Resolution of Sleepiness and Fatigue in Major Depressive Disorder: A Comparison of Bupropion and the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

Depression Clinical and Research Program, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.
Biological Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 9.47). 01/2007; 60(12):1350-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2006.06.015
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to examine whether the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) with the norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI) bupropion results in a greater resolution of sleepiness and fatigue than with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
Six double-blind, randomized clinical trials comparing bupropion (n = 662) with an SSRI (n = 655) for the treatment of MDD were pooled. Hypersomnia scores were defined as the sum of scores of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) items #22, 23, and 24. Fatigue scores were defined as the score of HDRS item #13.
There was a greater improvement in hypersomnia scores among bupropion-treated than SSRI-treated (p < .0001) or placebo-treated patients (p = .0008). There was also a greater improvement in fatigue scores among bupropion-treated (p < .0001) and SSRI-treated (p = .0005) than placebo-treated patients as well as a greater improvement in fatigue scores among bupropion-treated than SSRI-treated patients (p = .0078). Fewer bupropion-remitters than SSRI-remitters experienced residual hypersomnia (20.5% vs. 32.1%; p = .0014) or residual fatigue (19.5% vs. 30.2%; p = .0020).
Treatment of MDD with the NDRI bupropion resulted in a greater resolution of sleepiness and fatigue than SSRIs treatment. Although preliminary, these results warrant prospectively designed studies examining potential differences between bupropion and the SSRIs on these specific depressive symptoms.

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