Olanzapine / fluoxetine combination for treatment resistant depression : efficacy and clinical utility
journal contributionposted on 2008-09-01, 00:00 authored by Seetal DoddSeetal Dodd, Michael BerkMichael Berk
Antidepressant monotherapy is a first-line treatment for depression; however, not all sufferers will adequately respond to treatment. When treating a patient with treatment-resistant depression, the clinician needs to consider all factors which may contribute to an inadequate response to an antidepressant. These include accuracy of diagnosis and medication adherence, as well as the patient’s personality, lifestyle, life events and social circumstances. If it is determined that treatment resistance is due to failure of efficacy of antidepressant monotherapy, then an augmentation strategy using an atypical antipsychotic may be considered. Treatment using olanzapine/fluoxetine combination (OFC) is one of many options. Four randomized, acute-phase trials have suggested OFC is useful for reducing Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale scores after inadequate response to antidepressant monotherapy. OFC has been useful at doses of olanzapine/fluoxetine 6/25, 6/50, 12/25 and 12/50 mg/day, with 1/5 mg/day suggested to be an ineffective dose. Treatment with OFC has been associated with some side effects, including weight gain and the metabolic syndrome, somnolence, dry mouth, increased appetite and headache. Treatment decisions therefore need to be made to balance the risks and benefits.