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Therapy for depression in patients with focal epilepsy: experience with citalopram use

https://doi.org/10.14412/2074-2711-2011-147

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Abstract

Objective: to evaluate the efficacy, tolerability, and safety of citalopram (pram, «Lannacher Heilmittel, Austria) used to treat depressive
disorders in adult patients with symptomatic or cryptogenic (presumptively symptomatic) focal epilepsy.
Subjects and methods. One hundred and twenty-one patients with symptomatic or cryptogenic (presumptively symptomatic) focal epilepsy
were examined; 24 patients were found to have varying symptoms of depression. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was
used as a screening test for the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Citalopram was given orally for the treatment of depressive disorder. The
Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) was used to evaluate the efficiency of the performed therapy and to estimate the time course of
changes in parameters. Quality of life was estimated by the special QOLIE-31 questionnaire. The duration of the follow-up was 12 weeks.
Results. The study enrolled 24 patients (14 women and 10 men). Their mean age was 47.5±7.6 years; the duration of epilepsy was
9.71±3.15 years. The first visit showed a pronounced preponderance of the symptoms of anxiety according to the HADS: the mean scores
for anxiety and depression were 13.38±2.15 and 11.19±3.28, respectively. After citalopram therapy, the mean scores for anxiety and
depression decreased to 6.19±2.60 and 7.58±1.86, respectively. During the first visit, the mean Hamilton depression score was
21.73±3.19 and that was 14.60±2.19 and 11.18±2.33 after 30 days and 12 weeks of citaloprom therapy, respectively. Analysis of the time
course of changes in quality of life indicators during citalopram therapy, by applying the QOLIE-31 scale, revealed a significant increase
in their total scores 2 and 3 months following the treatment with unchanged antiepileptic therapy. There was an inverse correlation between
the total QOLIE-31 score for quality of life and the degree of depression rated by HDRS (r=-0.94, p<0.05) prior to and 12 weeks after
citalopram therapy ((r=-0.92, p<0.05). No increases in the number of episodes were found in any of the patients.
Conclusions. By using the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor citalopram, the patients with focal epilepsy showed a regression in the
symptoms of depression and anxiety and an improvement in the quality of life. At the same time none patient was found to have any
increases in the number of attacks. The side effects of the therapy were few and short-time and required no drug discontinuation.

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For citation:


Lebedeva A.V., Melikyan E.G., Gekht A.B., Lebedeva A.V., Bilalova P.I., Melikyan E.G., Gekht A.B. Therapy for depression in patients with focal epilepsy: experience with citalopram use. Neurology, Neuropsychiatry, Psychosomatics. 2011;3(2):50-56. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.14412/2074-2711-2011-147

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