Anti-depressants help but may rob you of sleep

April 21st, 2011 - 3:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, April 21 (IANS) Anti-depressants cut both ways — they may banish your blues but can also cheat you of sleep and affect your concentration, a study says.

These findings were made by researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center after analysing data from one of the largest studies on the treatment of depression.

“Widely used anti-depressant medications, while working overall, missed these symptoms,” said Shawn McClintock, assistant professor of psychiatry who led the analysis.

“If patients have persistent residual symptoms, these individuals have a high probability of incomplete recovery,” said McClintock, reports the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology.

Southwestern researchers tracked symptoms of depression, including sadness, suicidal thoughts, and changes in sleep patterns, appetite, weight, concentration, outlook, energy and fatigue, at the beginning and end of the treatment.

The six-year National Institute of Mental Health-sponsored study initially included more than 4,000 patients with major depressive disorder from clinics across the US, according to a Southwestern statement.

Madhukar Trivedi, professor of psychiatry at Southwestern, was co-principal investigator and study author.

All respondents 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).

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