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Depress Anxiety. 2008;25(12):E173-81. doi: 10.1002/da.20458.

Escitalopram in the treatment of major depressive disorder in primary-care settings: an open-label trial.

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Grey Nuns Community Hospital, Edmonton, Canada.



The present trial was designed to assess the efficacy and safety of escitalopram prescribed to patients seeking treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in a Canadian primary-care setting.


Investigators (mainly primary-care physicians) enrolled patients with MDD from their daily practice. Patients were treated with escitalopram (flexible dose 10-20 mg/day) for up to 24 weeks. Efficacy assessments included the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), the Clinical Global Impression-Improvement and -Severity scales (CGI-I, CGI-S), the Patient Global Evaluation (PGE), and the Medical Outcome Study 36-item Short Form (SF-36).


Out of the 647 patients enrolled, 461 (71%) completed 24 weeks of treatment. The most common reason for discontinuation was adverse events (10%). The mean MADRS score decreased from 30.7 at baseline to 10.9 at the end of 24 weeks (last observation carried forward, LOCF). Remission (MADRS<or=12) was achieved by 65.5% of patients (LOCF). Symptom improvements were confirmed by global ratings of improvement made by physicians (CGI-I) as well as patients PGE. There was improvement on all dimensions of the SF-36, suggesting an overall improvement in quality of life.


Escitalopram was well tolerated, safe, and efficacious. Escitalopram can be used with confidence to treat patients with MDD in Canadian primary-care settings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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