CNS Update: Escitalopram for newly diagnosed vs relapsed patients with major depressive disorder in India


eMediNexus    23 December 2022

Depression remains a common yet under-reported disorder in the real-world setting. Antidepressants have demonstrated superiority over placebo in clinical trials, however, many patients elicit a suboptimal response or relapse. Unfortunately, real-world data on the Indian population are scarce.


A recent study assessed and compared the efficacy and safety of escitalopram in patients with newly diagnosed depression (NDD) versus relapse in India.


The primary endpoint of the study was a change in mean Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D 17) scores from baseline to week 8, while the secondary endpoints were assessment of response/remission rates, Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scores, quality of life, suicidal tendency, and safety.


Data for the first 50 patients demonstrated a significant reduction in HAM-D 17 scores at week 8, and significantly higher improvement compared with relapsed patients in patients with NDD. Despite significantly poorer CGI and quality of life (anxiety/depression subscale) scores in patients with NDD at baseline, they showed an improvement in both scales but no significant difference between the groups at week 8. The study also demonstrated a reduction in Suicidal tendencies from 83.3% to 0% alongwith no new safety concerns.


Thus, Escitalopram is effective and well tolerated in both, NDD and relapsed patients in the real-world setting in India, with better results achieved by NDD patients. More studies are mandated to confirm the difference across the groups.

Natl J Physiol Pharm Pharmacol. Online First: 31 Jan, 2022. doi:10.5455/njppp.2022.12.124668202119012022

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