Postpartum Depression Recurrence Versus Discontinuation Syndrome: Observations From a Randomized Controlled Trial
J Clin Psychiatry 2004;65(9):1266-1268
© Copyright 2016 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
Purchase This PDF for $40.00
If you are not a paid subscriber, you may purchase the PDF.
(You'll need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.)
Receive immediate full-text access to JCP. You can subscribe to JCP online-only ($86) or print + online ($156 individual).
With your subscription, receive a free PDF collection of the NCDEU Festschrift articles. Hurry! This offer ends December 31, 2011.
If you are a paid subscriber to JCP and do not yet have a username and password, activate your subscription now.
As a paid subscriber who has activated your subscription, you have access to the HTML and PDF versions of this item.
Click here to login.
Did you forget your password?
Still can't log in? Contact the Circulation Department at 1-800-489-1001 x4 or send email
Objective: To differentiate characteristics of a discontinuation syndrome from a recurrence of major depressive disorder in the context of a randomized trial.
Method: We performed a randomized clinical trial to compare the efficacy of sertraline versus placebo for the prevention of recurrent postpartum DSM-IV major depressive disorder. Women whose depression did not recur in the initial 17-week active treatment trial were followed through the taper phase (weeks 18-20). At week 17, 3 women assigned to placebo and 8 assigned to sertraline remained in the trial. Nine symptoms that characterize discontinuation syndrome were extracted from the 25-item Asberg Rating Scale for Side Effects (ASE) and assessed weekly during the taper phase. The 21-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression was used to evaluate depressive symptoms.
Results: In the taper phase, there were no significant differences between the sertraline- and placebo-treated women on the sum of the ASE-derived symptoms. Both groups had low levels of symptoms on the ASE during the weeks of taper. None of the 3 women assigned to placebo and 2 of the 8 women assigned to sertraline suffered a depressive recurrence within 6 weeks of the end of the study.
Conclusions: A gradual taper of sertraline (75 mg) over 3 weeks did not lead to discontinuation syndrome; however, the systematic dissection of symptoms resulted in our conclusion that the duration of preventive therapy should be extended to 26 weeks (about 6 months) in subsequent randomized trials, consistent with the treatment guidelines for a single episode of depression.