Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Antidepressant can help treat major depression during perimenopause, menopause, study shows

Date:
August 19, 2010
Source:
Virginia Commonwealth University
Summary:
An antidepressant can alleviate symptoms of major depression in women experiencing or about to experience menopause, according to a new study.

An antidepressant can alleviate symptoms of major depression in women experiencing or about to experience menopause, according to a study led by a Virginia Commonwealth University researcher.

The research compared the effectiveness and safety of the antidepressant desvenlafaxine, known as Pristiq, to a placebo in a double-blind trial led by Susan G. Kornstein, M.D., a professor of psychiatry and obstetrics/gynecology in the VCU School of Medicine. It was published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

In the United States, depression is approximately twice as common in women as in men. More than 20 percent of women will experience depression in the course of their lifetime, and depression seems to be influenced by reproductive events, such as the menstrual cycle, the postpartum period and menopause.

Research, including earlier work by Kornstein, has shown that women may respond to antidepressants differently from men and may also respond to medication differently at different times in their lives, she said.

"It's really an assumption to say that because an antidepressant works for depression in general that it works for depression related to reproductive events," she said. "This is the first large study testing the effectiveness of an antidepressant specifically in peri- and postmenopausal women with depression."

Kornstein is an internationally recognized researcher in women's mental health and depression at VCU who studies how depression affects women across their life span and the influence of the menstrual cycle and menopausal status on depression and its treatment.

Some women report mood swings, irritability, anxiety and depression in the years leading up to menopause, called the perimenopause. The reason for these emotional problems isn't known, but the drop in estrogen levels that typically occurs during perimenopause and menopause may affect mood. The transition to menopause has been shown to be a high-risk period for major depression, in women both with and without a past history of depression.

In the new study, Kornstein and colleagues evaluated Pristiq's ability to alleviate major depression among women experiencing or about to experience menopause. The study enrolled 387 women who were peri-or postmenopausal and were diagnosed with major depression at 37 outpatient sites across the country. The women were randomly assigned to take either 100 mg or 200 mg daily of Pristiq or placebo for eight weeks.

The study found that women who took Pristiq showed significant improvement as measured by the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and other psychological tests. The response rates were 58.6 percent for those taking Prstiq, compared to 38.2 percent for those on placebo. The drug was effective among the subgroups of perimenopausal women as well as those who were postmenopausal.

At the time the study started, the federal Food and Drug Administration had not yet approved Pristiq, which patients now typically take in 50 mg daily doses to treat depression. Kornstein said she is about to start recruiting patients for a new, similar study using the 50 mg daily dose.

Pristiq works by increasing the amounts of serotonin and norepinephrine, natural substances in the brain that help maintain mental balance. It is manufactured by Pfizer and was approved in 2008 to treat depression among adults. Wyeth, now a subsidiary of Pfizer, financially supported the study.

Kornstein, a consultant for Pfizer, is co-founder and executive director of the VCU Mood Disorders Institute and of the VCU Institute for Women's Health, a groundbreaking center for treatment, research, education, and community outreach. She is also medical director of the VCU Clinical Trials Office. Her co-authors from Pfizer were Qin Jiang; Sujana Reddy, M.D.; Jeff J. Musgnung; and Christine J. Guico-Pabia, M.D., MBA, MPH.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Virginia Commonwealth University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Virginia Commonwealth University. "Antidepressant can help treat major depression during perimenopause, menopause, study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100816155004.htm>.
Virginia Commonwealth University. (2010, August 19). Antidepressant can help treat major depression during perimenopause, menopause, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100816155004.htm
Virginia Commonwealth University. "Antidepressant can help treat major depression during perimenopause, menopause, study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100816155004.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins