Treating stubborn depression

At least one in three patients with depression won’t respond well to a series of treatments and specialists in the field have joined together to outline practical treatments to tackle the issue.

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At least one in three patients with depression won’t respond well to a series of treatments and experts in the field have joined together to outline practical treatments to tackle the issue, in the Medical Journal of Australia Open.

UNSW Medicine researchers outlined the latest evidence-based drug treatment strategies based on studies including a United States trial of almost 3,000 patients. That trial found 30 per cent of patients failed to achieve remission of their depression after using up to four different antidepressants.

Scientia Professor Philip Mitchell, who heads the UNSW School of Psychiatry, and colleagues say doctors treating people who haven’t responded well to treatment should consider other general clinical issues such as missed psychiatric diagnoses and unresolved psychological issues before adopting a pharmacological strategy.

They also say the use of psychological interventions or other physical treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy should be considered “at each step in management”.

See the full MJA media release here.