Depression News: Faster relief?

For those who are depressed, medication may be one tool to utilize. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, for mild to moderate depression, psychotherapy alone may be the best treatment option. In cases of more severe (or major) depression, most people do best with a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Everyone is different, so it is important to discuss your particular needs with a qualified therapist, psychiatrist or medical doctor.

One problem for those seeking relief through medication (or therapy) is that it takes time to see improvement. Science Daily reports that a  New generation of rapid-acting antidepressants may provide faster results.

Conventional antidepressant treatments generally require three to four weeks to become effective, thus the discovery of treatments with a more rapid onset is a major goal of biological psychiatry.

Waiting even three weeks can be very problematic for those experiencing serious depressive symptoms. (For information about symptoms of depression see Depression Checklist). A new research study from the National Institutes of Health has identified that a medication, scopolamine,  appears to produce replicable rapid improvement in mood.

Scopolamine was found to reduce symptoms of depression within three days of the first administration. In fact, participants reported that they experienced relief from their symptoms by the morning after the first administration of drug,” explained Dr. Furey. “Moreover, one-half of participants experienced full symptom remission by the end of the treatment period. Finally, participants remained well during a subsequent placebo period, indicating that the antidepressant effects persist for at least two weeks in the absence of further treatment.

Elsevier (2010, March 6). New generation of rapid-acting antidepressants?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2010, from­ /releases/2010/03/100301111407.htm

Drevets et al. Replication of Scopolamine’s Antidepressant Efficacy in Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Biological Psychiatry, 2010; 67 (5): 432 DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.11.021

Kathleen Young, Psy.D.

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One Response to Depression News: Faster relief?

  1. Pingback: Depression Checklist « Dr. Kathleen Young: Treating Trauma in Chicago

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