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Enhancing Pharmacologic Effects in the Treatment of Depression in Women

Susan G. Kornstein, MD, and Geoffry McEnany, RN, PhD, CS

Published: September 30, 2000

Article Abstract

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

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