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The use of antidepressants in clinical practice: focus on agomelatine

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Hamish McAllister-WilliamsORCiD


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Objective Agomelatine (Valdoxan(R)) is licensed by the European Medicines Agency for the treatment of major depressive episodes in adults. The objective of this review was to consider how the drug should be used in clinical practice in particular starting, stopping and switching to and from the drug. Methods The existing clinical evidence was reviewed. Results Data suggest that when switching to agomelatine from other antidepressants consideration should be given to tapering the previous antidepressant in order to minimize the risk of the original drug causing discontinuation/withdrawal symptoms. The risk of pharmacological interactions between most antidepressants and agomelatine is low and so tapering the previous antidepressant can usually be done after agomelatine has been started. An exception is fluvoxamine which should not be concurrently prescribed with agomelatine. As agomelatine appears to cause no significant discontinuation symptoms, it can probably be stopped abruptly when treatment is completed or when switching to another antidepressant. Conclusions While this guidance may change as clinical evidence and experience grows, currently agomelatine appears to have a good tolerability profile and is relatively easy to use, though prescribers should note the requirement to conduct liver function tests (LFTs) in accordance with the Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC). Copyright (C) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McAllister-Williams RH, Baldwin DS, Haddad PM, Bazire S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental

Year: 2010

Volume: 25

Issue: 2

Pages: 95-102

Print publication date: 01/03/2010

ISSN (print): 0885-6222

ISSN (electronic): 1099-1077

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


DOI: 10.1002/hup.1094


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