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Patient Compliance to a New Enteric-Coated Weekly Formulation of Fluoxetine During Continuation Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder

J Clin Psychiatry 2000;61(12):928-932

Background: A new formulation of enteric-coated fluoxetine given once weekly could be a useful option for the long-term treatment of depression, but compliance to once-weekly fluoxetine treatment has not been assessed.

Method: Patients were adults from the United Kingdom who had responded to fluoxetine treatment for a current episode of depression (DSM-IV criteria). In the baseline assessment phase, all patients (N = 117) were continued on 20 mg of open-label fluoxetine once daily for 4 weeks. In the follow-up phase, patients (N = 109) were randomly assigned to once-weekly or once-daily fluoxetine for 3 months. Patient compliance was monitored by electronic devices during both phases of the study.

Results: Compliance to once-weekly fluoxetine treatment was higher than compliance to once-daily fluoxetine (85.9% vs. 79.4%, respectively).

Conclusion: Once-weekly fluoxetine treatment allows for new flexibility for both the clinician and the patient, and this study alleviates the concern that patients will forget weekly doses.