Short-term benzodiazepine plus antidepressants linked to improved cognitive function in major depressive disorder

  • J Affect Disord

  • International Clinical Digest
Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals. Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals.

Takeaway

  • Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) treated with short-term benzodiazepines and antidepressants (ADs) had no decline in cognitive function and even reported faster information processing speed than patients treated with ADs alone.  

Why this matters

  • Prior studies had suggested long-term or high-dose benzodiazepine use impaired cognitive function in patients with MDD.

Study design

  • 353 patients with MDD received selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) alone and 49 patients were treated with SSRIs plus short-term benzodiazepines.
  • Funding: National Key Basic Research Program of China.

Key results

  • Information processing speed (measured by Digit Symbol Coding Test) was higher in the patients treated with benzodiazepines plus ADs vs those who received ADs alone at week 8 (OR, 1.052; 95% CI, 1.000-1.105).
  • No change was observed in verbal learning, visual learning, executive function, and attention/vigilance at week 8 between groups.

Limitations

  • Lack of control group.
  • Small number of patients in the benzodiazepines group restricted subgroup analysis.

Coauthored with Antara Ghosh, PhD