Kasper, Siegfried, Baldwin, David S., Lönn, Sara Larsson and Boulenger, Jean-Philippe
Superiority of escitalopram to paroxetine in the treatment of depression
European Neuropsychopharmacology, 19, (4), . (doi:10.1016/j.euroneuro.2008.12.003).
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Post-hoc pooled analysis of data from two 6-month randomised controlled trials in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) revealed superior efficacy and tolerability of escitalopram when compared with paroxetine. Escitalopram (n = 394) produced a significantly (p < 0.01) greater mean treatment difference of 2.0 points in primary endpoints, judged using the Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) total score, compared with paroxetine (n = 383). Significant differences were also observed in Clinical Global Impression (CGI) — severity (escitalopram, 2.1; paroxetine, 2.4; p < 0.01) and CGI — improvement (escitalopram, 1.8; paroxetine, 2.0: p < 0.01). In the sub-group of severely depressed patients (baseline MADRS ? 30), escitalopram showed further improved efficacy compared with paroxetine in all scores. This analysis supports previous observations of superior efficacy and tolerability of long-term escitalopram treatment (10 to 20 mg/day) compared with paroxetine (20 to 40 mg/day). Escitalopram is a good therapeutic option for the long-term treatment of MDD, particularly in severely depressed patients.
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