Switching Medications May Help Depressed

DALLAS, May 19 (UPI) — One-third of teenagers with treatment-resistant depression — depressed for more than two years — were helped with medication changes, U.S. researchers say.

Principal investigator Dr. Graham Emslie, professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, said the study involved 334 teens ages 12-18, who exhibited traits of moderate to severe major depressive disorder, including thoughts of suicide. Historically, these patients usually have the worst treatment outcomes, Emslie says.


These teens failed to respond to the antidepressant medications selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, the most common drug used to treat depression. About 40 percent didn’t respond to the first treatment.

After three months, some 55 percent of the teens had their symptoms improve when they switched to a different antidepressant and participated in cognitive behavioral therapy.

After six months, the researchers say, nearly 39 percent of participants no longer had symptoms of depression.

The findings are published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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