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A new generation of rapid-acting antidepressants?
Date:3/1/2010

euptake inhibitors or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, were explicitly designed to avoid blocking muscarinic receptors. Yet, the current data raise the possibility that this strategy may have increased safety and tolerability of these medications at the expense of providing effective and timely relief for depression symptoms.

Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry, commented that these findings "have the potential to raise expectations for new antidepressant treatments. Three-to-six weeks is a long time to wait for depression symptoms to be alleviated. Depressed people describe their emotional state using terms like 'agony' and others compare their condition to 'living in hell'. Further, depression is a life-threatening condition for some, preventing them from performing basic self-care functions or causing them to exhibit self-destructive behavior."

Although these findings open the door to a conceptually different approach to the treatment of depression, it remains to be seen whether rapid acting antidepressant effects will be viable clinically. One could imagine that they might mitigate hospitalization in some patients and enhance the overall effectiveness of the treatment of depression. However, this possibility remains to be demonstrated empirically in studies that show that a rapid-acting antidepressant treatment can be smoothly transitioned to definitive long-term treatment for depression.


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Contact: Maureen Hunter
m.hunter@elsevier.com
215-239-3674
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

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