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Follow-up assessment of medication-treated dysthymia.

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  • 1Psychiatric Outpatient Services, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, N.Y., USA.


1. The objective was to assess long-term efficacy of antidepressant medications in dysthymia. 2. In a naturalistic study, patients with DSMIII-R dysthymia who had participated in previous antidepressant trials with fluoxetine and trazodone were evaluated at a mean of 40.0 weeks of follow-up to assess whether medication response persisted over time. A multivariate analysis was performed for patients on vs. off medication. Relapse rates (with relapse defined as HDRS score > 13) were also compared for these two groups. 3. Of 40 patients, the 24 still on medication showed significantly lower scores on most rating scales (HDRS, Cornell Dysthymia Rating Scale, and CGI, but not on the SCL-58) than the heterogeneous group of 16 patients not taking medication. Relapse was low (17.4%) among patients remaining on medication. 4. These preliminary findings suggest that dysthymia patients who remain on medication maintain improvement over time.

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