HealthDay News — Fluoxetine plus relapse-prevention cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) cut the risk of relapse in youth with major depressive disorder, study findings published in The American Journal of Psychiatry indicate.

Betsy D. Kennard, PsyD, from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues treated 200 youths aged 8 to 17 years with major depression with fluoxetine for six weeks.

Patients with an adequate response to treatment — defined as a reduction of ≥50 percent on the Children’s Depression Rating Scale-Revised — were randomly assigned to either continued medication management alone (n=69) or continued medication management plus CBT (n=75) for an additional six months.

There was a significantly lower risk of relapse among the medication management plus CBT group versus the medication management only group (hazard ratio, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.13 to 0.75), with an estimated probability of relapse by week 30 of 9% versus 26.5%, the researchers found.

During the 30-week continuation treatment period, time to remission did not differ significantly between treatment groups (HR, 1.26; 95% CI: 0.87-1.82).

“Continuation-phase relapse-prevention CBT was effective in reducing the risk of relapse but not in accelerating time to remission in children and adolescents with major depressive disorder,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.


  1. Kennard B, et al. Am J Psychiatry 2014; doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.13111460