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A randomized, double-blind, multi-centre, parallel-group study compared the tolerability and efficacy of 450 mg of moclobemide and 75-150 mg of dothiepin in the management of depressed patients in general practice. Patients who fulfilled the DSM-III-R criteria for major depressive disorder and who scored 13 or more on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale were admitted. The trial lasted six weeks. The dose of moclobemide was 150 mg three times daily and that of dothiepin was 75 mg daily for the first two weeks and 150 mg thereafter. Assessments were made at baseline and after one, three and six weeks using the HDRS, the Zung SRS and the CGI. Adverse events and vital signs were monitored at each visit, and laboratory screening tests performed at the beginning and end of the study. Sixty-four general practitioners from four centres recruited 345 patients: 175 received dothiepin and 170 moclobemide; 265 completed six weeks of treatment. Thirty-eight dothiepin-treated patients (22%) and 42 who received moclobemide (25%) dropped out, most commonly because they experienced adverse events. More patients on dothiepin (24) than on moclobemide (16) dropped out for this reason; the incidence of adverse events was 10% higher in the dothiepin-treated group and of "side effects" more than 10% higher, the latter difference being statistically significant. Both treatments resulted in significant improvement; this was greater in the dothiepin-treated group and the difference was statistically significant, although clinically small.

Original publication




Conference paper

Publication Date





159 - 165


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Benzamides, Depressive Disorder, Dothiepin, Double-Blind Method, England, Family Practice, Female, Humans, Ireland, Male, Middle Aged, Moclobemide, Personality Inventory