WEDNESDAY, June 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The antidepressant escitalopram may not help heart failure patients suffering from depression, according to research published in the June 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Christiane Angermann, M.D., a professor of cardiology at University Hospital Wurzburg in Germany, and colleagues randomly assigned 372 patients with chronic heart failure and depression to escitalopram or a placebo in addition to heart failure treatments.
Over 18 months, 63 percent of the patients taking escitalopram died or needed hospitalization, as did 64 percent of those taking the placebo, the researchers found. No significant improvement in depression symptoms was seen among the patients taking escitalopram.
"Depression in heart failure may not be the same depression patients without heart failure get and who respond well to antidepressants," Angermann told HealthDay. "A good approach to the management of depressed heart failure patients could be to combine classical disease management strategies to optimize heart failure therapy, possibly in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy and physical exercise."