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Antidepressants don't improve all symptoms of depression

many antidepressants.jpg

Antidepressants aren't a cure-all. That's according to a new analysis from UT Southwestern Medical Center, which found that many patients for whom the medication citalopram was otherwise effective still experienced residual depressive symptoms.

Researchers used data from the largest existing study on the treatment of depression and, according to a release:

[They] tracked a wide range of symptoms of depression - including sadness, suicidal thoughts, and changes in sleep patterns, appetite/weight, concentration, outlook and energy/fatigue - at the start of the trial and at the end of the antidepressant treatment course.


All responders reported between three to 13 residual depressive symptoms, and 75 percent of participants reported five symptoms or more.

Some of their symptoms included insomnia that occurs in the middle of the night (nearly 79 percent); sadness (nearly 71 percent); and decreased concentration and decision-making skills (nearly 70 percent). Moderately severe midnoctural insomnia was reported in nearly 60 percent of participants - more than twice as frequently as other symptoms.

The study (subscription required) appears in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, and lead author Shawn McClintock, PhD, says it shows the need to develop targeted therapies to help patients manage their other symptoms.

Photo by Amanda M Hatfield

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