The treatment of Parkinson disease (PD) psychosis remains a challenge. Only a few treatments eliciting significant relief of psychotic symptoms have passed the test of randomized controlled trials.
Here, we conducted a review of the literature on the effect of antidepressants on PD psychosis. Because there is no randomized controlled trial that assessed the antipsychotic effects of antidepressants in PD, only case reports, case series, and open-label trials were available to review. Because of the scarce literature, statistical analysis could not be performed.
The following antidepressants alleviated hallucinations in PD: amoxapine, citalopram, clomipramine, escitalopram, mianserin, mirtazapine, and venlafaxine. The antidepressants were generally well tolerated, with the exception of amoxapine, which exacerbated parkinsonism.
Whereas the conclusions that can be drawn on the efficacy of antidepressants at reducing PD psychosis are limited because of the poor quality of the reported studies, it is encouraging to notice that there are positive anecdotal reports. Further studies are needed to confirm the potential of these drugs and also to determine if a subtype of patients or of psychotic features may be more likely to be improved by antidepressants.