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Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2001 Feb;11(1):1-5.

Reboxetine in seasonal affective disorder: an open trial.

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Department of General Psychiatry, University of Vienna Waehringer Guertel 18-20 A-1090 Vienna, Austria.


Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), winter type, is a condition characterized by the annual recurrence of depressive episodes during fall/winter, alternating with spring/summer euthymia or hypomania. Various neurotransmitters have been implicated in the etiology of SAD, the strongest evidence involving serotonin. Recently, increasing attention has been paid to the potential role of catecholaminergic pathways in the pathophysiology of SAD. We investigated the efficacy and tolerability of reboxetine, a selective noradrenaline inhibitor, in patients with SAD. Eleven out of sixteen patients who were included in a 6-week drug surveillance during winter season experienced full remission of depressive symptoms. Nine patients reported a rapid relief of preexistent severe atypical depressive symptoms within the first treatment week. Reboxetine might therefore be an effective and well-tolerated treatment option for SAD patients. In conclusion, our preliminary results are in line with evidence from recent studies suggesting that catecholaminergic systems might also be involved in the pathophysiology of SAD.

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