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Does It Help To Continue Antidepressant Drug Treatment For Preventing Recurrence In Depression?

Date:
January 22, 2008
Source:
Psychotherapy And Psychosomatics
Summary:
Apparently it doesn't help much, according to a new study in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. Maintenance antidepressant (AD) medication is the most commonly used preventive strategy in a highly recurrent disease, i.e. depression. Little is known about the discontinuation of maintenance AD use and the association with recurrence in daily clinical practice. The purpose of this study was to examine the discontinuation rate of maintenance AD in daily clinical practice in recurrently depressed patients and the associated risk of recurrence.

Apparently it doesn't help much, according to a study by Dutch investigators.

Maintenance antidepressant (AD) medication is the most commonly used preventive strategy in a highly recurrent disease, i.e. depression. Little is known about the discontinuation of maintenance AD use and the association with recurrence in daily clinical practice. The purpose of this study was to examine the discontinuation rate of maintenance AD in daily clinical practice in recurrently depressed patients and the associated risk of recurrence.

Prospectively AD maintenance medication and recurrence were examined in 172 euthymic patients with recurrent depression. AD user profiles before recurrence (nonusers, intermittent users, continuous users) were examined and related to recurrence over a 2-year follow-up period.

Less than half of the patients (42%) used AD continuously. Taking into account the minimal required adequate used dosage (20 mg fluoxetine equivalent), only 26% of the patients used AD as recommended by international guidelines. Despite continuous use of AD, 60.4% relapsed in 2 years. This relapse rate was comparable to the rate of the intermittent users (63.6%). In patients who stopped taking AD after remission and who received additional preventive CT, the recurrence rates were significantly lower than in non-AD-using patients treated with usual care (8 vs. 46%).

The majority of recurrently depressed patients treated with AD discontinue maintenance AD therapy in daily primary and secondary clinical practice. AD seems to offer poor protection against relapse in this patient group.

Patients who stopped using AD experienced less relapse, especially if they were treated with preventive CT. Alternative maintenance treatments (including preventive cognitive therapy after discontinuation of AD) should be studied in recurrently depressed patients with intermittent good remission, not only in secondary but also in primary care.

Journal reference: Bockting, C.L.H.; ten Doesschate, M.C.; Spijker, J.; Spinhoven, P.; Koeter, M.W.J.; Schene, A.H. Continuation and Maintenance Use of Antidepressants in Recurrent Depression. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 2008;77:17-26


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The above story is based on materials provided by Psychotherapy And Psychosomatics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Psychotherapy And Psychosomatics. "Does It Help To Continue Antidepressant Drug Treatment For Preventing Recurrence In Depression?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080117203139.htm>.
Psychotherapy And Psychosomatics. (2008, January 22). Does It Help To Continue Antidepressant Drug Treatment For Preventing Recurrence In Depression?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080117203139.htm
Psychotherapy And Psychosomatics. "Does It Help To Continue Antidepressant Drug Treatment For Preventing Recurrence In Depression?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080117203139.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

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