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  • Poster presentation
  • Open Access

Venlafaxine for the treatment of depressive episode during the course of schizophrenia

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Annals of General Hospital Psychiatry20032 (Suppl 1) :S153

  • Received: 1 November 2003
  • Published:


  • Public Health
  • Schizophrenia
  • Venlafaxine
  • Psychotic Symptom
  • Depressive Episode


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.

Authors’ Affiliations

Abarbanel Mental Health Center, Bat-Yam and Sackler Scl Med, Tel-Aviv Univ, Israel


© The Author(s) 2003