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Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2010 Feb;118(2):98-100. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1237361. Epub 2009 Oct 15.

Glucose tolerance in depressed inpatients, under treatment with mirtazapine and in healthy controls.

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Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, 80804 Munich, Germany.


Impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes have been associated with depression, and antidepressant treatment is assumed to improve impaired glucose tolerance. However, antidepressant treatment is also considered as a risk factor for the development of diabetes. Reports about glucose tolerance under antidepressant treatment frequently lack appropriate control groups. We conducted the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in 10 healthy controls selected from an epidemiological sample with a negative lifetime history of mental Axis I disorder. Controls were carefully matched to a sample of inpatients with major depression that participated in an OGTT before and after antidepressant treatment with mirtazapine. All participants underwent a standard OGTT protocol. In patients, a second (after 2 weeks) and a third (after 4-6 weeks) OGTT was performed under treatment with mirtazapine. Compared to healthy controls, we observed significantly impaired glucose tolerance in acutely depressed patients. Effect size calculation indicated a moderate to large effects on glucose and insulin concentrations in response to an OGTT. Although glucose tolerance improved under mirtazapine treatment, insulin sensitivity was still impaired and remained significantly lower in patients compared to controls.

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