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Aripiprazole augmentation for major depressive disorder: dosing patterns in a naturalistic treatment setting

Pae, Chi-Una,c; Wang, Sheng-Mina; Han, Changsub; Lee, Soo-Junga; Patkar, Ashwin A.b; Masand, Prakash S.d

International Clinical Psychopharmacology: March 2014 - Volume 29 - Issue 2 - p 116–119
doi: 10.1097/YIC.0000000000000012
Short Communications

This study investigated the dosing patterns for aripiprazole augmentation for major depressive disorder (MDD) in a naturalistic treatment setting. Between 1 January 2009 and 31 March 2012, patients with a diagnosis of MDD who were receiving aripiprazole augmentation in conjunction with an ongoing antidepressant were recruited for this study. The electronic medical records and clinical data for a total of 276 patients were reviewed up to a year. The mean duration of aripiprazole augmentation was ∼5 months; the mean time to the first increase of aripiprazole was about 3 weeks; and the mean initial, first up-titrated, maximal, and maintenance doses were 3.4, 4.2, 4.7, and 4.4 mg/day, respectively. The most frequent adverse events were insomnia, followed by anxiety and sedation. The current results indicate that the actual doses of aripiprazole augmentation with ongoing antidepressant for MDD should be lower than the doses used in placebo-controlled clinical trials and those recommended by the US Food and Drug Administration. Adequately powered and well-controlled prospective studies are needed to better understand the exact role of low doses of aripiprazole augmentation in the treatment of MDD, particularly in routine practice.

aDepartment of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea

bDepartment of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

cDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina

dGlobal Medical Education, New York, New York, USA

Correspondence to Chi-Un Pae, MD, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Bucheon St Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 2 Sosa-Dong, Wonmi-Gu, Bucheon 420-717, Kyeonggi-Do, Republic of Korea Tel: +82 32 340 7067; fax: +82 32 340 2544; e-mail:

Received July 15, 2013

Accepted September 11, 2013

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