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Study reports: Two antidepressants decrease depression in Parkinson's patients

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Two antidepressants decrease depression in Parkinson's patients, study finds

Apr 12, 2012

By: From staff reports

Drug Topics Hospital Pharmacists' Report

 

 

Certain antidepressants decrease depression in people with Parkinson’s disease without worsening their motor problems, according to a new study.

 

Published in the April 11, 2012 online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, the study was led by Irene H. Richard, MD, with the University of Rochester Medical Center, New York.

 

Richards and colleagues conducted a clinical trial involving the antidepressants paroxetine and venlafaxine extended release with 115 people in various stages of Parkinson’s disease, who met the criteria for depression.

 

On average, the patients who received paroxetine demonstrated a 59% improvement in their depression scores, based on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. Those who were taking venlafaxine had a 52% improvement in their scores. “These results are exciting, because depression is common in Parkinson’s, but we weren’t sure about the best way to treat it,” Richard said.

 

Older antidepressant medications are effective, but have numerous side effects, according to Richard. “The newer antidepressants have fewer side effects, but we didn’t know if they’d be effective in people with Parkinson’s. We were also worried that they might worsen the motor problems that come with the disease,” Richard said. The drugs were generally well tolerated and did not cause worsening in motor function, according to the study.

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