Article

Augmentation treatment in major depressive disorder: focus on aripiprazole

University of California San Francisco, 401 Parnussus Avenue, Box 0984-F,San Francisco, California, USA.
Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment (Impact Factor: 2.15). 11/2008; 4(5):937-48.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a disabling psychiatric condition for which effective treatment remains an outstanding need. Antidepressants are currently the mainstay of treatment for depression; however, almost two-thirds of patients will fail to achieve remission with initial treatment. As a result, a range of augmentation and combination strategies have been used in order to improve outcomes for patients. Despite the popularity of these approaches, limited data from double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled studies are available to allow clinicians to determine which are the most effective augmentation options or which patients are most likely to respond to which options. Recently, evidence has shown that adjunctive therapy with atypical antipsychotics has the potential for beneficial antidepressant effects in the absence of psychotic symptoms. In particular, aripiprazole has shown efficacy as an augmentation option with standard antidepressant therapy in two, large, randomized, double-blind studies. Based on these efficacy and safety data, aripiprazole was recently approved by the FDA as adjunctive therapy for MDD. The availability of this new treatment option should allow more patients with MDD to achieve remission and, ultimately, long-term, successful outcomes.

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    ABSTRACT: Evidence-based treatment approaches for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) comprise psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, or a combination of the two. First-line pharmacotherapy agents include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, and, in certain European guidelines, pregabalin, which gained European Commission approval. Although short- and long-term efficacy have been established for these agents in controlled trials, response rates of 60-70 % are insufficient, remission rates are relatively modest, and relapse rates considerable. Moreover, questions increasingly arise regarding tolerability and side-effect profiles. As an alternative, antipsychotics have long been of interest for the treatment of anxiety disorders, but investigation had been tempered by their potential for irreversible side effects. With the improved side-effect profiles of atypical antipsychotics, these agents are increasingly being investigated across Axis I disorders. Atypical antipsychotics such as quetiapine, aripiprazole, olanzapine, and risperidone have been shown to be helpful in addressing a range of anxiety and depressive symptoms in individuals with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders, and have since been used in the treatment of a range of mood and anxiety disorders. In this article, we review the efficacy and tolerability of atypical antipsychotics as adjunctive therapy and/or monotherapy for individuals with GAD, a currently off-label indication. The most evidence has accumulated for quetiapine. Findings suggest that approximately 50 % of participants tolerate the side effects, most commonly sedation and fatigue. Among this subset, those who continue treatment demonstrate significant reductions in anxiety when used as adjunctive therapy or monotherapy. The appropriateness of the use of antipsychotics in the treatment of GAD is discussed.
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  • European Neuropsychopharmacology 09/2011; 21:S483-S484. DOI:10.1016/S0924-977X(11)70784-2 · 5.40 Impact Factor

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