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Hum Psychopharmacol. 2003 Mar;18(2):113-9.

Fluvoxamine as effective as clomipramine against symptoms of severe depression: results from a multicentre, double-blind study.

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  • 1Division of Psychiatry, The State of Israel Ministry of Health, The Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Ramat Gan, Israel. jzohar@post.tau.ac.il

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are better tolerated than tricyclic antidepressants, their efficacy in severe depression remains to be further elucidated.

METHOD:

A double-blind, multicentre study was conducted in 86 severely depressed inpatients (>or= 25 on the 17-item Hamilton depression rating scale [HAMD] total score) to compare the efficacy and safety of fluvoxamine with that of clomipramine. Following placebo run-in, 86 patients were randomised to receive fluvoxamine or clomipramine (100-250 mg/day) for 8 weeks.

RESULTS:

Fluvoxamine and clomipramine both resulted in marked improvements; there were no statistically significant differences between them on the 17-item HAMD total score, the clinical global impression severity of illness or global improvement items or the Montgomery-Asberg depression rating scale, at any visit. At the end of the study, 71% in the fluvoxamine group and 69% in the clomipramine group were responders (>or= 50% decrease in 17-item HAMD total score). However, fluvoxamine was better tolerated than clomipramine. Clomipramine was associated with a higher incidence of overall and treatment-related adverse events. In addition, the percentage of patients discontinued prematurely due to adverse events was more than twice as high with clomipramine than with fluvoxamine (24% vs 11%).

CONCLUSION:

Fluvoxamine and clomipramine are equally effective in severe depression, but fluvoxamine has a better safety and tolerability profile.

Copyright 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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