Short-term use of estradiol for depression in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women: a preliminary report.

Authors: Cohen LS, Soares CN, Poitras JR, Prouty J, Alexander AB, Shifren JL.

Publication Year: 2003

Citation: Am J Psychiatry 2003;160(8):1519-22.

Twenty-two peri- or post-menopausal women with median age of 50 years experiencing moderate severity depression (DSM-IV major depression, minor depression, or dysthymia) were enrolled in a 4 week open-label clinical trial of 100 micrograms of transdermal 17B estradiol. Results showed decreased score on Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (20 to 11.50) and Beck Depression Inventory. Greene-Climacteric Scale scores showed measured improvement during the 4 week study. Changes in depression scales and climacteric scales were not significantly correlated. Perimenopausal (6) women showed greater improvement in depression scales than postmenopausal women (2). Authors suggested this study supports previous results showing that the effect of estrogen therapy on mood may be independent of antidepressant effects mediated by alleviation of vasomotor symptoms and that estrogen therapy may be of benefit to perimenopausal women experiencing moderately severe depression.