A comparative study to assess the effect of escitalopram and amitriptyline on psychomotor functions in patients of depression

Amit V. Mohite, Baliram V. Ghodke, Patil Arun W.


Background: Depression is a most common and widespread of all psychiatric disorders. Treatment of depression includes the use of antidepressants commonly used clinically such as tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Certain antidepressants apart from improvement in the symptoms found to have detrimental effect on cognitive and psychomotor function. Objective of this study was to assess and to compare the effect of escitalopram and amitriptyline on cognitive and psychomotor functions

Methods: Effect of escitalopram and amitriptyline on psychomotor function was assessed by using Critical flicker fusion frequency (CFF) and Reaction time (RT) in patients of mild to moderate depression at the end of 2nd and 4th week of monotherapy.

Results: Patients in both the group have their RT remained significantly higher (p<0.001) in comparison with control and CFF remained significantly lower at the end of both the week. There was a significant rise in CFF in escitalopram group as compared to amitriptyline (p<0.001). Escitalopram showed a significant improvement in Visual reaction time (VRT), Auditory reaction time (ART) and Choice reaction time (CRT) (p<0.001) compared to amitriptyline at both the follow ups.

Conclusions: Findings of this study support the use of Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) i.e. escitalopram which had shown less impairment of psychomotor function in patients of Depression as compared to amitriptyline (Tricyclic antidepressant), in special subgroups of population who operate machinery, drive vehicle or require alertness for the work.


Reaction time, CFF, Antidepressants, Cognitive functions

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