Back to Browse Journals » Core Evidence » Volume 4

Agomelatine: The evidence for its place in the treatment of depression

Authors Daniela Eser, Thomas C Baghai, Hans-Jürgen Möller

Published Date August 2009 Volume 2009:4 Pages 171—179


Published 5 August 2009

Daniela Eser, Thomas C Baghai, Hans-Jürgen Möller

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany

Introduction: Depressive disorders are among the main causes of disability due to disease. In spite of recent progress in the pharmacotherapy of depression, there is still a high nonresponse rate of ~30% to the first antidepressant treatment. Furthermore, the latency of several weeks until sufficient clinical improvement and the risk of side effects remain unresolved problems. Therefore, there is still further need for the development of new antidepressants. In the last years a variety of melatonin receptor agonists have been synthesized and evaluated for the treatment of sleep disorders. Animal studies suggested that agomelatine (S-20098), a synthetic melatonergic MT1 and MT2 receptor agonist with serotonin receptor antagonistic properties, may have additional activating properties and may represent a new approach in the treatment of depression.

Aims: Clinical trials that have demonstrated efficacy and safety of agomelatine for the treatment of depression are reviewed.

Evidence review: In clinical trials, including phase III studies, superior efficacy compared to placebo and good efficacy compared to standard antidepressants was shown for agomelatine for the acute treatment of major depression. In all studies published so far agomelatine was safe and the overall tolerability profile was superior to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.

Place in therapy: Agomelatine may represent a novel perspective in the treatment of acute depression. The improvement of sleep disturbances, the tolerability in terms of sexual side effects, and the lack of withdrawal symptoms after abrupt discontinuation of treatment may represent important clinical benefits compared to established antidepressants.

Keywords: agomelatine, antidepressants, melatonin, major depression, evidence

Download Article [PDF] 

Creative Commons License This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. The full terms of the License are available at Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. Permissions beyond the scope of the License are administered by Dove Medical Press Limited. Information on how to request permission may be found at:

Readers of this article also read:

Amino acid-responsive Crohn's disease: a case study

Alvin Stein, Marty Hinz, Thomas Uncini

Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology 2010, 3:171-177

Published Date: 6 December 2010

Nilotinib for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia: An evidence-based review

Elias Jabbour, Jorge Cortes, Hagop Kantarjian

Core Evidence 2009, 4:207-213

Published Date: 5 October 2009

Tinidazole in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis

Nicola R Armstrong, Janet D Wilson

International Journal of Women's Health 2009, 1:59-65

Published Date: 25 June 2009

Febuxostat: the evidence for its use in the treatment of hyperuricemia and gout

Angelo L Gaffo, Kenneth G Saag

Core Evidence 2009, 4:25-36

Published Date: 23 June 2009

Eggshell membrane: A possible new natural therapeutic for joint and connective tissue disorders. Results from two open-label human clinical studies

Kevin J Ruff, Dale P DeVore, Michael D Leu, Mark A Robinson

Clinical Interventions in Aging 2009, 4:235-240

Published Date: 18 May 2009

A case of subretinal neovascularization treated with intravitreal ranibizumab in a patient with idiopathic juxtafoveal retinal telangiectasis

Dimitrios Karagiannis, Ilias Georgalas, Ioannis Ladas, Parikakis Eustratios, Panagiotis Mitropoulos

Clinical Interventions in Aging 2009, 4:63-65

Published Date: 22 December 2008

Late life depression with cognitive impairment: Evaluation and treatment

Consuelo H Wilkins, Jose Mathews, Yvette I Sheline

Clinical Interventions in Aging 2009, 4:51-57

Published Date: 28 September 2008