10/31/2002 • Ethyl-Eicosapentaenoate Could Be Effective In Persistent Depression

10/31/2002 • Ethyl-Eicosapentaenoate Could Be Effective In Persistent Depression

By Elda Hauschildt

Archives of General Psychiatry, 2002; 59: 913-919

Ethyl-eicosapentaenoate at a dose of 1 gram per day could be effective in treating depression in patients with persistent illness after standard antidepressant therapy.
Ethyl-Eicosapentaenoate Could Be Effective In Persistent Depression

http://www.docguide.com/news/content.nsf/news/8525697700573E1885256C5B005A901A

By Elda Hauschildt

Archives of General Psychiatry, 2002; 59: 913-919

Ethyl-eicosapentaenoate at a dose of 1 gram per day could be effective in treating depression in patients with persistent illness after standard antidepressant therapy.

“Ethyl-eicosapentaenoate offers an approach to depression that is radically different from that of existing drugs,” say British researchers who conducted a double-blind trial of the drug. They suggest the drug’s position in the treatment spectrum needs to be established by further trials.

The investigators, from Swallownest Court Hospital in Sheffield, England and Laxdale Research in Stirling, Scotland, randomised 70 patients with persistent depression despite ongoing therapy with an adequate dose of standard antidepressant.

Patients received either placebo or ethyl-eicosapentaenoate at one of three dosages: 1 g/d, 2 g/d or 4 g/d. Therapy lasted 12 weeks and was in addition to background medication, which remained unchanged.

Of 52 patients in ethyl-eicosapentaenoate group, 46 (88 percent) completed therapy, as did 14 of 18 patients (78 percent) receiving placebo. No adverse events were observed.

Participants in the 1-g/d ethyl-eicosapentaenoate group showed significantly better outcomes than placebo participants on three assessment scales: the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory.

In the intention-to-treat group, nine of 17 patients (53 percent) in the 1-g/d ethyl-eicosapentaenoate group achieved a 50 percent reduction in the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score. This compared with five of 17 patients (29 percent) in the placebo group.

The researchers observed improvements on all individual items in the three assessment scales with the 1-g/d ethyl-eicosapentaenoate dosage compared with placebo. They say there were beneficial effects on items rating depression, anxiety, sleep, lassitude, libido and suicidality.

There was little evidence of efficacy in 2-g/d ethyl-eicosapentaenoate participants, and 4-g/d ethyl-eicosapentaenoate participants displayed non-significant trends toward improvement.

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