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In this study, the impact of quetiapine fumarate extended release (QXR) and escitalopram (ESC) on HPA axis activity was investigated in depressed patients in relationship to antidepressant efficacy.
In a randomized, open-label 5-week trial 60 inpatients suffering from major depression (DSM-IV criteria) were treated for 5 weeks with either QXR (300 mg/day) or ESC (10 mg/day). The dexamethasone/CRH (DEX/CRH) test was performed before treatment, after 1, and after 5 weeks of treatment. Cortisol (COR) AUC values were used to assess HPA axis function. The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale was used weekly to estimate antidepressant efficacy.
QXR and ESC showed comparable antidepressant effects but strongly differed in their impact on HPA axis activity. In the QXR group, a marked inhibition of COR AUC levels was observed which was most pronounced after one week of treatment but showed a partial re-increase after 5 weeks of treatment. In contrast, ESC transiently stimulated COR AUC values (week 1) whereas COR AUC levels at week 0 and week 5 were comparable. COR improvement at week 1 (defined as COR peak value reduction between DEX/CRH test 1 and 2) was significantly associated with better clinical outcome.
Apparently, different effects on HPA axis activity reflect distinct pharmacoendocrinological properties of psychotropic drugs.
To study whether employees who disclose a psychiatric diagnosis, such as depression risk stigmatisation and discrimination at the workplace.
Randomised experimental study with 748 managers from German companies incorporating four case vignettes displaying an employee with different ‘diagnoses’ (depression, burnout, private crisis and thyroid dysfunction), but identical unspecific complaints. Main outcome measures were the managers' attitudes and their impact on stigmatisation with respect to job performance.
In nearly all aspects of job performance, the diagnosis depression (psychiatric disorder) was seen as more critical than the diagnosis of a thyroid dysfunction (somatic disease). The diagnosis ‘burnout’ did not prove to be less stigmatising than ‘depression’. Likewise ‘private crisis’ was rated less favourably than thyroid dysfunction.
Therefore, employees have to evaluate if they disclose their psychiatric disorder or if they conceal it as a somatic illness.