Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Two Continuation Treatments Found Effective for Depression

Continuing treatment of patients with major depressive disorder following acute-phase cognitive therapy works equally well regardless of whether patients are given fluoxetine or additional cognitive therapy, according to a study released today in JAMA Psychiatry.

The researchers randomized 241 adult responders out of a total of 523 who began treatment—86 to receive another eight months of cognitive therapy, 86 to receive fluoxetine, and 69 to receive a placebo.

Relapse or recurrence rates were almost the same for the continued cognitive-therapy and fluoxetine groups during the eight months of treatment, said the researchers. However, the cognitive-therapy patients were more likely to accept randomization, stay in treatment longer, and attend more treatment sessions than those in the other two cohorts.

While both forms of treatment demonstrated benefit over the course of the trial, the researchers cautioned that some patients may need further help. “After active therapies were discontinued, the preventive effects of both treatments dissipated, suggesting that some higher-risk patients may benefit from additional continuation/maintenance therapies,” concluded Robin Jarrett, Ph.D., of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, and colleagues.
For more information in Psychiatric News about treatments for depression, see “Brain-Area Activity Might Predict Depression Treatment Response.”

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