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Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2001 Jun;11(3):227-32.

Gender differences in the efficacy of fluoxetine and maprotiline in depressed patients: a double-blind trial of antidepressants with serotonergic or norepinephrinergic reuptake inhibition profile.

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Eli Lilly Regional Medical Center, Barichgasse 40-42, A-1030, Vienna, Austria.



Depression has emerged as a contrastive area of gender differences in psychiatry, as epidemiological data has consistently shown depression is twice as common in women as men. The pharmacodynamic effect of antidepressants may also show gender differences, as suggested by reports of better response of young women to non-tricyclic antidepressants.


The antidepressive effect of an SSRI (fluoxetine) and a tetracyclic antidepressant with selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitory effect (maprotiline) was compared in a 6-week, double-blind trial of 105 depressed patients.


No significant difference was observed in the change of HAMD17 total score from baseline to week 6 between fluoxetine- and maprotiline-treated patients. A significant difference was observed in females (fluoxetine, -17.8; maprotiline, -13.9; P=0.017) between treatment groups, but not in males. Amongst females, the difference was significant in women aged <44 years (fluoxetine, -18.4; maprotiline, -12.9; P=0.023) but not > or =44 years.


Females in their reproductive period are more responsive to SSRI (fluoxetine) than norepinephrinergic tetracyclic antidepressant (maprotiline) treatment. Normal cyclical ovulation, and estrogen release may have a clinically relevant pharmacodynamic interaction with serotonergic antidepressants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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