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      Rediscovering Trazodone for the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder

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          Abstract

          Trazodone is a triazolopyridine derivative that belongs to the class of serotonin receptor antagonists and reuptake inhibitors (SARIs). The drug is approved and marketed in several countries worldwide for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in adult patients. In clinical studies, trazodone has demonstrated comparable antidepressant activity to other drug classes, including tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin–noradrenaline (norepinephrine) reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Moreover, the SARI action of trazodone may overcome the tolerability issues that are often associated with second-generation antidepressants such as SSRIs (i.e. insomnia, anxiety and sexual dysfunction). Recent focus has been placed on the development of a new prolonged-release once-a-day formulation of trazodone (TzCOAD), which may provide improved tolerability over the conventional immediate-release formulation of trazodone. Clinical studies have led to the recent approval in the USA of TzCOAD (as Oleptro™; Angelini Labopharm LLC, Princeton, NJ, USA), which may see resurgence of interest in the drug for the management of patients with MDD. Although trazodone is approved for the treatment of depression, evidence supports the use of low-dose trazodone as an off-label hypnotic for the treatment of sleep disorders in patients with MDD. The most common adverse effects reported with trazodone are drowsiness (somnolence/sedation), headache, dizziness and dry mouth. Other events reported, albeit with low incidence, include orthostatic hypotension (particularly in elderly patients or those with heart disease), minimal anticholinergic activity, corrected QT interval prolongation and torsade de pointes, cardiac arrhythmias, and rare occurrences of priapism and suicidal ideation. Overall, trazodone is an effective and well tolerated antidepressant (SARI) with an important role in the current treatment of MDD both as monotherapy and as part of a combination strategy. Trazodone is effective in controlling a wide range of symptoms of depression, while avoiding the negative effects on sleep seen with SSRI antidepressants. The recently approved prolonged-release formulation should provide further optimization of this antidepressant and may be useful for enabling an appropriate therapeutic dose to be administered with improved patient compliance.

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          Prevalence of sexual dysfunction among newer antidepressants.

          Sexual dysfunction commonly occurs during antidepressant treatment. However, the reported rates of sexual dysfunction vary across antidepressants and are typically underreported in product literature. The objectives of this study were (1) to estimate the prevalence of sexual dysfunction among patients taking newer antidepressants (bupropion immediate release [IR], bupropion sustained release [SR], citalopram, fluoxetine, mirtazapine, nefazodone, paroxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine, and venlafaxine extended release [XR]) and (2) to compare physician-perceived with patient-reported prevalence rates of antidepressant-associated sexual dysfunction. This cross-sectional, observational study was conducted in 1101 U.S. primary care clinics. Adult outpatients (4534 women and 1763 men) receiving antidepressant monotherapy were enrolled. The prevalence of sexual dysfunction was measured using the Changes in Sexual Functioning Questionnaire. In the overall population, bupropion IR (22%) and SR (25%) and nefazodone (28%) were associated with the lowest risk for sexual dysfunction, whereas selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants, mirtazapine, and venlafaxine XR were associated with higher rates (36%-43%). In a prospectively defined subpopulation unlikely to have predisposing factors for sexual dysfunction, the prevalence of sexual dysfunction ranged from 7% to 30%, with the odds of having sexual dysfunction 4 to 6 times greater with SSRIs or venlafaxine XR than with bupropion SR. Physicians consistently underestimated the prevalence of antidepressant-associated sexual dysfunction. Ours is the first study to assess sexual dysfunction across the newer antidepressants using consistent methodology and a validated rating scale. Overall, SSRIs and venlafaxine XR were associated with higher rates of sexual dysfunction than bupropion or nefazodone. Because antidepressant-associated sexual dysfunction is considerably underestimated by physicians, greater recognition and education are imperative when prescribing antidepressant treatment.
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            World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) Guidelines for Biological Treatment of Unipolar Depressive Disorders in Primary Care.

            These practical guidelines for the biological treatment of unipolar depressive disorders in primary care settings were developed by an international Task Force of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP). They embody the results of a systematic review of all available clinical and scientific evidence pertaining to the treatment of unipolar depressive disorders and offer practical recommendations for general practitioners encountering patients with these conditions. The guidelines cover disease definition, classification, epidemiology and course of unipolar depressive disorders, and the principles of management in the acute, continuation and maintenance phase. They deal primarily with biological treatment (including antidepressants, other psychopharmacological and hormonal medications, electroconvulsive therapy, light therapy).
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              Mechanism of action of trazodone: a multifunctional drug.

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                andreafagiolini@gmail.com
                Journal
                CNS Drugs
                CNS Drugs
                CNS Drugs
                Springer International Publishing (Cham )
                1172-7047
                1179-1934
                13 October 2012
                13 October 2012
                December 2012
                : 26
                : 12
                : 1033-1049
                Affiliations
                [ ]Division of Psychiatry, Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Siena School of Medicine, Viale Bracci 1, Siena, Italy
                [ ]Angelini (ACRAF SpA), Pomezia, Rome, Italy
                [ ]Psychiatric Unit, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy
                [ ]Vorstand, Universitatsklinik fur Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie Medizinische Universitat Wien, AKH, Vienna, Austria
                Article
                10
                10.1007/s40263-012-0010-5
                3693429
                23192413
                a8c7c059-c1c4-40d9-8066-a567fbe97925
                © The Author(s) 2012
                History
                Categories
                Review Article
                Custom metadata
                © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2012

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