Relapse during a 6-month continuation treatment with fluvoxamine in an Italian population: The role of clinical, psychosocial and genetic variables

Danilo Dotoli, Chiara Spagnolo, Fanny Bongiorno, Raffaella Zanardi, Alessandro Serretti, Enrico Smeraldi, Linda Franchini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The efficacy of SSRIs in relapse prevention in major depression has been extensively demonstrated. Considering published data, the relapse rate during a psychopharmacological continuation treatment ranges from 10% to 30%. Since the reasons of depressive relapses could be heterogeneous, we have tested the effect of clinical, psychosocial and genetic variables in sustained remission from an index depressive episode during continuation treatment with fluvoxamine over a 6-month follow-up period. 101 patients maintained the same full dosage treatment after remission from a depressive episode efficaciously treated with fluvoxamine. During the follow-up period, they were clinical assessed monthly by an experienced psychiatrist and SASS was administered, to assess their psychosocial adjustment. From a genetical point of view, SERTPR and CLOCK polymorphisms were analyzed for each patients, using PCR-based techniques. At the end of follow-up period, the 57.4% of the patients maintained remission during fluvoxamine continuation treatment; the 8.9% relapsed within the first 2 months of continuation; the 7.9% switched and the 25.8% dropped-out for poor compliance. Relapsed subjects presented a significantly longer mean duration of the index depressive episode than non-relapsed subjects and a subjective poor social adjustment than non-relapsed also in the euthymia period. None of the analyzed polymorphisms significantly appear to influence the outcome of the whole sample. The present data confirm that patients with severe depression and a long duration of the episode have a major risk of psychosocial disability. These patients could need a different psychopharmacological strategies and peculiar psychological intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-448
Number of pages7
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2006


  • Fluvoxamine
  • Relapse
  • Social adjustment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology


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