Response to SSRIs and role of the hormonal therapy in post-menopausal depression

Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2007 May-Jun;17(6-7):400-5. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2006.11.001. Epub 2006 Dec 28.


The aim of this study is to prospectively evaluate the antidepressant response to SSRIs in depressed post-menopausal women with or without hormonal therapy (HT), and to analyze the possible influence of basal serum levels of gonadotropins and sexual hormones on the antidepressant response. 170 post-menopausal women with a depressive episode (DSM-IV criteria)--47 on HT and 123 not on HT--started the treatment with an SSRI. Depressive symptoms were assessed at baseline and 7 weeks thereafter by raters blind to treatment regimen. Response rates were 63.2% in the group without HT and 83.7% in the HT group (p=0.013). An inverse correlation emerged between the basal levels of LH and the improvement in HRSD scores (p=0.001) in the group without HT. In conclusion, HT appeared to improve the antidepressant response to SSRIs. Furthermore, in post-menopausal women, LH basal levels may be taken into account as possible predictor of response.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Age of Onset
  • Bipolar Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy*
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Humans
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmenopause / physiology*
  • Progesterone / blood
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Progesterone
  • Estradiol
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone