Response to phenelzine and amitriptyline in subtypes of outpatient depression

Archives of General Psychiatry
E S PaykelA V Bhat


Outpatients with depression and mixed anxiety-depression were treated for six weeks with phenelzine sulfate, amitriptyline hydrochloride, or placebo in a controlled trial. Both active drugs were superior to placebo and were closely comparable in efficacy. Interactions were examined between drug response and classifications based on three different usages of the term atypical depression: additional anxiety or phobic symptoms, atypical functional shift, and nonendogenous depression. Some additional related classifications were also included. There was a tendency for phenelzine to have stronger effects in patients with additional anxiety and without evidence of chronic characterological depression. However, interactions were relatively few. These findings suggest that the two classes of antidepressant affect similar clinical subgroups within the outpatient depressive spectrum, with only relatively weak differences.


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