Post-stroke depression: combined treatment with imipramine or desipramine and mianserin. A controlled clinical study

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1994 Feb;114(1):119-22. doi: 10.1007/BF02245452.


In a 6-week study the efficacy of combined treatment of imipramine plus mianserin was compared to combined treatment of desipramine plus mianserin in patients with post-stroke depression. Patients were required to have a minimum baseline total score of 15 on the 17-item Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD). The Melancholia Scale (MES) was also used to measure severity of depressive states to show that somatic symptoms had little influence on the evaluation of depression. Out of 120 stroke patients screened, 20 patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The doses of the drugs were flexible, using side-effects as a guide during treatment. Both intention to treat analysis and efficacy data (excluding patients who had dropped out during the first 2 weeks of treatment) showed that imipramine (mean dose 75 mg daily) plus mianserin (mean dose 25 mg daily) was superior to desipramine (mean dose 66 mg daily) plus mianserin (27 mg daily). The MES was found to be more sensitive than the HAMD for measuring change in depressive states during treatment. The assessment of side-effects using the UKU scale showed good tolerance in general. The only difference between the two treatment groups was seen in micturition disturbances, where the imipramine treated patients had most complaints after 14 days of treatment, but the symptoms disappeared despite continuous treatment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / complications*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology*
  • Desipramine / administration & dosage
  • Desipramine / adverse effects
  • Desipramine / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imipramine / administration & dosage
  • Imipramine / adverse effects
  • Imipramine / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Mianserin / administration & dosage
  • Mianserin / adverse effects
  • Mianserin / therapeutic use*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales


  • Mianserin
  • Imipramine
  • Desipramine