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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Venlafaxine versus stimulant therapy in patients with dual diagnosis ADD and depression.

BACKGROUND: Adult attention-deficit disorder (ADD) may either present as chronic depression or be comorbid with major depressive disorder ( MDD). The present study examined treatment outcome with antidepressants and/or stimulants in adults with ADD who initially presented with a diagnosis of MDD. METHOD: Seventeen patients with comorbid MDD and ADD were identified: 65% had a history of hyperactivity in childhood, and 41% had a history of treatment nonresponse to two or more antidepressants. Retrospective analysis was performed with patients who received one of three treatments: (i) venlafaxine, bupropion, or tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) monotherapy; (ii) stimulant monotherapy; or (iii) stimulant plus antidepressant therapy. Outcome was based upon change in both MDD and ADD symptoms. RESULTS: Venlafaxine-treated patients (80%) versus patients taking stimulant therapy alone (33%) had at least a moderate reduction in both MDD and ADD symptoms (chi2=2.40, Fisher exact P=.13). Similarly, 88% of patients on stimulants plus antidepressant therapy also showed a reduction in both MDD and ADD symptoms (versus stimulant monotherapy) (chi2 = 7.22, Fisher exact P=.018). There was no difference in response rates between venlafaxine monotherapy and combination stimulant plus antidepressant therapy (chi2=0.13, Fisher exact p=ns). CONCLUSION: Although preliminary in nature, these data suggest that venlafaxine monotherapy may have similar efficacy to a treatment with a combination of stimulant plus antidepressant therapy, and superior to stimulant therapy alone, in patients with comorbid MDD and ADD. Controlled, prospective trials with larger patient samples will be needed to confirm these preliminary observations.[1]


  1. Venlafaxine versus stimulant therapy in patients with dual diagnosis ADD and depression. Hornig-Rohan, M., Amsterdam, J.D. Prog. Neuropsychopharmacol. Biol. Psychiatry (2002) [Pubmed]
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