Clonazepam in the treatment of protracted
depression: a hundred-case report

Morishita S.
Department of Psychiatry,
Kawasaki Medical School, 577,
Matsushima, Kurashiki 701-0192, Japan.
J Clin Psychopharmacol 1997 Oct; 17(5):390-400


Clonazepam, which presently is recommended for the treatment of seizure disorders, has been reported to be useful as an adjunctive treatment for depression. The purpose of this paper was to examine the suitable adjunctive dose and the characteristics of clonazepam for the treatment of protracted depression. A hundred protracted depressive patients treated with clonazepam were studies by the retrospective method. A daily dose of 3.0 mg clonazepam as augmentation expressed high effectiveness (78.4%) on protracted depression. Most of the improved patients showed a rapid onset of action within two weeks. Gender, age, phase number, family history of psychosis, and clinical symptoms did not change the effectiveness of clonazepam treatment. A daily dose of at least 3.0 mg clonazepam as augmentation of ongoing antidepressant treatment should be considered for protracted depressive patients with suboptimal improvement. Unipolar depression was significantly more effective than bipolar depression on clonazepam treatment. The clear-cut difference in response to unipolar and bipolar depression suggests that the underlying abnormality in unipolar depression is not the same as that in bipolar depression. A continuance of clonazepam after improvement disturbed the recurrence of depression, and it seems that clonazepam augmentation has a preventive effect.
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