Research brief: SSRI response not linked to relapse

Response to fluoxetine does not predict relapse rate in chronic depression, according to US researchers. The study involved 292 patients with major depressive disorder who responded to an initial 12-week course of fluoxetine. They were randomly assigned to continue with fluoxetine or switch to placebo for 52 weeks or until relapse. While fluoxetine was more effective than placebo in the maintenance period, there was a high rate of relapse among all patients, regardless of acute response to treatment (Am J Psychiatry 2006; 163: 1,542–8).

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