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J Psychiatr Res. 2007 Apr-Jun;41(3-4):338-43. Epub 2006 May 12.

Estrogen and response to sertraline in postmenopausal women with major depressive disorder: a pilot study.

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1
Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, 410 Quarry Road, Room 2368, Palo Alto, CA 94305-5723, USA. nrasgon@stanford.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Pilot study examining the effects of estrogen therapy (ET) on antidepressant response in postmenopausal women with major depressive disorder (MDD).

METHODS:

Twenty-two subjects received sertraline at 50mg/day for one week, with an increase to 100mg/day at week 2 for a 10-week trial. Transdermal estrogen or placebo patches 0.1mg were randomly administered concurrent with the initiation of sertraline treatment. The 21 item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS-21) was administered to all patients at baseline and weekly thereafter.

RESULTS:

Both groups showed a similar significant reduction in HDRS-21 scores by the end of the study. There was no significant difference between the two treatment groups at the end of the 10-week trial, but the women receiving sertraline with ET showed significantly greater early improvement (weeks 2-4) compared to the women receiving sertraline with placebo.

CONCLUSIONS:

Sertraline is an effective antidepressant for postmenopausal women with MDD. ET does not alter the response rate to antidepressant therapy however ET may play a role in accelerating the antidepressant response.

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