The efficacy of drugs and psychotherapy in the treatment of acute depressive episodes

Am J Psychiatry. 1979 Apr;136(4B):555-8.


The efficacy of tricyclic antidepressants and various psychotherapies, in comparison with one another or in combination, has not been fully established in randomized clinical trials. The authors present a randomized controlled trial comparing the combination of amitriptyline and short-term interpersonal psychotherapy, either treatment alone, and nonscheduled supportive psychotherapy in ambulatory patients with acute depression. They found that pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy alone were equally efficacious and better than nonscheduled treatment. The combination treatment of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy was more effective than either treatment alone and delayed the onset of symptomatic failure.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amitriptyline / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychotherapy, Brief / methods*
  • Recurrence


  • Amitriptyline