A double-blind, randomized comparison of fluvoxamine with mianserin in depressive illness.

Research paper by A A Perez, J J JJ Ashford

Indexed on: 01 Jan '90Published on: 01 Jan '90Published in: Current medical research and opinion


The efficacy and CNS effects of the selective 5-HT re-uptake inhibitor fluvoxamine were compared with mianserin in depressed hospital out-patients in a double-blind randomized trial. Patients had to meet DSM-III criteria for Major Depressive Episode and achieve a score of at least 30 on the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) after a 1-week placebo baseline period. Active treatment was for 6 weeks with an initial dose of either 100 mg fluvoxamine or 60 mg mianserin; after 1 week the dosage could be increased to 300 mg or 180 mg, respectively. Data from 63 patients (30 received fluvoxamine) were analyzed. The treatment groups were comparable with regard to age and history and severity of depression. Efficacy assessments showed similar improvements with each drug; MADRS scores improved by 65.6% with fluvoxamine and by 60.8% with mianserin. There were no significant differences between treatments at any assessment. Sedative effects were assessed using the Leeds Sleep Evaluation Questionnaire and the Digit Symbol Substitution Test. Mianserin caused a shift towards sedation in the first week in all visual analogue scales; getting to sleep and sleep quality were improved but waking was more difficult than with fluvoxamine. Similarly, the mianserin group performed less well on the Digit Symbol Substitution Test. The study confirmed that both drugs are effective treatments for depressive illness but that mianserin gives rise to sedation during the first week.