Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Pindolol Accelerates Effectiveness of SSRI Response. (Effect Limited to First 2 Weeks)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Pindolol Accelerates Effectiveness of SSRI Response. (Effect Limited to First 2 Weeks)

Article excerpt

MADRID -- The [beta]-blocker pindolol enhances the efficacy of certain antidepressants but in a strictly time-limited fashion, Dr. Javier Ballesteros said in a poster presentation at the World Psychiatric Association International Congress 2001.

A metaanalysis of nine well-designed trials found the effect limited to the first 2 weeks of treatment, said Dr. Ballesteros of Universidad del Pais Vasco, Bilbao, Spain. "Our systematic review supports the clinical use of pindolol for hastening the clinical response to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) during the first weeks of treatment, but ... not for augmentation strategies."

The possible value of pindolol as an add-on agent for the SSRI treatment of depression has been the subject of some controversy, in part because of inconsistency in the literature.

Dr. Ballesteros reported the results of a metaanalysis of nine randomized controlled trials that compared the efficacy of pindolol and placebo, when given to depressed patients in addition to an SSRI. The studies, which were published between 1997 and 1999, involved 594 patients, nearly equally divided between those who received [beta]-blocker augmentation, and those who were given placebo. …

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