Anhedonia medical therapy

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] ; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Pratik Bahekar, MBBS [2]


Anhedonia is an important symptom in many psychiatric illness. Currently there is no available specific treatment for it. More studies need to be done to explore this territory.


There is no validated treatment for social anhedonia.[1]

  • Social support may play a valuable role in the treatment of social anhedonia Blanchard et al.(2011) A greater number of social support as well as a greater perceived social support network were related to fewer schizophrenia-spectrum symptoms and to better general functioning within the social anhedonia group. [2]

Future research should focus on genetic and environmental risk factors to home in on specific brain regions and neurotransmitters that may be implicated in the social anhedonia etiology and could be targeted with specialized pharmacological or behavioral treatments.

  • Agomelatine was pitteed against venlafaxine in a study to treat anhedonia. Former showed greater improvements on CGI scores. In vivo agomelatine increases dopamine levels in nucleus accumbens of reward system.[3][4]
  • Atypical neuroleptics is less effective on dopaminergic motivation system, so schizophrenic patient tends to perform better. Drugs acting on an opioid, serotonin, and glutamine effective on anhedonia.[5]
  • Pramipraxole has shown promise to tackle anhedonia in parkinsonism.[6]


  1. Horan, W. P., Kring, A. M., & Blanchard, J. J. (2006). Anhedonia in schizophrenia: a review of assessment strategies. Schizophrenia bulletin, 32(2), 259–273
  2. Blanchard, J.J., Collins, L.M., Aghevli, M., Leung, W.W. & Cohen, A.S. (2011). Social anhedonia and schizotypy in a community sample: the Maryland longitudinal study of schizotypy. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 37, 587-602
  3. "Agomelatine versus venlafaxine XR in ... [J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2012] - PubMed - NCBI".
  4. "Notes on the treatment of anhedonia. [Can Psychiatr Assoc J. 1978] - PubMed - NCBI".
  5. "Anhedonia is an important factor of health-r... [J Nerv Ment Dis. 2011] - PubMed - NCBI".
  6. "Anhedonia, depression, and m... [J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2005] - PubMed - NCBI".

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