Enhancing Pharmacologic Effects in the Treatment of Depression in Women

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The prevalence of depressive disorders in women is twice that in men. This gender difference emerges around the time of puberty and persists through the childbearing years. Reproductive events and psychosocial factors are important influences on depression in women. Women often present with atypical depressive symptoms and comorbid disorders that can complicate both diagnosis and treatment. Sex differences in pharmacokinetics have been noted, as well as differences in antidepressant treatment response. While sleep disturbances, sexual dysfunction, and weight gain may be part of the constellation of depressive symptoms, they are also important considerations in selecting a treatment option for depressed women.

J Clin Psychiatry 2000;61(suppl 11):18-27