[Effectiveness of venlafaxine in the treatment of alcohol dependence with comorbid depression]

Actas Esp Psiquiatr. 2005 Jan-Feb;33(1):41-5.
[Article in Spanish]


Introduction: There are no conclusive data on the effectiveness of antidepressant drugs in the treatment of comorbid cases of alcohol dependence and depression.

Objectives: To determine the effectiveness of venlafaxine on depression and on severity (need of treatment) of alcohol dependence and related problems.

Methods: Observational, open-label, multicenter, 24-week follow-up study.

Patients: 90 outpatients with diagnosis of alcohol dependence and associated major depression disorder (DSMIV criteria).

Outcomes measures: the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D17), European Addiction Severity Index (EuropASI) and Clinical Global Impression, severity and improvement subscales, (CGI-S and CGI-I). Evaluations were performed at baseline and at weeks 2, 4, 8 and 24.

Results: Mean age 44.94+/-9.74 years; 73.3 % man. HAM-D17 mean scores significantly decreased from baseline (24.85+/-5.94) to week 24 (5.976+/-4.68) and at each of the follow-up visits vs previous visit (p < 0.0005). Significant decreases from baseline to week 24 were obtained in four areas of EuropASI: medical status (2.12+/-2.45 to 1.07+/-1.68), alcohol use (5.29+/-2.24 to 3.04+/-2.35), family/ social relationships (3.68+/-2.36 to 1.71+/-2.06) and psychiatric status (5.61+/-1.81 to 2.67+/-2.03). Tolerance was excellent or good in 76.7% of the patients.

Conclusions: Venlafaxine demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of depressive alcoholic patients. Furthermore, it seems to be useful to decrease the severity of problems related with the alcohol use.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • English Abstract
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / complications*
  • Alcoholism / drug therapy*
  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation / therapeutic use*
  • Cyclohexanols / therapeutic use*
  • Depression / complications*
  • Depression / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Venlafaxine Hydrochloride


  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation
  • Cyclohexanols
  • Venlafaxine Hydrochloride