A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of antidepressants in Parkinson disease.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Multicenter Study)

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) in the treatment of depression in Parkinson disease (PD). METHODS: A total of 115 subjects with PD were enrolled at 20 sites. Subjects were randomized to receive an SSRI (paroxetine; n = 42), an SNRI (venlafaxine extended release [XR]; n = 34), or placebo (n = 39). Subjects met DSM-IV criteria for a depressive disorder, or operationally defined subsyndromal depression, and scored >12 on the first 17 items of the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D). Subjects were followed for 12 weeks (6-week dosage adjustment, 6-week maintenance). Maximum daily dosages were 40 mg for paroxetine and 225 mg for venlafaxine XR. The primary outcome measure was change in the HAM-D score from baseline to week 12. RESULTS: Treatment effects (relative to placebo), expressed as mean 12-week reductions in HAM-D score, were 6.2 points (97.5% confidence interval [CI] 2.2 to 10.3, p = 0.0007) in the paroxetine group and 4.2 points (97.5% CI 0.1 to 8.4, p = 0.02) in the venlafaxine XR group. No treatment effects were seen on motor function. CONCLUSIONS: Both paroxetine and venlafaxine XR significantly improved depression in subjects with PD. Both medications were generally safe and well tolerated and did not worsen motor function. CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE: This study provides Class I evidence that paroxetine and venlafaxine XR are effective in treating depression in patients with PD.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Richard, IH; McDermott, MP; Kurlan, R; Lyness, JM; Como, PG; Pearson, N; Factor, SA; Juncos, J; Serrano Ramos, C; Brodsky, M; Manning, C; Marsh, L; Shulman, L; Fernandez, HH; Black, KJ; Panisset, M; Christine, CW; Jiang, W; Singer, C; Horn, S; Pfeiffer, R; Rottenberg, D; Slevin, J; Elmer, L; Press, D; Hyson, HC; McDonald, W; SAD-PD Study Group,

Published Date

  • April 17, 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 78 / 16

Start / End Page

  • 1229 - 1236

PubMed ID

  • 22496199

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3324323

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1526-632X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182516244


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States