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What prescribers and patients do not know of the side effects of antidepressants

Newer generation antidepressant drugs are widely used as the first line of treatment for major depressive disorders and are considered to be safer than tricyclic agents. In the current issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics an international group of investigators outlines the side effects that long-term treatment with antidepressant drugs may induce. Their analysis showed that several side effects are transient and may disappear after a few weeks following treatment initiation, but potentially serious adverse events may persist or ensue later. The senior Author of the paper, Giovanni A. Fava, M.D., commented: “It is very unlikely that most of the prescribers of antidepressant drugs are aware of these side effects, because of a tight censorship that has been in action all these years.”

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Psychotherapy is warranted to prevent relapse in depression: drugs alone are not the answer

The results of a recent meta-analytic study provide further evidence that psychotherapy, in particular cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and its modifications such as well-being therapy (WBT), may play a key role in preventing relapse among depressed patients treated with antidepressant drugs. The sequential use of psychotherapy directed toward residual symptoms after response to acute-phase pharmacotherapy has been shown to yield long-term benefits, either during continuation or after discontinuation of antidepressant medication. In fact, psychotherapy may generate skills that patients can continue to use after treatment ends to manage their own affective states, reducing risks for relapse or recurrence. Read more:


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