A comparative study on efficacy of amitriptyline and escitalopram in the treatment of depression


  • Sushant Aryal Department of Pharmacology, Patan Academy of Health Sciences, Lalitpur, Nepal
  • Kajal Chakrabarti Department of Psychiatry, Nepal Medial College and Teaching Hospital Attarkhel, Jorpati, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Mayuri Gupta Department of Pharmacology, Patan Academy of Health Sciences, Lalitpur, Nepal




Amitriptyline, Comparative, Escitalopram, Efficacy


Background: Several generations of antidepressant medication which act by distinct pharmacological mechanisms have been introduced for the treatment of depression; tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) were first line of treatment for many years. However, over the last decade, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have displaced TCAs, mainly because of better side effect profile. There are no references in literature on comparison of efficacy of TCAs and SSRIs in Nepalese population. This study attempted to compare the efficacy of amitriptyline, a reference standard TCA with escitalopram, a newer SSRI in Nepalese population.

Methods: An open level, randomised, prospective study was conducted for one year duration. Eighty outpatients suffering from major depression who met inclusion and exclusion criteria were randomly assigned to either amitriptyline or escitalopram group for four week study. Seventy one patients (amitriptyline N: 36, escitalopram N: 35) completed the study. Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) was used to measure the antidepressant effect. Antidepressant efficacy was evaluated on reduction of HDRS score before and after therapy (End of four weeks).

Results: In amitriptyline group, mean percentage reduction in HDRS score was 58.29% (13.5 points), while in escitalopram group was 60.78% (14.03 points). Both the drugs significantly improved the HDRS score at the end of the study (p<0.05). On intergroup comparison, antidepressant efficacy of amitriptyline and escitalopram did not differ significantly from each other (p>0.05).

Conclusions: This study suggests that escitalopram is effective in the treatment of depression and its efficacy appears to be comparable to amitriptyline at the end of four weeks.


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How to Cite

Aryal, S., Chakrabarti, K., & Gupta, M. (2018). A comparative study on efficacy of amitriptyline and escitalopram in the treatment of depression. International Journal of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology, 7(2), 234–237. https://doi.org/10.18203/2319-2003.ijbcp20180091



Original Research Articles