Bupropion Sustained Release for Bereavement: Results of an Open Trial
J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62(4):227-230
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Objective: The present study was conducted to
assess whether DSM-IV-defined bereavement responds to bupropion
sustained release (SR).
Method: Twenty-two subjects who had lost their
spouses within the previous 6 to 8 weeks and who met DSM-IV
symptomatic/functional criteria for a major depressive episode
were evaluated. Subjects completed the Hamilton Rating Scale for
Depression (HAM-D), the Clinical Global Impressions scale, the
Texas Revised Inventory of Grief, and the Inventory of
Complicated Grief at baseline and follow-up. Subjects were
treated with bupropion SR, 150 to 300 mg/day, for 8 weeks.
Results: Improvement was noted in both
depression and grief intensity. For the intent-to-treat group,
59% experienced a reduction of >= 50% on HAM-D scores. The
correlations between changes in the HAM-D scores and the grief
scale scores were high, ranging from 0.61 (p = .006) to 0.44 (p =
Conclusion: Major depressive symptoms occurring
shortly after the loss of a loved one (i.e., bereavement) appear
to respond to bupropion SR. Treatment of these symptoms does not
intensify grief; rather, improvement in depression is associated
with decreases in grief intensity. The results of this study
challenge prevailing clinical wisdom that DSM-IV-defined
bereavement should not be treated. Larger, placebo-controlled
studies are indicated.