Wednesday, November 01, 2006

TO READ: Depressed? Keep trying new meds
The final portion of a large, six-year federal study of depression was published today in the American Journal of Psychiatry. The findings: While one-third of people were helped by starting on the antidepressant Celexa, one-third more got better if they were patient and added or switched to a second, third, or even fourth antidepressant, as needed. Thus, 67% of the 3,671 of the depressed patients studied reached remission by taking one or more medicines.

The downside of trying additional antidepressants, however, is that relapse becomes more likely the more drugs you try. Among those who achieved remission with the original Celexa prescription, 40% relapsed in the first year. For those who had to use a second, third or fourth drug, the relapse rates rose to 55, 65, and 70%, respectively.

2 comments:

jws said...

I really think that a syndicated column on mental health could use this stuff. You should gather up some of the columns and pitch it to the Mercury.

Patricia said...

The creation of "designer" drugs like SSRIs that work for depression and anxiety are the strongest evidence in my opinion that these conditions are neurological disorders, as are migraines. Having suffered from both, and read books that actually said things like, people with these conditions just have lousy personalities and need to get more exercise and snap out of it, etc., I am thankful for doctors like Oliver Sacks who wrote the best book on migraines (and their co-morbidity with depression)I have ever read. Back in 1985, he pointed out that all roads (at least concerning these disorders) lead to serotonin. Now, there are effective drugs that act on serotonin, and THEY WORK!