Chonnam Med J.  2015 Aug;51(2):66-80. 10.4068/cmj.2015.51.2.66.

Optimizing the Use of Aripiprazole Augmentation in the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder: From Clinical Trials to Clinical Practice

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2International Health Care Center, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Bucheon St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Busan, Korea. pae@catholic.ac.kr
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 5Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicines, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.

Abstract

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a recurrent, chronic, and devastating disorder leading to serious impairment in functional capacity as well as increasing public health care costs. In the previous decade, switching therapy and dose adjustment of ongoing antidepressants was the most frequently chosen subsequent treatment option for MDD. However, such recommendations were not based on firmly proven efficacy data from well-designed, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trials (RCTs) but on practical grounds and clinical reasoning. Aripiprazole augmentation has been dramatically increasing in clinical practice owing to its unique action mechanisms as well as proven efficacy and safety from adequately powered and well-controlled RCTs. Despite the increased use of aripiprazole in depression, limited clinical information and knowledge interfere with proper and efficient use of aripiprazole augmentation for MDD. The objective of the present review was to enhance clinicians' current understanding of aripiprazole augmentation and how to optimize the use of this therapy in the treatment of MDD.

Keyword

Antidepressive agents; Depressive disorder, Major; Aripiprazole
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