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Psychiatry Res. 1990 May;32(2):141-9.

Antidepressant or antianxiety? A study of the efficacy of antidepressant medication.

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Department of Psychiatry, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612.


The authors analyzed the relative contributions of improvement in depressive and anxiety symptoms, as measured by the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) and the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (HRSA), respectively, after 1 week of treatment to the prediction of improvement in HRSD score after 6 weeks of antidepressant pharmacotherapy. Fifty-six subjects completed 6 weeks of treatment with either desipramine (n = 20), alprazolam (n = 18), or a desipramine-alprazolam combination (n = 18). The results showed that early improvement in the HRSD was a moderately strong predictor of the total 6-week improvement in HRSD score, and a better predictor than early improvement in the HRSA. Partial correlations showed that early HRSD improvement was significantly related to total HRSD improvement within the alprazolam group. This pattern of response differed from those observed for the other treatment groups. Desipramine-treated subjects showed gradual improvement over the course of the study, and the improvement in week 1 was not so strongly predictive of overall improvement. The relationship between early and total HRSD improvement for the combination treatment group was intermediate to the other two groups. These findings are discussed in the context of the relationship between depression and anxiety, and potential implications for the treatment of these overlapping and often mixed syndromes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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