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Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2007 May-Jun;17(6-7):400-5. Epub 2006 Dec 28.

Response to SSRIs and role of the hormonal therapy in post-menopausal depression.

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Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Vita-Salute University San Raffaele Hospital, Via Stamira D'Ancona 20, Milan 20127, Italy.


The aim of this study is to prospectively evaluate the antidepressant response to SSRIs in depressed post-menopausal women with or without hormonal therapy (HT), and to analyze the possible influence of basal serum levels of gonadotropins and sexual hormones on the antidepressant response. 170 post-menopausal women with a depressive episode (DSM-IV criteria)--47 on HT and 123 not on HT--started the treatment with an SSRI. Depressive symptoms were assessed at baseline and 7 weeks thereafter by raters blind to treatment regimen. Response rates were 63.2% in the group without HT and 83.7% in the HT group (p=0.013). An inverse correlation emerged between the basal levels of LH and the improvement in HRSD scores (p=0.001) in the group without HT. In conclusion, HT appeared to improve the antidepressant response to SSRIs. Furthermore, in post-menopausal women, LH basal levels may be taken into account as possible predictor of response.

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