20-Mar-13 9:00 AM  CST

New Study Suggests Antipsychotic Meds Not Very Helpful for Depression

A new study published in the March edition of PLOS Medicine’s Journal suggests that antipsychotic medications are not very helpful in treating depression.  Many times doctors will prescribe antipsychotic drugs in addition to antidepressant therapy to treat depression and many other emotional conditions.  Just a few of the antidepressant medications prescribed are drugs like Cymbalta, Prozac, Paxil, and Celexa and a few of the most common antipsychotic meds are Abilify, Seraquel, Risperidone, and Symbyax. 

Lead researcher of the study Glen Spielmans and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Metropolitan State University recently commented on the study.  “The evidence supporting the use of antipsychotics in depression is marginal.  Other options may be as effective and carry a lesser side-effect burden,” said Spielmans.  Besides drug therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and brain stimulation treatments are also ways in which depression can be treated. 

Other concerns such as uninsured patients and cost of antidepressants and antipsychotics make prescribing them difficult in some cases, therefore limiting treatment options.  Depending on the strength, brand, and whether a generic alternative is available can also make a huge difference in the way mental illnesses are treated.  In addition, major and minor side effects are also an issue with these types of drugs. 

In your pharmacy do you see many patients being prescribed antidepressants and antipsychotics for emotional conditions?  What is your opinion on their effectiveness in treating and managing depression? 

1.  HealthDay News Reports.  “Antipsychotic Meds Not That Helpful for Depression:  Study.”  Medline Plus.  Web.  13 Mar 2013. 

2.  Spielmans, Glen.  “Adjunctive Atypical Antipsychotic Treatment for Major Depressive Disorder:  A Meta-Analysis of Depression, Quality of Life, and Safety Outcomes.”  PLOS Medicine Journal.  Volume 10, Issue 3.  Web.  Mar 2013.

For additional information on this article, please contact:
Jennifer S. O'Reilly
Source: NPTAnews  

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