Antidepressants

How are antidepressants relevant to schizophrenia? 

A supplementary, or adjunctive, treatment is administered in conjunction with a patient’s ongoing antipsychotic therapy. Antidepressants have been proposed as an additional therapy to standard antipsychotic treatments, in an attempt to improve functional outcomes and treat symptoms that are not addressed by the antipsychotic medication alone. Antidepressant medications have been studied as treatments for the symptoms of schizophrenia, particularly negative symptoms, as well as for treating people with co-occurring schizophrenia and depression.

What is the evidence for adjunctive antidepressants?

Moderate quality evidence finds small effects of greater improvement in overall, negative, positive, and depressive symptoms with adjunctive antidepressants. The effect size was largest for negative symptoms and smallest for positive symptoms.

Moderate to high quality evidence finds a medium-sized effect of more smoking cessation with adjunctive bupropion than with placebo, which was maintained at six months follow-up.

Moderate quality evidence finds small benefits of adjunctive antidepressants for global cognition and executive functioning, but not for memory, attention, processing speed, verbal fluency or visuospatial processing.

July 2019

Last updated at: 2:43 am, 10th July 2019
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