A Pilot, 8-Week, Placebo Lead-In Trial of Quetiapine Extended Release for Depression in Midlife Women
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Perimenopausal and early postmenopausal women have shown an increased risk for developing depression (new onset or recurrent); concomitant vasomotor and other menopause-related complaints significantly affect quality of life and overall functioning. This study examined the effects of quetiapine extended release (XR) in midlife women with major depressive disorder who also reported significant menopause-related symptoms. Forty eligible women with major depressive disorder entered a 2-week, placebo lead-in phase, followed by an 8-week open trial with quetiapine XR, flexible dose, 150-300 mg/d. The primary outcome measure (depressive symptoms) was assessed using the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) scores. Other measures included menopause symptoms (Greene Climacteric Scale total scores and subscores) and the impact of hot flashes on functioning (Hot Flash-Related Daily Interference Scale). Weight, cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose levels were monitored. Data from 24 subjects (modified intent-to-treat, last observation carried forward; quetiapine XR mean dose, 191 [SD, 55] mg/d) showed improvement in depressive and menopause-related symptoms, that is, reduction in MADRS, GCS, and Hot Flash-Related Daily Interference Scale scores (P < 0.01 for all comparisons). Seventeen subjects were considered responders (>50% reduction in MADRS scores); 15 achieved remission (MADRS<10). Main adverse effects included drowsiness and dry mouth. Based on these preliminary results, quetiapine XR should be further examined in larger, controlled trials for the management of depressed, symptomatic midlife women.
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