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Vol. 74, No. 6, 2005
Issue release date: October 2005
Psychother Psychosom 2005;74:362–365

Antidepressant Response and Well-Being in Pre-, Peri- and Postmenopausal Women with Major Depressive Disorder Treated with Fluoxetine

Cassano P. · Soares C.N. · Cusin C. · Mascarini A. · Cohen L.S. · Fava M.
aThe Depression Clinical and Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, bThe Perinatal and Reproductive Psychiatry Clinical Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Mass., USA; cUniversity of Milano Bicocca, Monza, Italy

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Background: We assessed the impact of menopausal status on treatment response and well-being in a cohort of outpatient women with major depressive disorder (DSM-III-R criteria), who received treatment with fluoxetine (20 mg/day for 8 weeks). Methods: Menopausal status was defined based on age, presence of menstrual irregularity or amenorrhea and vasomotor symptoms. Remission and response of depression were defined as a 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D-17) score ≤7 and a HAM-D-17 decrease ≧50%, respectively. Well-being was assessed by self-rating with the Symptom Questionnaire. Remitters were followed up for 28 additional weeks. Results: No differences in rates of response and remission as well as in levels of well-being were observed among pre- (n = 121), peri- (n = 28) and postmenopausal (n = 35) women at the endpoint of the acute phase, even after adjustment for baseline depression severity. Residual symptoms, however, were significantly more common in postmenopausal women, except for the continuation phase endpoint. Differences in residual symptoms during the acute phase subsided after adjustment for baseline depression severity. Conclusions: Overall, menopausal status did not significantly affect the response to fluoxetine treatment and the degree of posttreatment well-being among major depressive disorder patients.

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