Advances in antidepressants for treating post-stroke depression

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Post-stroke depression (PSD) is a common and serious complication after stroke, occurring in nearly one third of stroke survivors, and affecting mortality rate, functional outcome, rehabilitation results and quality of life. However, in the common clinical practice only a minority of patients are properly treated. A relatively small number of scientific reports are available on clinical usefulness and safety of antidepressants (ADs) in PSD. Areas covered: This report provides an updated review about pharmacological state of art of PSD, including efficacy and safety of different drugs and their role on prevention, treatment and functional outcome. Expert opinion: Even if currently an antidepressant treatment can improve depressive symptoms, neither the optimal drug nor the optimal lengths of treatment, have been identified. Serotonergic drugs are preferable because of their better safety profile, but in the recent years there has been an important debate on possible association between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor use and increased mortality. Another issue is the potential role of ADs for improving functional recovery. Newer ADs have interesting properties, in particular vortioxetine, due to its properties of enhancing cognitive functions, but further research is needed to clarify its/their role in treatment of PSD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1011-1017
Number of pages7
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Jul 3 2017


  • antidepressants
  • Depression
  • functional outcome
  • rehabilitation
  • stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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