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Research on Depression in the Workplace.

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Mental Health Matters Journal for Psychiatrists & GP's

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NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - For people suffering from depression that
doesn't respond to treatment with one type of antidepressant, switching to a
different type may be the best treatment, according to a new report.

Relatively new antidepressants such as Prozac and Zoloft, for example, are
called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs. In recent clinical
trials, only about a third of depressed patients achieved remission with
SSRI treatment, the authors explain, but there is little consensus among
psychiatrists about the best treatment for patients when an SSRI doesn't

To look into this, Dr. George I. Papakostas from Harvard Medical School,
Boston, and his associates conducted an analysis of four clinical trials
that compared a switch to a second SSRI versus a non-SSRI antidepressant for
SSRI-resistant major depression.

The pooled data included 1496 patients who had not responded to treatment
with one SSRI and were subsequently randomly assigned to treatment with
another SSRI or a non-SSRI antidepressant.

Patients randomized to switch to a non-SSRI antidepressant were slightly
more likely to experience remission than patients who were switched to a
second SSRI, the researchers report in the medical journal Biological

However, the non-SSRI antidepressants were somewhat less well tolerated than
the SSRIs.

The results indicate that current treatments for depression are still less
than ideal. "There continues to be a pressing need to introduce new
antidepressant medications," comments Dr. John Krystal, the journal's

SOURCE: Biological Psychiatry, April 1, 2008.


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