Adjunctive Aripiprazole Good for Core Symptoms of Unipolar Depression

June 17, 2010 · Posted in Current Treatments 

Adding aripiprazole to the drug regimen of a patient with major depression was significantly superior to adding placebo on most of the core symptom items of major depression in a pooled analysis of several studies. Martin et al. presented these data in a poster at the American Psychiatric Association meeting in San Francisco in May 2009. The improved areas included: trouble falling asleep, feeling sad, low mood, decreased appetite, view of the self, view of the future, thoughts about death/suicide, general interest, capacity for pleasure/enjoyment, interest in sex, and interpersonal sensitivity.

These improvements were accompanied by improvements at a trend or significance level in quality of life after just six weeks of treatment, as well as a generally good side-effects tolerability profile. The most common side effects are akathisia (restless legs) and restlessness, which appear to be less prominent if one starts with very low (pediatric) doses, i.e. 1mg to 2mg/day. The metabolic profile of the drug is relatively benign, with only weight gain occurring significantly more on aripiprazole than on placebo, while there were no significant changes in cholesterol or triglycerides.

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