Emotional adverse effects due to antidepressant use may cause difficulties for the clinician in the treatment of depression. In this prospective study, the emotional adverse effects of antidepressants were evaluated in various aspects.
Ninety eight patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder were included in the study. At 2nd, 4th, 8th, 12th, and 16th weeks, patients were assessed with Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), and the antidepressant dose was increased in patients with less than a 50% reduction at each visit compared with the initial MADRS score. The Oxford Questionnaire on the Emotional Side-effects of Antidepressants (OQESA) was used at the 8th-week and 16th-week visits.
A significant difference is found in the OQESA score at the 8th-week visit compared with the 16th-week assessment (P < 0.001, t = 5.73). There were significant correlations between MADRS scores and OQESA scores both at the 8th (r = 0.346, P = 0.05) and the 16th (r = 0.490, P < 0.001) weeks. In regression analyses, at eighth-week assessment, MADRS score (B = 1.487, P = 0.002) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor use (B = 14.014, P = 0.023) had a significantly predicted OQESA score.
In this study, it is found that, as the rate of remitted patients is increased, OQESA scores get decreased, and furthermore, the OQESA score of the remitted group is statistically low when compared with that of the nonremitted group at the 8th- and 16th-week visits. Oxford Questionnaire on the Emotional Side-effects of Antidepressants and MADRS scores are significantly correlated in all assessments. These results suggest that the score obtained from OQESA may be related not only to the emotional adverse effects of antidepressants but also to the residual symptoms of depression.