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An open pilot study of zonisamide augmentation in major depressive patients not responding to a low dose trial with duloxetine: preliminary results on tolerability and clinical effects

Author(s): Fornaro Michele | Martino Matteo | Dalmasso Bruna | Colicchio Salvatore | Benvenuti Marzia | Rocchi Giulio | Escelsior Andrea | Perugi Giulio

Journal: Annals of General Psychiatry
ISSN 1744-859X

Volume: 10;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 23;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Abstract Background Despite multiple antidepressant options, major depressive disorder (MDD) still faces high non-response rates, eventually requiring anticonvulsant augmentation strategies too. The aim of this study was to explore such a potential role for zonisamide. Methods A total of 40 MDD outpatients diagnosed using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, fourth edition criteria entered a 24 week open trial receiving duloxetine 60 mg/day for the first 12 weeks and subsequently (weeks 12 to 24) augmentation with zonisamide 75 mg/day if they did not respond to the initial monotherapy. Efficacy and tolerability were assessed using the Hamilton Scales for Anxiety and Depression (a 12 week score ≥50% vs baseline defined 'non-response'), the Arizona Sexual Experience Scale, the Patient Rated Inventory of Side Effects and the Young Mania Rating Scale. Results At week 12, 15 patients out of 39 (38.5%) were responders, and 1 had dropped out; remarkably, 14 patients out of 24 (58.3%) had achieved response by week 24. Poor concentration and general malaise were associated with non-response both at week 12 and 24 (P = 0.001), while loss of libido and reduced energy were prominent among final timepoint non-responders. Patients receiving zonisamide also experienced weight reduction (2.09 ± 12.14 kg; P = 0.001) independently of the outcome. Conclusions Although only a preliminary study due to strong methodological limitations, and thus requiring confirmation by further controlled investigations, the current results indicate zonisamide may be a potential augmentation option for some depressed patients receiving low doses of duloxetine.
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