationale: Treatment guidelines for major depressive disorder (MDD) recommend a continuous use of antidepressants for several weeks, while recent meta-analyses indicate that antidepressant efficacy starts to appear within 2. weeks and early treatment nonresponse is a predictor of subsequent nonresponse. Objectives: We prospectively compared 8-week outcomes between switching antidepressants and maintaining the same antidepressant in early nonresponders, to generate a hypothesis on possible benefits of early switching strategy. Method: Patients with MDD without any treatment history for the current episode were included. When subjects failed to show an early response (i.e., ≥ 20% improvement in the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS)) to the initial treatment with sertraline 50. mg at week 2, they were randomly divided into two groups; in the Continuing group, sertraline was titrated at 50-100. mg, whereas sertraline was switched to paroxetine 20-40. mg in the Switching group. A primary outcome measure was a response rate (i.e., ≥ 50% improvement in the MADRS) at week 8. Results: Among 132 subjects, 41 subjects showed early nonresponse. The Switching group (n = 20) showed a higher rate of responders than the Continuing group (n = 21) (75% vs. 19%: p = 0.002). Further, the Switching group was also superior in the rate of remitters (total score of ≤ 10 in the MADRS) (60% vs. 14%: p = 0.004) and continuous changes in the MADRS (19.0 vs. 7.5: p < 0.001). Conclusions: Our preliminary findings suggest that patients with MDD who fail to show early response to an initial antidepressant may derive benefits from the early switching antidepressants in the acute-phase treatment of depression.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry|
|Publication status||Published - 2011 Dec 1|
- Major depressive disorder
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biological Psychiatry