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Journal Article

Effects of Anxious Depression on Antidepressant Treatment Response


Erhardt-Lehmann,  Angelika
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

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Hampf, C., Scherf-Clavel, M., Weiss, C., Klupfel, C., Stonawski, S., Hommers, L., et al. (2023). Effects of Anxious Depression on Antidepressant Treatment Response. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES, 24(24): 17128. doi:10.3390/ijms242417128.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000E-389A-6
Anxious depression represents a subtype of major depressive disorder and is associated with increased suicidality, severity, chronicity and lower treatment response. Only a few studies have investigated the differences between anxious depressed (aMDD) and non-anxious depressed (naMDD) patients regarding treatment dosage, serum-concentration and drug-specific treatment response. In our naturalistic and prospective study, we investigated whether the effectiveness of therapy including antidepressants (SSRI, SNRI, NaSSA, tricyclics and combinations) in aMDD patients differs significantly from that in naMDD patients. In a sample of 346 patients, we calculated the anxiety somatization factor (ASF) and defined treatment response as a reduction (>= 50%) in the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS)-21 score after 7 weeks of pharmacological treatment. We did not observe an association between therapy response and the baseline ASF-scores, or differences in therapy outcomes between aMDD and naMDD patients. However, non-responders had higher ASF-scores, and at week 7 aMDD patients displayed a worse therapy outcome than naMDD patients. In subgroup analyses for different antidepressant drugs, venlafaxine-treated aMDD patients showed a significantly worse outcome at week 7. Future prospective, randomized-controlled studies should address the question of a worse therapy outcome in aMDD patients for different psychopharmaceuticals individually.