Long-term response to successful acute pharmacological treatment of psychotic depression

Jaap Wijkstra*, Huibert Burger, Walter W. van den Broek, Tom K. Birkenhager, Joost G. E. Janzing, Marco P. M. Boks, Jan A. Bruijn, Marc L. M. van der Loos, Leonie M. T. Breteler, Robbert J. Verkes, Willem A. Nolen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background: Data about follow-up after acute pharmacological treatment of psychotic depression are scarce.

Methods: A 4 month open follow-up was done, preferentially with same medication as during acute treatment, of patients (n=59) with DSM-IV-TR major depressive disorder with psychotic features, aged 18 to 65 years, who had completed as responders an acute double-blind 7 week trial with imipramine, venlafaxine or venlafaxine plus quetiapine. Main outcome measures were Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression and Clinical Global Impression Scale.

Results: Six patients dropped out during the 4 month follow-up. Almost all patients (86.4%; 51/59) remained responder while remission rate increased from 59.3% (35/59) to 86.8% (46/53), independent of treatment. Relapse rate was low (3.8%; 2/53). Tolerability was good. Weight increased with all treatments.

Limitations: Limitations were the limited sample size and consequent limited statistical power. The treatment during follow-up was not double-blind.

Conclusions: Continuation treatment with the same medication that was effective in the acute treatment trial, remained effective during the 4 month follow-up in many patients leading to further improvement, and was well tolerated. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-242
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2010


  • Depression
  • Psychosis
  • Treatment
  • Pharmacology

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