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Amitriptyline helps improve psychological stress, sleep in functional dyspepsia

19 Dec 2017

In patients with functional dyspepsia (FD), amitriptyline may yield improvements in psychological stress and sleep, albeit modestly, according to posthoc data from a clinical trial.

Researchers analysed data from a multicentre, double-blind trial evaluating the efficacy of antidepressants on FD symptoms. In the trial, 292 patients had been randomly assigned to groups given 50 mg amitriptyline, 10 mg escitalopram, or placebo for 12 weeks.

All patients completed at baseline and 12 weeks the following psychological questionnaires: Symptom Check List 90, Symptom Somatic Checklist, Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale, Profile of Mood States, State Trait Anxiety Inventory, and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index.

Baseline scores for the psychological and sleep measures did not differ among groups. Likewise, scores after 12 weeks were similar among groups.

Mean global Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index scores indicated poor sleep quality in all groups at both timepoints. Antidepressants affected sleep duration scores such that patients given amitriptyline had better scores than patients who received placebo or escitalopram (p=0.019).

In all groups, treatment responders achieved reductions in anxiety and improvements in some sleep components.

The present data suggest that while amitriptyline has been shown to induce reductions in symptoms of FD, such reductions may not involve improvements in psychological stress, researchers said.

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