What are the clinical implications of new onset or worsening anxiety during the first two weeks of SSRI treatment for depression?

Jackie K. Gollan, Maurizio Fava, Benji Kurian, Stephen R. Wisniewski, A. John Rush, Ella Daly, Sachiko Miyahara, Madhukar H. Trivedi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the prevalence of new onset or worsening of anxiety symptoms, as well as their clinical implications, during the first 2 weeks of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) pharmacotherapy for depression. Method: Adult outpatients with nonpsychotic major depressive disorder were enrolled in an 8-week acute phase SSRI treatment trial at 15 clinical sites across the United States. Worsening anxiety was defined as a greater than 2-point increase on the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) between baseline and Week 2. New onset of anxiety symptoms was ascribed when the BAI baseline rating was 0 and the Week 2 value was greater or equal to 2 points on the BAI. Results: Overall, after 2 weeks of treatment, 48.8% (98 of 201 participants) reported improvement in anxiety symptoms, 36.3% (73 of 201) reported minimal symptom change, and 14.9% (30 of 201) reported worsening of anxiety symptoms. No association was found between change in anxiety symptoms within the first 2 weeks and change in depressive symptoms or remission at the end of 8 weeks of treatment. For participants with clinically meaningful anxiety symptoms at baseline, however, worsening of anxiety during the first 2 weeks of treatment was associated with worsening depressive symptoms by 8 weeks (P5.054). Conclusions: The trajectory of anxiety symptom change early in SSRI treatment is an important indicator of eventual outcome for outpatients with major depression and baseline anxiety symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-101
Number of pages8
JournalDepression and Anxiety
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

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Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Change
  • Depression
  • Outcome
  • SSRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

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