Estrogen replacement and response to fluoxetine in a multicenter geriatric depression trial

Lon S. Schneider, Gary W. Small, Susan H. Hamilton, Alexander Bystritsky, Charles B. Nemeroff, Barnett S. Meyers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

279 Scopus citations


The estrogen decrease of the postmenopausal state may be a factor in both the pathogenesis of late-life depression and in therapeutic response. Studies of nondepressed women over 60 given estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) suggest improvement in mood. The authors compared clinical response of elderly depressed women outpatients entering a 6-week, randomized, placebo- controlled, double-blind, multicenter trial of fluoxetine (20 mg/day); 72 patients received ERT, and 286 did not. There was a significant interaction between ERT status and treatment effect (P = 0.015). Patients on ERT who received fluoxetine had substantially greater mean Ham-D percentage improvement than patients on ERT who received placebo (40.1% vs. 17.0%, respectively); fluoxetine-treated patients not on ERT did not show benefit significantly greater than placebo-treated patients not on ERT. ERT use may augment fluoxetine response in elderly depressed outpatients and should be considered as a factor in clinical trials in elderly women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-106
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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