Double-blind, placebo-controlled study of single-dose metergoline in depressed patients with Seasonal Affective Disorder

Erick Turner, Paul J. Schwartz, Catherine H. Lowe, Stefan S. Nawab, Susana Feldman-Naim, Christopher L. Drake, Frances S. Myers, Ronald L. Barnett, Norman E. Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A role for serotonin in season affective disorder (SAD) has been explored with a variety of serotonergic pharmacologic agents. The authors initially hypothesized that metergoline, a nonspecific serotonin antagonist, would exacerbate depressive symptoms. In a small, open-label pilot study, the authors observed the opposite effect. They decided to follow up on this finding with this formal study. The study followed a double-blind, randomized cross-over design. Sixteen untreated, depressed patients with SAD received single oral doses of metergoline 8 mg and of placebo, spaced 1 week apart. Fourteen patients were restudied after 2 weeks of light treatment. Depression ratings using the Structured Interview Guide for the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale - Seasonal Affective Disorder Version were performed at baseline and at 3 and 6 days after each intervention. These data were analyzed by baseline-corrected repeated measures with analysis of variance. In the off-lights condition, severity of depression was diminished after metergoline compared with placebo administration (p = 0.001). Patient daily self-ratings suggested that the peak effect occurred 2 to 4 days after study drug administration. In contrast, after 2 weeks of treatment with bright artificial light, metergoline did not demonstrate a significant effect on mood. These data suggest that single doses of metergoline may have antidepressant effects that last several days. Possible mechanisms include 5-hydroxytryptamine2 receptor downregulation and dopamine agonism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-220
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychopharmacology
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

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Metergoline
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Placebos
Depression
Mood Disorders
Light
Serotonin Agents
Serotonin Antagonists
Dopamine Receptors
Cross-Over Studies
Antidepressive Agents
Serotonin
Analysis of Variance
Down-Regulation
Interviews
Therapeutics
Pharmaceutical Preparations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

Cite this

Double-blind, placebo-controlled study of single-dose metergoline in depressed patients with Seasonal Affective Disorder. / Turner, Erick; Schwartz, Paul J.; Lowe, Catherine H.; Nawab, Stefan S.; Feldman-Naim, Susana; Drake, Christopher L.; Myers, Frances S.; Barnett, Ronald L.; Rosenthal, Norman E.

In: Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, Vol. 22, No. 2, 2002, p. 216-220.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Turner, E, Schwartz, PJ, Lowe, CH, Nawab, SS, Feldman-Naim, S, Drake, CL, Myers, FS, Barnett, RL & Rosenthal, NE 2002, 'Double-blind, placebo-controlled study of single-dose metergoline in depressed patients with Seasonal Affective Disorder', Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 216-220. https://doi.org/10.1097/00004714-200204000-00018
Turner, Erick ; Schwartz, Paul J. ; Lowe, Catherine H. ; Nawab, Stefan S. ; Feldman-Naim, Susana ; Drake, Christopher L. ; Myers, Frances S. ; Barnett, Ronald L. ; Rosenthal, Norman E. / Double-blind, placebo-controlled study of single-dose metergoline in depressed patients with Seasonal Affective Disorder. In: Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. 2002 ; Vol. 22, No. 2. pp. 216-220.
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