Depression and anxiety frequently occur together or in extension of each other. According to a previous study in depressed inpatients, a high trait anxiety level correlated with a positive response to the diazepam test (DT) and a low trait anxiety level with a negative response to the test. The aim of this study is to investigate whether positive reaction to the DT is related to a positive response to fluvoxamine and whether a negative reaction to the test is related to positive response to imipramine. The DT was performed in 130 patients diagnosed with a depressive disorder. Following the DT, the patients were randomly assigned to double-blind treatment with either imipramine or fluvoxamine. Doses of both antidepressants were adjusted to attain predefined blood levels, and the outcome was evaluated 4 weeks after attaining these blood levels. Twenty-two patients had a positive response to the DT, whereas 108 patients had a negative response. Although a positive DT is correlated with a high level of trait anxiety, no differences in depressive symptomatology and antidepressant response were found between patients with a positive and a negative DT.

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Journal of Psychopharmacology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Heijnen, W., van den Broek, W., Mulder, P., & Birkenhäger, T. (2010). Prevalence of trait anxiety in a sample of depressed inpatients and its influence on response to antidepressants. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 24(4), 559–563. doi:10.1177/0269881108099213