Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 218
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825461

Effects of citalopram and reboxetine on the loudness dependence of auditory evoked potentials in patients with major depression

O Pogarell 1, F Müller-Siecheneder 1, C Mulert 1, M Folkerts 1, T Frodl 1, G Juckel 1, U Hegerl 1
  • 1Dept. of Psychiatry, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany

Background: The loudness dependence of auditory evoked potentials (LDAEP) serves as a measure of central serotonergic function (1). Aim of this study was to investigate the long term effects of serotonergic versus noradrenergic drugs on LDAEP.

Methods: Patients with major depressive episode were included into a 4-week treatment study with either the serotonergic agent citalopram (CP) or the noradrenergic antidepressant reboxetine (RX). LDAEP studies and clinical assessments (HAM-D scores) were performed at baseline and during follow up.

Results: 39 patients (21 CP, 18 RX) were prospectively investigated. Baseline-LDAEP and -HAM-D scores did not differ significantly between the groups. Under medication there was no significant change in LDAEP in neither group (CP/RX, each stratified according to treatment responses), nor were there significant differences between the groups.

Conclusion: Antidepressive medication and/or change in clinical symptoms do not seem to significantly alter the LDAEP in depressed patients. Implications regarding serotonergic function will be discussed.

1. Hegerl, U. et al. J Affect Disord. 62 (2001):93–100.