Introduction: Fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, was examined in the treatment of smokers with elevated depressive symptoms. Specifically, this randomized, open-label clinical trial was designed to evaluate the efficacy of three logical, real-world alternatives for providing smoking cessation treatment to smokers with elevated depressive symptoms. Methods: In a sample of 216 smokers (mean Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale score = 11.41), participants were randomly assigned to (a) transdermal nicotine patch (TNP), beginning on quit date and continuing for 8 weeks thereafter; (b) standard administration of antidepressant pharmacotherapy with fluoxetine (20 mg), beginning 2 weeks before quit date and continuing for 8 weeks following quit date + TNP (ST-FLUOX); or (c) sequential administration of fluoxetine (20 mg), beginning 8 weeks before quit date and continuing for 8 weeks following quit date + TNP (SEQ-FLUOX). All participants received 5 sessions of brief behavioral smoking cessation treatment. Results: Findings indicate that SEQ-FLUOX resulted in significantly higher point prevalence abstinence than ST-FLUOX at 6-month follow-up (OR = 2.35; 95% CI = 1.10-5.02, p < .03), a difference that was reduced at the 12-month assessment. Furthermore, sequential fluoxetine treatment, compared with standard fluoxetine treatment, resulted in significantly lower levels of depressive symptoms throughout smoking cessation treatment (p < .025) and significantly lower nicotine withdrawal-related negative affect (p < .004) immediately after quitting. Conclusions: Findings suggest that if one is going to prescribe fluoxetine for smoking cessation in smokers with elevated depressive symptoms, it is best to begin prescribing fluoxetine well before the target quit date.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health