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Although R. rosea produced less antidepressant effect versus sertraline, it also resulted in significantly fewer adverse events and was better tolerated. These findings suggest that R. rosea, although less effective than sertraline, may possess a more favorable risk to benefit ratio for individuals with mild to moderate depression.
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Outpatients with DSM-IV-TR-defined MDD received either agomelatine 25 to 50 mg (n = 154) or sertraline 50 to 100 mg (n = 159) during a 6-week, randomized, double-blind treatment period. The study was conducted from 2005 to 2006. The main outcome measure was the relative amplitude of the individual rest-activity cycles, expressed as change from baseline to week 6 and collected from continuous records using wrist actigraphy and sleep logs. Secondary outcome measures were sleep efficiency and sleep latency, both derived from actigraphy, and efficacy on depression symptoms (17-Item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale total score and Clinical Global Impressions scale scores) and anxiety symptoms (Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale total score and subscores).
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The HAM-D(6) and the MES did fulfil criteria for unidimensionality while the HAM-D(17) did not. Therefore, the extended use of the HAM-D(17) in drug trials may be questioned.
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A randomized, single-blind, parallel-group study of 10 weeks' duration comparing the efficacy of sertraline, 50 mg/day; sertraline, 100 mg/day; and fluoxetine, 20 mg/day, was conducted in 44 psychiatric outpatients with DSM-IV unipolar major depressive disorder. Antidepressant dosages were doubled at 6 weeks for subjects who had not achieved remission. Primary outcome measurements included the 21-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) and the Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement scale (CGI-I), with scores of < or = 7 on the HAM-D and < or = 2 on the CGI-I representing a positive treatment response, i.e., remission.
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It was previously shown that sertraline hydrochloride treatment improved hemodynamic parameters of patients with dialysis induced hypotension (DIH). The aim of this study was to examine the effect of sertraline on the autonomic functions of patients with DIH.
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In this model, St. John's wort was shown to be a cost-effective alternative to generic antidepressants. Patients are more likely to receive treatment for a duration consistent with professional guidelines for treatment of major depression due to reduced incidence of adverse effects, improving outcomes. This represents an important option in the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder.
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The use of variable dosing in PMED increases the effectiveness of treatment.
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Varenicline, an alpha4beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonist developed as a smoking cessation aid, showed antidepressant-like activity in the forced swim test in two mouse strains. In addition, a low varenicline dose significantly enhanced the effects of moderately active doses of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor sertraline. These findings are consistent with the notion that reducing alpha4beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor activity either by antagonists or by partial agonists that can partially activate or desensitize acetylcholine receptors is associated with antidepressant-like properties. These data suggest that varenicline may have antidepressant potential and can, when combined, augment antidepressant responses of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
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Since the introduction of tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) in mid-1950's, treatment of depression has been dominated by monoamine hypotheses. The well-established clinical efficacy of TCAs and MAOIs is due, at least in part, to the enhancement of noradrenergic or serotonergic mechanisms, or to both. Unfortunately, their very broad mechanisms of action also include many unwanted effects related to their potent activity on cholinergic, adrenergic and histaminergic receptors. The introduction of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) over twenty years ago had been the next major step in the evolution of antidepressants to develop drugs as effective as the TCAs but of higher safety and tolerability profile. During the past two decades SSRIs (fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline, citalopram) gained incredible popularity and have become the most widely prescribed medication in the psychiatric practice. The evolution of antidepressants continued resulting in introduction of selective and reversible monoamine oxidase inhibitors (eg. moclobemid), selective noradrenaline (eg. reboxetine), dual noradrenaline and serotonin reuptake inhibitors (milnacipram, venlafaxin, duloxetin) and drugs with distinct neurochemical profiles such as mirtazapine, nefazadone and tianeptine. Different novel serotonin receptor ligands have also been intensively investigated. In spite of the remarkable structural diversity, most currently introduced antidepressants are 'monoamine based'. Furthermore, these newer agents are neither more efficacious nor rapid acting than their predecessors and approximately 30% of the population do not respond to current therapies. By the turn of the new millennium, we are all witnessing a result of innovative developmental strategies based on the better understanding of pathophysiology of depressive disorder. Several truly novel concepts have emerged suggesting that the modulation of neuropeptide (substance P, corticotrophin-releasing factor, neuropeptide Y, vasopressin V1b, melanin-concentrating hormone-1), N-methyl-D-aspartate, nicotinic acetylcholine, dopaminergic, glucocorticoid, delta-opioid, cannabinoid and cytokine receptors, gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) and intracellular messenger systems, transcription, neuroprotective and neurogenic factors, may provide an entirely new set of potential therapeutic targets, giving hope that further major advances might be anticipated in the treatment of depressive disorder soon. The goal of this review is to give a brief overview of the major advances from monoamine-based treatment strategies, and particularly focus on the new emerging approaches in the treatment of depression.
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The dexamethasone/corticotropin-releasing hormone (Dex/CRH) test is a neuroendocrine probe involving serial blood sampling of cortisol during a standardized pharmacological challenge without inducing psychological distress in humans. Some past studies in depressed patients have shown a "normalization" or decrease in cortisol response to the Dex/CRH test following successful treatment with an antidepressant. Studies in nondepressed healthy adult samples have also shown aberrant cortisol reactivity to be associated with depression risk factors. These findings prompted research into the use of the Dex/CRH test as a tool for developing antidepressant drugs.
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Clinical trials of social anxiety disorder (SAD) have largely focused on the effect of treatment on symptoms of fear and avoidance, while neglecting the third clinically relevant dimension, physiological arousal. Data were combined from two previously reported placebo-controlled trials of sertraline in the treatment of moderate-to-severe generalized SAD. Efficacy was evaluated using the Brief Social Phobia Scale (BSPS). Three hundred forty-six subjects were randomized to 12-13 weeks of treatment with sertraline and 273 subjects to placebo. Following treatment, significant improvement was noted in favor of sertraline on the full BSPS (P < .001), as well as on each of the individual BSPS subscales: fear (P = .001); avoidance (P < .0001); and physiological arousal (P < .0001). Of the physiological symptoms assessed, the treatment advantage with sertraline was maintained for blushing (P < .003) and palpitations (P < .03), but not for trembling and sweating. These results confirm the efficacy of treatment with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sertraline, across the spectrum of fear, avoidance, and physiological arousal in generalized SAD (GSAD). Among common physiological symptoms in this population, blushing and palpitations appear more treatment responsive than trembling and sweating to acute treatment with sertraline.