Bupropion Sustained Release for Bereavement: Results of an Open Trial

Sidney Zisook, Stephen R. Shuchter, Paola Pedrelli, Jeremy Sable, and Simona C. Deaciuc

Published: April 1, 2001

Article Abstract

Objective: The present study was conducted toassess whether DSM-IV-defined bereavement responds to bupropionsustained release (SR).

Method: Twenty-two subjects who had lost theirspouses within the previous 6 to 8 weeks and who met DSM-IVsymptomatic/functional criteria for a major depressive episodewere evaluated. Subjects completed the Hamilton Rating Scale forDepression (HAM-D), the Clinical Global Impressions scale, theTexas Revised Inventory of Grief, and the Inventory ofComplicated Grief at baseline and follow-up. Subjects weretreated with bupropion SR, 150 to 300 mg/day, for 8 weeks.

Results: Improvement was noted in bothdepression and grief intensity. For the intent-to-treat group,59% experienced a reduction of >= 50% on HAM-D scores. Thecorrelations between changes in the HAM-D scores and the griefscale scores were high, ranging from 0.61 (p = .006) to 0.44 (p =.054).

Conclusion: Major depressive symptoms occurringshortly after the loss of a loved one (i.e., bereavement) appearto respond to bupropion SR. Treatment of these symptoms does notintensify grief; rather, improvement in depression is associatedwith decreases in grief intensity. The results of this studychallenge prevailing clinical wisdom that DSM-IV-definedbereavement should not be treated. Larger, placebo-controlledstudies are indicated.

Volume: 62

Quick Links: Depression (MDD)

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