Therapeutic effects of vitamin D as adjunctive therapy to fluoxetine in patients with major depressive disorder

Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2013 Mar;47(3):271-5. doi: 10.1177/0004867412465022. Epub 2012 Oct 23.


Objective: To compare the therapeutic effects of vitamin D3 plus fluoxetine and fluoxetine alone in patients with major depressive disorder.

Methods: In the present double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, 42 patients with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder based on DSM-IV criteria were randomly assigned into two groups to receive daily either 1500 IU vitamin D3 plus 20 mg fluoxetine or fluoxetine alone for 8 weeks. Depression severity was assessed at 2-week intervals using the 24-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) as a primary outcome measure and the 21-item Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) as a secondary outcome measure. Serum 25(OH) vitamin D was measured at baseline and after intervention.

Results: Forty patients completed the trial. A two-way repeated-measures analysis of variance showed that depression severity based on HDRS and BDI decreased significantly after intervention, with a significant difference between the two groups. The vitamin D + fluoxetine combination was significantly better than fluoxetine alone from the fourth week of treatment.

Conclusions: In the present 8-week trial, the vitamin D + fluoxetine combination was superior to fluoxetine alone in controlling depressive symptoms.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Calcifediol / blood
  • Cholecalciferol / administration & dosage
  • Cholecalciferol / therapeutic use*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / blood
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Fluoxetine / administration & dosage
  • Fluoxetine / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales


  • Fluoxetine
  • Cholecalciferol
  • Calcifediol