Monday, March 05, 2007

TO READ: Drug Combo for Resistant Depression
Has your depression - or you - been dubbed "hard to treat"? Been through drug after drug without success? A new study looking at treatment with the combination of antidepressants Effexor (venlafaxine) and Remeron (mirtazapine) looks encouraging.

Irish psychiatrists just reported a study of 32 patients (44% men) who had been through an average of 2.5 drug trials without depression relief. Impressively, after 4 weeks on this combination of meds, 44% had responded; after 8 weeks, 50% responded; and at a 6-month follow-up, 75% of those still taking the meds had significantly responded.

The down-side? No "serious" side-effects were reported, but 19% of patients felt sedated and 19% experienced weight gain. Five of the 32 quit the trial because of these effects. Remember to keep trying if your depressive symptoms haven't been helped by meds yet - just because one drug or combination doesn't work for you doesn't mean others won't!

For more info: Journal of Psychopharmacology, Vol. 21, No. 2, 161-164 (2007).

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