OBJECTIVES: Agomelatine, a melatonin (MT1/MT2) receptor agonist and 5-HT2C receptor antagonist, is a new antidepressant and a potential therapeutic option for major depressive episodes and negative symptoms in persons with schizophrenia. We investigated such treatment outcomes with respect to antidepressant efficacy, safety, and tolerability.
METHODS: We report a consecutive case series of seven patients with schizophrenia and comorbid major depressive symptoms who received agomelatine for a period of at least six weeks in addition to stable doses of antipsychotic agents. General psychopathology, positive, negative and depressive symptoms were assessed with standardized interviews. Relevant blood parameters were assessed.
RESULTS: Depressive symptoms improved significantly. Positive symptoms remained stable, while negative symptoms and global psychopathology improved significantly. Agomelatine was well tolerated in most patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide initial evidence that agomelatine is safe and efficacious in treating depressive symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. Furthermore, agomelatine seems to be effective for the treatment of negative symptoms. Randomized controlled trials are necessary to confirm these first observations.