Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The efficacy and the tolerance of milnacipran (100 mg/day), a second generation antidepressant which equipotently inhibits both noradrenaline and serotonin reuptake, was compared to fluoxetine (20 mg/day), a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, in two parallel groups of, respectively, 97 and 93 major depressive outpatients. The duration of the study was 6 weeks, with assessments every 2 weeks by means of the Montgomery and Asberg depression scale (MADRS), the Hamilton depression scale, the clinical global impressions (CGI), and a checklist of symptoms and side-effects. Results showed significant superiority of fluoxetine over milnacipran on most rating instruments: MADRS (P=0.01) including five individual items, Hamilton depression scale (P=0.002) including ten individual items, CGI of severity (P=0.01) and therapeutical index (P=0.002). On visual analogue scales assessing the clinical profile of the compounds, fluoxetine was rated as exhibiting more psychostimulating activity than milnacipran (P=0.0008). The tolerance of the two antidepressants was very similar, with the exception of symptoms of dizziness which were more frequently reported with milnacipran (P=0.01). These differences in efficacy favoring fluoxetine could result from the selection of a dose of milnacipran below the optimal therapeutic dose for this type of psychiatric patients or to the administration of the compounds in single daily intakes, whereas milnacipran possesses a plasma elimination half-life of only 7 h.
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