Mirtazapine for patients with alcohol dependence and comorbid depressive disorders: A multicentre, open label study

Su Jung Yoon, Chi Un Pae, Dai Jin Kim, Kee Namkoong, Eun Lee, Dong Yul Oh, Young Sik Lee, Dong Hwan Shin, Young Cheol Jeong, Joon Hong Kim, Sung Bin Choi, In Bok Hwang, Young Chul Shin, Sung Nam Cho, Hae Kook Lee, Chung Tai Lee

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41 Scopus citations


Major depressive disorder and alcohol dependence are common and serious mental illnesses. There is a great interest in discovering useful treatments for both mood symptoms and alcohol abuse in those patients with depressive disorders and comorbid alcohol dependence. The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness and tolerability of mirtazapine for the treatment of patients with alcohol dependence comorbid with a depressive disorder in an open label, naturalistic multicentre treatment setting. The 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS), the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS) and the Clinical Global Impression-Severity (CGI-S) scale were measured at baseline and at weeks 4 and 8 for the assessment of treatment effectiveness. Alcohol craving was measured using the Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale (OCDS) and the Visual Analog Scale for Craving (VAS). This study showed a statistically significant reduction of the scores on the HDRS (13.9 ± 7.3, p < 0.0001), HARS (10.8 ± 7.2, p < 0.0001) and the CGI-S (1.7 ± 1.0, p < 0.0001) from baseline to the endpoint (week 8). The OCDS and VAS scores were also decreased significantly by 42.3% and 53.2% (9.0 ± 10.0, p < 0.0001; 2.5 ± 2.4, p < 0.0001, respectively). The number of patients with a 50% reduction or more in the HDRS and HARS scores was 103 (72.0%) and 106 (74.1%) at the endpoint, respectively. Adverse events related to mirtazapine were observed in 10% or more of the patients in this study. In conclusion, the results from this naturalistic study suggest that the use of mirtazapine for the patients with alcohol dependence comorbid with depressive disorder is accompanied by clinical improvement in their mood and alcohol craving.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1196-1201
Number of pages6
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - 30 Sep 2006


  • Alcohol dependence
  • Craving
  • Depressive disorder
  • Mirtazapine


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