Background: The term Treatment- Resistant Depression is frequently used to
describe patients that show poor response to conventional antidepressant therapy. Therefore
a search for better and more efficacious treatment options is needed. The dopaminergic
hypothesis for depression has been an attractive topic according to the growing evidence
from basic research and clinical trials that have suggested the important role of this neurotransmitter in the
pathophysiology of depression. Currently, the dopaminergic drugs used in clinical practice are employed
mainly for neuropsychiatric conditions and some of them specifically pramipexole and ropirinole have
exhibited an antidepressant action that had led to the postulate that these may be considered as potential
agents with antidepressive effects.
Objective: Our aim was to explore current data from preclinical and clinical trials that place pramipexole and
ropirinole as options for augmentation strategies.
Method: We performed a literature review about the use of dopaminergic agents to provide an overview about
its efficacy and safety in the treatment of treatment-resistant depression.
Conclusion: Reviewing briefly the hypothetical role of dopamine mechanisms in depression, the findings
from basic research, nonclinical studies and clinical trials, we certainly can say that dopaminergic drugs had
brought a broad opportunity with novel benefits and risks to the mood disorders treatment, although further
research and more randomized controlled trials in larger samples are needed to prove their efficacy and safety.