Venlafaxine for the treatment of depressive episode during the course of schizophrenia
Annals of General Hospital Psychiatry volume 2, Article number: S153 (2003)
The emergence of depression in the course of schizophrenia is common and arouses much interest and therapeutic concern. It has been associated with a less-favorable prognosis and increased incidence of suicide. However, relatively few treatment studies have been performed in this area. The use of a combination of antidepressants and antipsychotic agents is controversial.
Material and Methods
We report an open-label study carried out to evaluate the efficacy of the addition of venlafaxine in schizophrenia patients treated with antipsychotics and diagnosed with concurrent depressive episode (DSM-IV criteria). Patients (n = 19) who did not show spontaneous improvement after 4 weeks were assigned to a six-week trial with add-on venlafaxine. Patients were evaluated at a one-week interval with the HAM-D, the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, and the Clinical Global Impression Scale.
All 19 patients had completed the six week trial.14 patients (74%) showed significant improvement measured with HAM-D and CGI. The mean venlafaxine dose was 146 mg/day (range: 75–300 mg/d). In most patients there was a parallel decrease in psychotic symptoms.
We demonstrate that venlafaxine is effective in the treatment of depression in patients with schizophrenia without causing exacerbation of psychosis.
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Cite this article
Mazeh, D., Shahal, B., Saraf, R. et al. Venlafaxine for the treatment of depressive episode during the course of schizophrenia. Ann Gen Hosp Psychiatry 2 (Suppl 1), S153 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2832-2-S1-S153