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Adolescent depression: a placebo-controlled fluoxetine treatment study and follow-up.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Ottawa, Royal Ottawa Hospital, Ontario, Canada.


Forty patients aged 13 to 18 years participated in a placebo-controlled double-blind study of fluoxetine. Fifteen subjects in each group completed the eight week study. Approximately two-thirds of the patients showed marked or moderate clinical global improvement with both fluoxetine and placebo. Fluoxetine was superior to placebo on all clinical measures except for sleep disorder, but the differences were not statistically significant. Thirty-two of the patients and their parents were interviewed after a mean follow-up interval of 24 months (range: 8-46 months). Mean age at follow-up was 18 years (range: 15-22 years). Both groups had shown further improvement at follow-up but there were no significant group differences. Independent of the study, 19 patients (59%) had received intervening treatment following study termination and nine patients (28%) were still in treatment. Adolescent depression appears to respond to treatment but both mood disturbance and psychosocial adaptation problems persist, requiring active follow-through.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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