Fluoxetine in Depressed AUD Adolescents: A 1-Year Follow-up Evaluation

Jack R. Cornelius, Oscar G. Bukstein, Ihsan M. Salloum, Thomas M. Kelly, D. Scott Wood, Duncan B. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The authors conducted the first naturalistic 1-year follow-up evaluation of 10 adolescents with comorbid major depressive disorder and an alcohol use disorder (AUD) who had previously participated in an acute phase study of open-label fluoxetine plus psychotherapy (Cornelius et al. 2001). The goal of this follow-up evaluation was to determine whether the decreases in drinking and in depressive symptoms that were noted during the acute phase study persisted at the follow-up evaluation. At the 1-year follow-up evaluation, the group continued to demonstrate significantly fewer depressive symptoms (according to the 24-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression) and a lower frequency of drinking (drinking days in the last 30 days) than they had demonstrated at the baseline of the acute phase study. Surprisingly, all of the subjects had chosen to discontinue their antidepressant medication by the second month of their naturalistic follow-up period. Three subjects had experienced a relapse of their major depression during the follow-up period, and three others demonstrated a persistence of their original depressive episode throughout the follow-up period. Also, the number of drinks per drinking day continued to be high (about five per day), which was not significantly different from the baseline level. Thus, the long-term therapeutic effects of an acute phase trial of fluoxetine plus psychotherapy were limited. The high rate of recurrence or persistence of major depression in our sample and in a previous sample of nonalcoholic adolescents with major depression (Emslie et al. 1998) and the significant levels of drinking of our comorbid adolescents suggest that longer term treatment may be needed for at least some adolescents with major depressive disorder and alcohol use disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-38
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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