Research into the effectiveness of using two anti-depressants to treat depression

Study finds taking two medications for depression does not hasten recovery

By Phil Lord

Research into the effectiveness of using two anti-depressants to treat depression finds this approach to depression treatment does not hasten recovery from depression. Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found in a national study that there is little or no advantage of dual medication use.

‘The clinical implications are very clear – the extra cost and burden of two medications is not worthwhile as a first treatment step’ said Dr. Madhukar H. Trivedi, professor of psychiatry and chief of the division of mood disorders at UT Southwestern and principal investigator of the study.

Six Hundred and sixty five patients, aged between 18 and 75 and suffering from major depressive disorders were used in the study.  They were split into three groups.  Two groups took two different approved anti-depressants whilst the other took one anti-depressant and a placebo.  The outcome of this year long study was that there was little or no difference between the three groups.

The next step, Dr. Trivedi said, is to study biological markers of depression to see if researchers can predict response to antidepressant medication and, thus, improve overall outcomes.

Anyone reading this who is currently taking two anti-depressants for their depressive condition should not, however, rush to get rid of one of them.  This is only a research into ‘the first step treatment’ of patients and quite obviously a great deal more research needs to be done.  It is, however, encouraging to read that such extensive studies are being carried out into a condition that affects so many people all over the world and from all walks of life. 

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