Antidepressant side effects and their impact on treatment outcome in people with major depressive disorder: an iSPOT-D report.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Side effects to antidepressant medications are common and can impact the prognosis of successful treatment outcome in people with major depressive disorder (MDD). However, few studies have investigated the severity of side effects over the course of treatment and their association with treatment outcome. Here we assessed the severity of side effects and the impact of treatment type and anxiety symptoms over the course of treatment, as well as whether side effects were associated with treatment outcome. Participants were N = 1008 adults with a current diagnosis of single-episode or recurrent, nonpsychotic MDD. Participants were randomised to receive escitalopram, sertraline, or venlafaxine-extended release with equal probability and reassessed at 8 weeks regarding Hamilton Rating Scale Depression (HRSD17) and Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (QIDS-SR16) remission and response. Severity of side effects were assessed using the Frequency, Intensity, and Burden of Side Effects Rating (FIBSER) scale and assessed at day 4 and weeks 2, 4, 6, and 8. Frequency, intensity, and burden of side effects were greatest at week 2, then only frequency and intensity of side effects gradually decreased up to week 6. Treatment type and anxiety symptoms did not impact the severity of side effects. A greater burden-but not frequency or intensity-of side effects was associated with poorer treatment outcome and as early as 4 days post-treatment. Together, this work provides an informative mapping of the progression of side effects throughout the treatment course and their association with treatment outcome. Importantly, the burden of side effects that are present as early as 4 days post-treatment predicts poorer treatment outcome and should be monitored closely. iSPOT-D: Registry name: Registration number: NCT00693849.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Braund, TA; Tillman, G; Palmer, DM; Gordon, E; Rush, AJ; Harris, AWF

Published Date

  • August 4, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 11 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 417 -

PubMed ID

  • 34349116

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8338944

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2158-3188

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/s41398-021-01533-1


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States