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

Bernardo Dell'Osso, Chiara Arici, Cristina Dobrea, Giulia Camuri, Beatrice Benatti, A. Carlo Altamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-209
Number of pages5
JournalNeuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
Publication statusPublished - Feb 7 2013


  • Affective disorders
  • Augmentative therapy
  • Escitalopram
  • Monotherapy
  • Tolerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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