A survey of prescribing practices in the treatment of depression.
ABSTRACT With the increasing number and type of antidepressants available to clinicians, there is a need to better understand current prescribing practices and to what degree these practices reflect research findings. The purpose of this study was to examine prescribing practices in a sample of psychiatrists attending a psychopharmacology review course and compare these results with empirical evidence.
439 of 800 clinicians asked (55%) responded to a 10-item questionnaire that was given prior to beginning the review course. Items covered three major content areas: first-line preferences in the treatment of depression, antidepressant agents most associated with certain side effects, and first-line preferences in the treatment of certain depressive subtypes.
214 (49%) clinicians indicated a belief that one antidepressant type is more efficacious than others. Of these 214 clinicians, 103 (48%) indicated selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) as being most efficacious, while 53 (25%) indicated venlafaxine as being most efficacious; 378 (93%) clinicians indicated SSRIs as their first-line treatment preference. Mirtazapine (56%) was endorsed as most likely to be associated with weight gain, fluoxetine (57%) with sexual dysfunction, paroxetine (48%) with a discontinuation syndrome, and fluoxetine (52%) with agitation. For the treatment of anxious, atypical, and melancholic depression, SSRIs were the first choice of treatment (58%, 57%, and 57%), and for depression with prominent insomnia, mirtazapine and nefazadone (31% and 27%) were the first choices of treatment.
Despite the lack of evidence of a significant difference in efficacy between older and newer agents, clinicians perceive the newer agents to be more efficacious than the older drugs [tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)] even in the melancholic and anxious depressive subtypes. Similarly, although sexual dysfunction and agitation appear to occur at similar rates with all the SSRIs, fluoxetine was perceived to be most likely to cause these side effects. These findings are significant as they highlight the discrepancy between empirical evidence and clinical practices and suggest that other factors influence clinicians' medication choices in the treatment of depression.
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ABSTRACT: Use of psychostimulants such as methylphenidate (Ritalin) in medical treatments and as cognitive enhancers in the healthy is increasing. Methylphenidate produces some addiction-related gene regulation in animal models. Recent findings show that combining selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants such as fluoxetine with methylphenidate potentiates methylphenidate-induced gene regulation. We investigated the endurance of such abnormal gene regulation by assessing an established marker for altered gene regulation after drug treatments – blunting (repression) of immediate-early gene (IEG) inducibility – 14 days after repeated methylphenidate + fluoxetine treatment in adolescent rats. Thus, we measured the effects of a 6-day repeated treatment with methylphenidate (5 mg/kg), fluoxetine (5 mg/kg) or their combination on the inducibility (by cocaine) of neuroplasticity-related IEGs (Zif268, Homer1a) in the striatum, by in situ hybridization histochemistry. Repeated methylphenidate treatment alone produced modest gene blunting, while fluoxetine alone had no effect. In contrast, fluoxetine given in conjunction with methylphenidate produced pronounced potentiation of methylphenidate-induced blunting for both genes. This potentiation was seen in many functional domains of the striatum, but was most robust in the lateral, sensorimotor striatum. These enduring molecular changes were associated with potentiated induction of behavioral stereotypies in an open-field test. For illicit psychostimulants, blunting of gene expression is considered part of the molecular basis of addiction. Our results thus suggest that SSRIs such as fluoxetine may increase the addiction liability of methylphenidate.12/2014; 4:109-116. DOI:10.1016/j.baga.2014.10.001
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ABSTRACT: The potential of personalized medicine to transform the treatment of mood disorders has been widely touted in psychiatry, but has not been quantified. We estimated the costs and benefits of a putative pharmacogenetic test for antidepressant response in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) from the societal perspective. Specifically, we performed cost-effectiveness analyses using state-transition probability models incorporating probabilities from the multicenter STAR*D effectiveness study of MDD. Costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) were compared for sequential antidepressant trials, with or without guidance from a pharmacogenetic test for differential response to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Likely SSRI responders received an SSRI, whereas likely nonresponders received the norepinephrine/dopamine reuptake inhibitor bupropion. For a 40-year old with MDD, applying the pharmacogenetic test and using the non-SSRI bupropion for those at higher risk for nonresponse cost $93,520 per additional QALY compared with treating all patients with an SSRI first and switching sequentially in the case of nonremission. Cost per QALY dropped below $50,000 for tests with remission rate ratios as low as 1.5, corresponding to odds ratios approximately 1.8-2.0. Tests for differential antidepressant response could thus become cost effective under certain circumstances. These circumstances, particularly availability of alternative treatment strategies and test effect sizes, can be estimated and should be considered before these tests are broadly applied in clinical settings.Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 07/2009; 34(10):2227-36. DOI:10.1038/npp.2009.50 · 7.83 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The present meta-analysis addressed the empirical evidence regarding the treatment of major depression with atypical features. The superiority of monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) compared with other antidepressants in the treatment of major depression with atypical features has been frequently reported. According to the CONSORT Statement, studies included in our meta-analysis had to meet several criteria, especially a double-blind, controlled condition and an operational diagnosis according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-III or DSM-IV criteria, respectively. Four databases for research-based evidence were used in a systematic review: Medline, Embase, Psyndex and PsycInfo. Only eight publications met inclusion/exclusion criteria, resulting in 11 comparisons. Our results contrast an effect size of 0.45 (95% confidence interval) for a comparison of MAOIs vs. placebo with an effect size of 0.02 (95% confidence interval: - 0.10-0.14) for a comparison of MAOIs vs. selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. The effect size for MAOIs vs. tricyclic antidepressants was 0.27 (95% confidence interval: 0.16-0.42). MAOIs may be more effective for atypical major depressive disorder than tricyclic antidepressants. Most clinical research has been conducted on irreversible MAOIs. Additional studies testing more recently developed antidepressants (including reversible MAOIs) with an improved safety profile would be warranted. The available data are insufficient for a direct comparison between MAOIs and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.Psychiatry Research 02/2006; 141(1):89-101. DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2005.07.012 · 2.68 Impact Factor