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June 2001

Sex and Psychopharmacology: Is Natural Estrogen a Psychotropic Drug in Women?

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2001;58(6):537-538. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.58.6.537

ALTHOUGH it has been long recognized that estrogen affects mood, it is still not clear what role estrogen may play in the management of major depressive disorder.%1-4 This is startling, given the known link of estrogen to the increased incidence of major depressive disorder in women across their life cycles.%1-5 Furthermore, 70% of people taking antidepressants are women, and women make 90% of all health care decisions,%6 yet there are precious few studies examining the use of estrogen as an antidepressant, or as an adjunct to antidepressant treatment of major depressive disorder.%1-4