Outcomes on the pharmacopsychometric triangle in bupropion-SR vs. buspirone augmentation of citalopram in the STAR*D trial

P. Bech, M. Fava, M. H. Trivedi, S. R. Wisniewski, A. J. Rush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare within the framework of a novel pharmacopsychometric triangle, augmentation treatment with bupropion vs. buspirone in the acute therapy of major depression in the STAR*D study. The triangle provides a composite view in three domains of antidepressive activity, side effects, and quality of life. Method: Within the pharmacopsychometric triangle, the short six-item subscales of the Hamilton Depression Scale (HAM-D17) and of the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (IDS-C30), referred to as HAM-D6 and IDS-C6, were focussed on pure antidepressive effect. Side-effects (tolerable vs. intolerable) and quality of life were measured using patient-administered questionnaires. A modified intention to treat sample was used. Results: Within the pharmacopsychometric triangle, bupropion-SR (sustained release) was superior to buspirone when augmented to the current citalopram treatment. Thus, in the domain of pure antidepressive effect, bupropion-SR was superior (P=0.05) on the HAM-D6, IDS-C6, and IDS-C30, but not on the HAM-D17. In the domain of side effects, the total scores on the Patient Rated Inventory of Side Effects (PRISE) were reduced significantly more by bupropion-SR than by buspirone (P=0.03). In the domain of quality of life, the total scores on the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire (QLES-Q) showed a trend (P=0.10) from baseline to endpoint of a superiority for bupropion-SR compared with buspirone. Conclusion: In all domains of the pharmacopsychometric triangle, bupropion-SR was superior to buspirone as augmentation therapy in depressed outpatients not responding to citalopram.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)342-348
Number of pages7
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • Bupropion-SR
  • Buspirone
  • Citalopram
  • HAM-D
  • IDS-C
  • Pharmacopsychometric triangle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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