March 1971

Acetophenazine and Diazepam in Anxious Depressions

Author Affiliations

Palo Alto, Calif; Galveston, Tex; Houston; Palo Alto, Calif
From the Veterans Administration Hospital, Palo Alto, Calif (Drs. Hollister and Shelton), the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston (Dr. Overall), and the Veterans Administration Hospital, Houston (Dr. Pokorny). Dr. Shelton is now at Shasta General Hospital, Redding, Calif.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1971;24(3):273-278. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1971.01750090079012

Sixty-seven newly admitted depressed patients were classified on the basis of their presenting signs and symptoms as having the syndrome of anxious depression. They were assigned randomly either to treatment with the phenothiazine derivative, acetophenazine, or with the antianxiety drug, diazepam. After four weeks of treatment, both groups were equally improved. Study of the interactions between drugs and demographic variables revealed that patients with less long-term and uncomplicated depressions responded better to diazepam, the converse being true for acetophenazine. Although our previous studies indicated that phenothiazine derivatives were preferable to conventional tricyclic antidepressants in patients with anxious depressions, antianxiety agents are also effective. In fact, because most patients fall into the group which responds best to them, as well as because of their greater safety, drugs such as diazepam might be the first choice for treating the most common depressive syndrome, that of anxious depression.