Depressed teens respond better to change of drugs

February 27th, 2008 - 12:39 pm ICT by admin  

New York, Feb 27 (IANS) There is some cheerful news for teens with depression that just refuses to go away, even with the help of medication. Teens are likely to get better if they switch to another antidepressant with a bit of psychotherapy, rather than relying solely on drugs, according to a large trial funded by National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH).

The results of the treatment of resistant depression in adolescents (TORDIA) trial are being published in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The findings should be encouraging for families with a teen in the throes of depression for some time, said David Brent, of the University of Pittsburgh.

“Even if a first attempt at treatment is unsuccessful, persistence will pay off. Being open to trying new evidence-based medications or treatment combinations is likely to result in improvement,” Brent said.

“About 40 percent adolescents with depression do not adequately respond to a first treatment course, and clinicians have no solid guidelines on how to choose subsequent treatments for these patients,” said NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel.

“The results from TORDIA bring us closer to personalizing treatment for teens who have chronic and difficult-to-treat depression.”

Brent and colleagues conducted TORDIA at six regionally dispersed clinics with 334 adolescents ages 12 to 18.

These teens had not responded to a previous two-month course of a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI), a type of antidepressant. They were randomly assigned to one of four interventions for 12 weeks.

Unlike similar studies, TORDIA did not exclude teens thinking about suicide or who had attempted suicide. They were included so that it would mirror real-world treatment situations, and its findings would be readily applicable to community settings.

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