When a mother is depressed, her children are more likely to show symptoms of depression or anxiety. A study published in this month’s American Journal of Psychiatry has demonstrated that treatment of the mother’s depression with the antidepressant escitalopram (Lexapro) was associated with improvement in their children’s symptoms of depression.
In this randomized double-blind trial, 76 depressed mothers received escitalopram, bupropion, or the combination of the two for 12 weeks. The study included assessments of the mothers, as well as independent assessment of their children (N=135; ages 7–17 years).
High rates of remission (67%) were observed in women in all three treatment groups. In the escitalopram group, the researchers observed that improvements in the mothers’ depressive symptoms were associated with improvements in the children’s depressive symptoms and functioning.
Because this is an interesting article and such an important topic, we will cover this study in greater detail next week.
Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD
Treating Depressed Mothers With Escitalopram May Have Greater Benefit to Children, Study Finds (Psychiatric News Alerts)