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

A drug utilization review of prescribing patterns for trazodone versus amitriptyline.

The second-generation antidepressant trazodone has been thought by some clinicians to exert a less robust antidepressant effect than do tricyclic agents. This impression differs from the findings of numerous published clinical trials. In an effort to determine whether this discrepancy may be due to possible inappropriate dosing or use of trazodone for different patient subtypes, a retrospective chart review of 138 depressed inpatients treated with amitriptyline and of 42 depressed inpatients treated with trazodone was performed to compare their respective prescribing patterns. While these two groups did not differ with regard to most demographic variables, results revealed that patient prescribed trazodone were older (trazodone, mean +/- SD age = 54.5 +/- 8.8 years versus amitriptyline, 43.2 +/- 12.9 years; p less than .001), more often had a recurrent depressive disorder (trazodone = 57.1%, amitriptyline = 39.1%, p less than .06), and more frequently had a history of unresponsiveness to other antidepressants (trazodone = 47.6%, amitriptyline = 11.6%; p less than .001). In addition, initially prescribed daily doses of trazodone were below the recommended starting dose of 150 mg/day (mean +/- SD starting dose = 113.7 +/- 42.1 mg/day), while starting daily doses for amitriptyline (mean +/- SD = 69.8 +/- 20.1 mg/day) were judged to be more adequate relative to the recommended daily dose of 75 mg/day. Final trazodone dosage (mean +/- SD final dose = 217.9 +/- 87.5 mg/day) could be judged to have been far short of optimal levels of 250 to 350 mg/day and of up to 600 mg/day for inpatients and 400 mg/day for outpatient.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)[1]


  1. A drug utilization review of prescribing patterns for trazodone versus amitriptyline. Bryant, S.G., Hokanson, J.A., Brown, C.S. The Journal of clinical psychiatry. (1990) [Pubmed]
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