Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Dual Medications for Depression Increase Costs and Side Effects with Little Benefit

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Dual Medications for Depression Increase Costs and Side Effects with Little Benefit

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Taking two medications for depression, which affects 19 million Americans each year, does not hasten recovery from the condition.

"Clinicians should not rush to prescribe combinations of antidepressant medications as first-line treatment for patients with major depressive disorder," said Dr. Madhukar H. Trivedi, Professor of Psychiatry and Chief of the Division of Mood Disorders at the University of Texas in Dallas and principal investigator of the study.

"The clinical implications are very clear: the extra cost and burden of two medications is not worthwhile as a first treatment step," he said.

In the Combining Medication to Enhance Depression Outcomes study (CO-MED), researchers at 15 sites in the United States evaluated 665 patients 18 to 75 years of age with major depressive disorder. Three treatment groups were given antidepressants approved by the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.).

One group received eseitalopram (Lexapro[R], a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI) and a placebo. The second group received the same SSRI paired with bupropion (Wellbutrin[R], a non-tricyclic anti-depressant). …

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