Escitalopram versus paroxetine controlled release in major depressive disorder: A randomized trial

Taro Kishi, Yuki Matsuda, Shinji Matsunaga, Masatsugu Moriwaki, Yoichiro Otake, Kaku Akamatsu, Tomo Okochi, Shigeki Hirano, Toshihiko Funahashi, Momoko Okuda, Hideaki Tabuse, Kiyoshi Fujita, Nakao Iwata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: There are no direct comparisons between escitalopram and paroxetine controlled release in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Methods: We conducted a 24-week, rater-masked, randomized trial of escitalopram (5–20 mg/day) versus paroxetine controlled release (12.5–50 mg/day) in patients with MDD (UMIN000011191). Patients with the diagnosis of moderate-to-severe MDD (a 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression [HAMD-17], with total score at baseline being $20) were recruited to participate in a parallel, randomized, controlled trial. The primary outcome for efficacy was an improvement in the 21-item HAMD (HAMD-21) total score at 24 weeks. The secondary outcomes were the response, remission, and discontinuation rates and the incidence of individual adverse events. Results: A total of 88 patients with MDD (males, 61.4%; mean age, 40.8±13.4 years) were recruited. The discontinuation rate was 58.0% (escitalopram, 55.8%; paroxetine controlled release, 60.0%). Both escitalopram and paroxetine controlled-release treatment groups exhibited significant reduction in the HAMD-21 total score at 2, 4, 8, 12, and 24 weeks from the baseline. However, there were no significant differences in the HAMD-21 total score, response rate, remission rate, and discontinuation rate at any time point between the groups. In addition, there were no significant differences in the incidence of any individual adverse events (eg, nausea, vomiting, and somnolence) between the treatment groups. Conclusion: Our results suggest that escitalopram and paroxetine controlled release had similar efficacy and safety profiles in patients with MDD. One of the primary limitations of this study is the small sample size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-125
Number of pages9
JournalNeuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
Publication statusPublished - 06-01-2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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