Background: Atypical antipsychotics are increasingly used in the treatment of a broad spectrum of psychiatric disorders. There is evidence that in addition to treating the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia, as well as mania in bipolar disorder, these agents may have a potential role to play in the treatment of depressive disorders. In the following article we review the literature regarding the role of atypical antipsychotics, and specifically, quetiapine, in the treatment of major depressive disorder.
Materials and methods: In March 2007 the authors performed a Medline search (English-language) using the keywords quetiapine and depression, revealing a total of 47 articles published. We also looked for cross-references in the published articles, obtained data-on-file from AstraZeneca Pharmaceutical L.P., and included abstracts presented at conferences and recent meetings.
Results: From our review we found that there is increasing literature supporting the efficacy of add-on quetiapine in the treatment of major depressive disorder.
Conclusion: There is a need, however, for further well-designed, adequately powered, randomized, controlled trials to confirm this finding, specifically in unipolar depression.
Keywords: adjunctive treatment; atypical antipsychotics; depression; quetiapine.