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This study evaluated whether or not augmentation with aripiprazole is beneficial and tolerable to patients with an inadequate response to antidepressants (ADs). Thirteen patients with nonpsychotic major depression, who had failed to respond to an adequate trial of at least one AD, were prescribed aripiprazole (dose, 5-30 mg) for 8 weeks. The dose of their preexisting ADs was not changed. The treatment response was defined as the mean changes in the scores of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) from the baseline to the end of treatment. Eleven (84.6%) patients returned for at least one follow-up visit, and 7 (53.8%) patients completed the study. The HAM-D and Clinical Global Impression—Severity (CGI-S) scores decreased significantly from the baseline to the end of treatment by 53.8% and 56.0%, respectively (Z = −2.937, P = .003; Z = −2.961, P = .003). Seven (63.6%) patients showed a ≥ 50% reduction in the HAM-D score at the end of treatment. Three (27.3%) patients met the remission criteria at the end of treatment. There were no serious side effects. Despite the high dropout rate in this open study, aripiprazole appears to be reasonably effective and tolerated as an augmentation strategy in conjunction with conventional ADs treatment in patients with an inadequate AD response. These results highlight the potential benefits of aripiprazole for these patients. However, adequately powered, randomized, controlled trials are needed to confirm these results.

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