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Psychosomatics. 2010 Sep-Oct;51(5):401-8. doi: 10.1176/appi.psy.51.5.401.

Prophylactic antidepressant treatment in patients with hepatitis C on antiviral therapy: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

Author information

1
Behavioral Health and Clinical Neurosciences Division, Portland VA Medical Center, Portland, OR 97239, USA. benjamin.morasco@va.gov

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Approximately one-third of patients undergoing interferon-α (IFN-α) therapy for treatment of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) develop major depression, which decreases functioning and may lead to the reduction or discontinuation of treatment.

OBJECTIVE:

The authors examined the efficacy of citalopram in preventing IFN-α-induced depression in HCV patients.

METHOD:

This was a randomized, controlled trial comparing citalopram with placebo in 39 HCV patients.

RESULTS:

The rate of IFN-α-induced depression in the sample was 15.4% (6/39). Randomization to citalopram did not decrease the statistical likelihood of developing IFN-α-induced depression (10.5% for citalopram vs. 20.0% for placebo).

CONCLUSION:

Citalopram does not prevent depression onset; however, an empirically-supported treatment recommendation for IFN-α-induced depression includes monitoring depressive symptoms throughout antiviral therapy and initiating psychiatric treatment at the initial signs of depression.

PMID:
20833939
PMCID:
PMC2994596
DOI:
10.1176/appi.psy.51.5.401
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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