Trazodone Addition to Paroxetine and Mirtazapine in a Patient with Treatment-Resistant Depression: The Pros and Cons of Combining Three Antidepressants

Case Rep Med. 2016:2016:5362485. doi: 10.1155/2016/5362485. Epub 2016 Oct 11.


Dual antidepressant combination for treatment-resistant depression is a strategy well supported by literature and accepted in clinical practice. Rather, the usefulness of the combination of more than two antidepressants is controversial. This may be related to the possibility of higher side-effect burden and to doubts about its pharmacological effectiveness and therapeutic advantage compared to other standard treatment options. We report a relapse of moderate-to-severe depressive symptoms with insomnia that successfully remitted after the addition of trazodone to a dual combination of paroxetine and mirtazapine (in standard effective doses) in a patient with treatment-resistant depression. We also review the literature and discuss the utility of triple antidepressant combination in treatment-resistant depression. This clinical case highlights the utility of combining trazodone as a third antidepressant for the relapse of depressive symptoms after the failure of a dual antidepressant combination. Trazodone may be advantageous in patients presenting recurrence of moderate-to-severe depressive symptoms that include sleep problems and/or insomnia and may be particularly useful when benzodiazepines are not recommended. Although its use may be controversial and associated with higher risk of side-effects, more investigation is needed to determine the efficacy and safety for triple antidepressant combinations as reliable strategies for treatment-resistant depression in clinical practice.