Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
Menopause. 2006 Sep-Oct;13(5):780-6.

Escitalopram versus ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone acetate for symptomatic peri- and postmenopausal women: impact on depression, vasomotor symptoms, sleep, and quality of life.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. csoares@mcmaster.ca



To examine the efficacy and tolerability of escitalopram (ESCIT) compared to estrogen and progestogen therapy (EPT) for the treatment of symptomatic peri- and postmenopausal women.


Forty women (aged 40-60 years) with depressive disorders and menopause-related symptoms were randomly assigned to an 8-week open trial with ESCIT (flexible dose, 10-20 mg/day; fixed dose, 10 mg/day for the first 4 weeks) or estrogen plus progestogen therapy (ethinyl estradiol 5 microg/day plus norethindrone acetate 1 mg/day). Primary outcome measures included Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale and the Greene Climacteric Scale at week 8. Secondary outcome measures included the Clinical Global Impressions as well as sleep and quality of life assessments.


Thirty-two women (16 on EPT, 16 on ESCIT) were included in the analyses. Full remission of depression (score of <10 on the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale) was observed in 75% (12/16) of subjects treated with ESCIT, compared to 25% (4/16) treated with EPT (P = 0.01, Fisher's exact tests). Remission of menopause-related symptoms (>50% decrease in Greene Climacteric Scale scores) was noted in 56% (9/16) of women treated with ESCIT compared to 31.2% (5/16) on EPT (P = 0.03, Pearson's chi2 tests). Improvement in sleep, hot flashes, and quality of life was observed with both treatments.


ESCIT is more efficacious than EPT for the treatment of depression and has a positive impact on other menopause-related symptoms. ESCIT may constitute a treatment option for symptomatic menopausal women who are unable or unwilling to use hormone therapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk