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Psychological dependence on antidepressants in patients with panic disorder: a cross-sectional study

Fujii, Kazuhito; Suzuki, Takefumi; Mimura, Masaru; Uchida, Hiroyuki

International Clinical Psychopharmacology: January 2017 - Volume 32 - Issue 1 - p 36–40
doi: 10.1097/YIC.0000000000000143

No study has investigated psychological dependence on antidepressants in patients with panic disorder, which was addressed in this study. This study was carried out in four psychiatric clinics in Tokyo, Japan. Individuals were eligible if they were outpatients aged 18 years or older and fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for panic disorder (ICD-10). Assessments included the Japanese Versions of the Severity of Dependence Scale (SDS), the Self-Report Version of Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS-SR), and the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology-Self Report. Eighty-four individuals were included; of these, 30 patients (35.7%) showed psychological dependence on antidepressants (i.e. a total score of ≥5 in the SDS). A multiple regression analysis showed that PDSS scores and illness duration were correlated positively with SDS total scores. A binary regression model showed that absence of remission (i.e. a total score of ≥5 in the PDSS) and longer duration of illness increased the risk of dependence on antidepressants. Approximately one-third of the patients with panic disorder, receiving antidepressants, fulfilled the criteria for psychological dependence on these drugs. The results underscore the need for close monitoring, especially for those who present severe symptomatology or have a chronic course of the illness.

aDepartment of Neuropsychiatry, Keio University School of Medicine

bAzumabashi New Tower Clinic

cDepartment of Psychiatry, Inokashira Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

dGeriatric Mental Health Program, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Correspondence to Hiroyuki Uchida, MD, PhD, Department of Neuropsychiatry, Keio University School of Medicine, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan Tel: +810 3 5363 3829; fax: +810 3 5379 0187; e-mail:

Received March 17, 2016

Accepted July 11, 2016

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