Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 47  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 89-93

Efficacy and safety of citalopram versus amitriptyline in the treatment of major depression

Department of Psychiatry, J.L.N. Medical College and Deaddiction Centre, Ajmer 205001, India

Correspondence Address:
Anand Mathur
Department of Psychiatry, J.L.N. Medical College and Deaddiction Centre, Ajmer 205001
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.55952

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Background: Double-blind clinical trials comparing citalopram with amitriptyline or other tricyclic antidepressants are lacking in India. Aim: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of the newer antidepressant citalopram in the treatment of major depression. Methods: The clinical acceptability and safety profile of citalopram was assessed and compared with that of amitriptyline in 40 patients in an outpatient set-up. Patients aged 18 to 65 years who fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for a single or recurrent major depressive disorder (as defined by DSM-IV) for a minimum of 2 weeks were enrolled. Patient assessment was done at screening, baseline, end of week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4, week 5 and week 6 for efficacy and safety parameters such as Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS), Clinical Global Impression (CGI) Scale, adverse event follow up, blood pressure and pulse. Three­level statistical analysis including ANOVA was performed on all efficacy measures. Results: On the HDRS the percentage reduction in the mean score for the citalopram group (Group 1) was 72.12%, while that for the amitriptyline group (Group 2) was 67.93%. On the CGI-Improvement Scale, the percentage reduction at the end of the study for the citalopram group was 56.79% while in the amitriptyline group it was 44.70%. Twenty per cent of patients in Group 1 reported adverse events compared to 75% in Group 2. Conclusions: Citalopram is effective in the treatment of major depression at the dosages range of 20-60 mg/ day and its efficacy is equivalent to that of standard tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline, with a substantially better tolerability profile.



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