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Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2013;9:205-9. doi: 10.2147/NDT.S39322. Epub 2013 Feb 8.

Escitalopram tolerability as mono- versus augmentative therapy in patients with affective disorders: a naturalistic study.

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1
University of Milan, Department of Psychiatry, Fondazione IRCSS Ca' Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milano, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Escitalopram is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, widely used in the treatment of affective disorders. The purpose of this study was to examine its safety and tolerability, as mono- versus augmentative therapy, in a group of patients with affective disorders.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

The sample consisted of 131 patients suffering from different affective disorders, including major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder, who received escitalopram for at least 4 weeks. Data were analyzed on the basis of mono- versus augmentative therapy, as well as age, gender, mean daily dosage, and patterns of combination therapy.

RESULTS:

Sixty-seven (51.1%) patients were treated with monotherapy (mean dose of 11.76 mg/day) and 64 (48.9%) with augmentative escitalopram (mean dose of 12.81 mg/day). The mean duration of escitalopram treatment was 14 months. The most frequently combined compounds were: other antidepressants (36.5%), mood stabilizers (33.4%), and atypical antipsychotics (30.1%). Side effects were reported in 5.3% of the total sample and the most common were insomnia (2.3%), nausea (2.3%), and dizziness (0.8%). No significant difference, in terms of tolerability, in mono- versus augmentative therapy groups was found. In addition, neither age nor gender was significantly correlated with a greater presence of side effects. Finally, no significant correlation between dosage and side effects was observed.

CONCLUSION:

Over a 14-month observation period, escitalopram, either as monotherapy or an augmentative treatment, was found to be well tolerated in a large sample of patients with affective disorders, with an overall low rate of side effects.

KEYWORDS:

affective disorders; augmentative therapy; escitalopram; monotherapy; tolerability

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