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Swiss Med Wkly. 2006 Feb 4;136(5-6):78-85.

A stepwise drug treatment algorithm to obtain complete remission in depression: a Geneva study.

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1
Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève, Département de psychiatrie, Service de Psychiatrie Adulte. guido.bondolfi@hcuge.ch

Abstract

QUESTIONS UNDER STUDY/PRINCIPLES:

We describe the proportion of severely depressed outpatients reaching complete remission at the different stages of a drug treatment algorithm. We compare several treatment options for SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) non-responders and test the feasibility of the algorithm in clinical conditions.

METHODS:

Patients with severe depressive disorders (ICD-10; MADRS > or = 25) admitted to an academic outpatient clinic were enrolled in this algorithm-guided sequential treatment protocol (starting with an SSRI and ending with a tricyclic, lithium, triodothyronine combination). The general principle of the algorithm was to boost the drug therapy in the event of non-response.

RESULTS:

135 patients entered the study and 131 were eligible for analysis. From this group, 86 patients dropped out (65.6%), 40 reached complete remission (30.5%) and 5 patients did not reach remission at all (3.8%). In the 117 patients to whom a last observation carried forward approach was applied, the median improvement of the MADRS score was 48.0% (range -20.7%-100%), with 48.7% of patients considered responders, 23.1% partial responders and 28.2% non-responders. Median retention time was 8 weeks (range 2-34).

CONCLUSIONS:

This algorithm-guided antidepressant treatment was acceptable for clinicians and resulted in an elevated final response rate among study completers. However, the dropout rate was high, mainly due to treatment interruption or non-observance.

PMID:
16633950
DOI:
2006/05/smw-11267
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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