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Venlafaxine in the treatment of depression in schizophrenia

Ayşen Esen-Danacı, Ömer Aydemir.

Abstract
Objective:Depression in schizophrenia is associated with a poor
outcome, an increased risk of relapse and a high rate of suicide
therefore it must be treated carefully. Venlafaxine is a dual-action
serotonin and noradrenergic reuptake inhibitor and is effective in
treating depressive patients.

Method: In this study the efficacy and tolerability of venlafaxine is
evaluated in 8 schizophrenic patients with depression who used
venlafaxine adjunctive to atypical antipsychotics.

Results: The patients were assessed with Calgary Depression Scale
for Schizophrenia (CDSS), Scale for the Assessment of Positive and
Negative Symptoms (SAPS and SANS) at the beginning, 4th week and
8th week. At the end of 8th week of treatment, 2 patients were fully
remitted, the other 4 patients showed 80-90% improvement. Total
SAPS scores dropped 2 points whereas SANS scores were dropped
by 25%. No patients had an adverse event leading to an intervention.

Conclusion: Venlafaxine may be an effective and safe alternative in
the treatment of depression in schizophrenia.

Key words: Schizophrenia, depression, venlafaxine



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