Fluoxetine alone in the treatment of first episode anxious-depression: An open clinical trial

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Many studies have reported the effectiveness of antidepressants in patients with so-called "anxious depression". This is the first report aimed at studying the beneficial therapeutic effects of fluoxetine alone on anxiety dimension in first episode drug naive patients suffering from DSM-IV major depression (MDD) and double depression (DD). Twenty-two outpatients (11 women and 11 men) were recruited in a University clinic for the treatment of a first episode pure MDD (n = 13) or DD (n = 9). All of the patients were drug naive, had Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) and Anxiety (HRSA) scores ≥ 15, and were interviewed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-Patient edition. Fluoxetine alone (20 mg daily) was used in an attempt to treat depression with comorbid anxiety symptoms. A series of clinical- and self-rating scales (i.e., HRSD, HRSA, Beck Depression Inventory, and Stait Trait Anxiety Inventory) were used to measure the psychopathology at day 0, and every 10 days until day 50. In the whole group, there were statistically significant changes, starting from the baseline, in depression and anxiety symptoms after 10 days of treatment. Self evaluated anxiety, however, improved after 20 days. Furthermore, at day 50, the patients with comorbid DD experienced a major improvement (diminished anxiety symptoms) compared to pure MDD patients. This open study suggests that depression and anxiety symptoms in first-episode drug-naive patients with anxious depression diminished very quickly with fluox etine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-266
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychopharmacology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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