ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
Depression in Children and Adolescents - Clinical Evidence Handbook
Depressive Disorders - Clinical Evidence Handbook
Antidepressants in Older Persons - Cochrane for Clinicians
Treatment-Resistant Depression - Article
ABSTRACT: Up to two thirds of patients with major unipolar depression will not respond to the first medication prescribed. Depression may be considered resistant to treatment when at least two trials with antidepressants from different pharmacologic classes (adequate in dose, duration, and compliance) fail to produce a significant clinical improvement. Evidence regarding the effectiveness of psychotherapy for treatment-resistant depression is limited. A recent high-quality trial found that patients who did not respond to citalopram and who received cognitive behavior therapy (with or without continued citalopram) had similar response and remission rates to those who received other medication regimens. Initial remission rates in that trial were 37 percent, and even after three additional trials of different drugs or cognitive behavior therapy, the cumulative remission rate was only 67 percent. In general, patients who require more treatment steps have higher relapse rates, and fewer than one half of patients achieve sustained remission. No treatment strategy appears to be better than another. Electroconvulsive therapy is effective as short-term therapy of treatment-resistant depression. There is no good-quality evidence that vagal nerve stimulation is an effective treatment for this condition.
ABSTRACT: Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an illness that can cause marked distress and disability. It often goes unrecognized and is undertreated. Primary care physicians should be familiar with the various ways obsessive-compulsive disorder can present and should be able to recognize clues to the presence of obsessions or compulsions. Proper diagnosis and education about the nature of the disorder are important first steps in recovery. Treatment is rarely curative, but patients can have significant improvement in symptoms. Recommended first-line therapy is cognitive behavior therapy with exposure and response prevention or a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. The medication doses required for treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder are often higher than those for other indications, and the length of time to response is typically longer. There are a variety of options for treatment-resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder, including augmentation of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor with an atypical antipsychotic. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a chronic condition with a high rate of relapse. Discontinuation of treatment should be undertaken with caution. Patients should be closely monitored for comorbid depression and suicidal ideation.
Mirtazapine: A Newer Antidepressant - Article
ABSTRACT: Mirtazapine is a newer antidepressant that exhibits both noradrenergic and serotonergic activity. It is at least as effective as the older antidepressants for treating mild to severe depression. Sedation is the most common side effect. Although agranulocytosis is the most serious side effect, it is rare (approximately one in 1,000) and usually reversible when the medication is stopped. Mirtazapine is relatively safe in overdose. Many clinicians consider mirtazapine a second-line or even third-line antidepressant to be used when older antidepressants are not tolerated or are ineffective. Physicians who are concerned about the risks of elevated lipid levels and agranulocytosis may choose to reserve mirtazapine as a third-line choice. It is particularly useful in patients who experience sexual side effects from other antidepressants. Mirtazapine is also a good choice in depressed patients with significant anxiety or insomnia. Although mirtazapine has been used successfully in Europe for a number of years, its place in the care of patients with depression in the United States has not yet been established.
ABSTRACT: Women experience depression twice as often as men. The diagnostic criteria for depression are the same for both sexes, but women with depression more frequently experience guilt, anxiety, increased appetite and sleep, weight gain and comorbid eating disorders. Women may achieve higher plasma concentrations of antidepressants and thus may require lower dosages of these medications. Depending on the patient's age, the potential effects of antidepressants on a fetus or neonate may need to be considered. Research indicates no increased teratogenic risk from in utero exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants. SSRIs are effective in treating premenstrual dysphoric disorder and many comorbid conditions associated with depression in women. Psychotherapy may be used alone in women with mild to moderate depression, or it may be used adjunctively with antidepressant drug therapy. Women who have severe depression accompanied by active suicidal thoughts or plans should usually be managed in conjunction with a psychiatrist.
Depression in Children and Adolescents - Article
ABSTRACT: Depression among children and adolescents is common but frequently unrecognized. It affects 2 percent of prepubertal children and 5 to 8 percent of adolescents. The clinical spectrum of the disease can range from simple sadness to a major depressive or bipolar disorder. Risk factors include a family history of depression and poor school performance. Evaluation should include a complete medical assessment to rule out underlying medical causes. A structured clinical interview and various rating scales such as the Pediatric Symptom Checklist are helpful in determining whether a child or adolescent is depressed. Evidence-based treatment guidelines from the literature are limited. Psychotherapy appears to be useful in most children and adolescents with mild to moderate depression. Tricyclic antidepressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are medical therapies that have been studied on a limited basis. The latter agents are better tolerated but not necessarily more efficacious. Because the risk of school failure and suicide is quite high in depressed children and adolescents, prompt referral or close collaboration with a mental health professional is often necessary.
ABSTRACT: The diagnosis of depression in older patients is often complicated by comorbid conditions, such as cerebrovascular disease or dementia. Tools specific for this age group, such as the Geriatric Depression Scale or the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia, may assist in making the diagnosis. Treatment decisions should consider risks associated with medications, such as serotonin syndrome, hyponatremia, falls, fractures, and gastrointestinal bleeding. Older white men with depression are at high risk of suicide. Depression is common after stroke or myocardial infarction, and response to antidepressant treatment has been linked to vascular outcomes. Depression care management is an important adjunct to the use of antidepressant medications. Structured psychotherapy and exercise programs are useful treatments for select patients.