The efficacy of bupropion in winter depression: results of an open trial.

Department of Psychiatry, Ohio State University, Columbus.
The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 5.14). 08/1992; 53(7):252-5.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) refers to regularly recurring episodes of affective illness bearing a fixed relationship to season. Wintertime depression is its most widely recognized form. This study was undertaken to assess the efficacy of bupropion as a treatment for this disorder.
Fifteen consecutively presenting patients were treated with bupropion (200 to 400 mg/day). All met DSM-III-R criteria for major depression with a seasonal pattern. All were moderately to severely depressed. A modified version of the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (mHAM-D) including ratings of hypersomnia, increased appetite and carbohydrate craving, and weight gain was used to quantify the severity of illness. Up to 5 weeks of treatment was allowed before the subjects were categorized as nonresponders, partial responders, or responders.
The mean +/- SD mHAM-D scores before and after treatment were 25.5 +/- 6.4 and 4.1 +/- 3.1, respectively. Ten (66.7%) of the subjects had a complete response to treatment (mHAM-D score less than or equal to 5). The other 5 (33.3%) had a partial response (mHAM-D score = 6-10). Five of the subjects had chronic pain and 3 had panic attacks restricted to episodes of depression. These problems resolved simultaneously with the symptoms of depression.
The results of this open trial suggest that bupropion is an effective treatment for winter depression. However, controlled studies are required to confidently determine whether this is the case.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Bright light therapy (BLT) has been proposed as treatment of choice for seasonal affective disorder (SAD). However, conventional antidepressants have also been found to be effective in this condition. We examined the psychopharmacologic medication in a clinical sample of 553 SAD patients, who had been treated with BLT, to assess the importance of drug treatment and to critically question the effectiveness of BLT. Forty-nine percent of our patients received psychopharmacologic treatment and about one third (35.4%) was treated with antidepressants, suggesting that BLT does not suffice as only antidepressant regimen for all SAD patients. Furthermore, our results show that only few patients with bipolar affective disorder were willing to accept long-term medication. Opposed to treatment guidelines, patients with several depressive episodes did not receive antidepressant maintenance medication or mood stabilizers more often than patients with only a few episodes.
    European Neuropsychopharmacology 09/2004; 14(4):347-51. DOI:10.1016/j.euroneuro.2003.11.003 · 5.40 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Thirty-four patients with seasonal affective disorder, winter depression type (WD) were randomly distributed to receive the selective monoamine oxidase-A inhibitor moclobemide (400 mg daily) or placebo in a double-blind, parallel group study lasting for up to 14 weeks. Severity measures were the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) extended with characteristic symptoms of WD; summed score of the "atypical" symptoms hypersomnia, hyperphagia and carbohydrate craving; and Clinical Global Impressions (CGI). After 3 weeks, patients with unsatisfactory response were switched to open moclobemide. Three patients on placebo dropped out before 3 weeks. Extended MADRS and CGI showed no significant difference between the groups at 3 weeks, whereas the atypical score was reduced significantly more on moclobemide than on placebo already after one week. Nonresponders after 3 weeks (9 of 16 on moclobemide and 7 of 15 on placebo) improved rapidly after being given open moclobemide. Predictor analysis showed a remarkably high negative correlation between improvement at 3 weeks (extended MADRS) and age in the placebo group and a strong, nonsignificant trend in the same direction in the moclobemide group. Dichotomizing the patients according to the median age (45 years) resulted in a somewhat better effect of moclobemide than placebo in the older age group. There were no significant differences in side effects between moclobemide and placebo.
    Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 12/1993; 88(5):372-80. · 5.55 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Symptoms of an eating disorder (hyperphagia, carbohydrate craving, and weight gain) are characteristic of wintertime depression. Recent findings suggest that the severity of bulimia nervosa peaks during fall and winter months, and that persons with this disorder respond to treatment with bright artificial light. However, the rates of eating disorders among patients presenting for the treatment of winter depression are unknown. This study was undertaken to determine these rates among 47 patients meeting the DSM-III-R criteria for major depression with a seasonal pattern. All were evaluated using standard clinical interviews and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R. Twelve (25.5%) patients met the DSM-III-R criteria for an eating disorder. Eleven patients had onset of mood disorder during childhood or adolescence. The eating disorder followed the onset of the mood disorder. Clinicians should inquire about current and past symptoms of eating disorders when evaluating patients with winter depression.
    Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience: JPN 02/1996; 21(1):9-12. · 7.49 Impact Factor