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Carefully Monitored Treatment Can Help Those Who Suffer from Depression

g to tell your doctor if a medication isn’t working, if the dosage is bothering you or if you’re having side effects. Collaborate with your physician to find the right medication and dosage for you, and stay on it long enough to give it a chance to work.”

For clinicians, the study emphasizes the need for careful and regular monitoring and evaluation of patients, as well as highlights the critical value of remission as the end objective, Dr. Rush said.

“Remission is the thing you really, really want to try and achieve. And, follow-up is critical,” he said. “The more steps it takes to get better or to remission, the more carefully a patient needs to be followed, because the more likely that individual is to have a relapse.”

While more research is needed, STAR*D offers “clues,” Dr. Rush said, into the types of patients who require longer treatment for depression. These include people who suffer from other chronic medical conditions and/or additional psychiatric disorders, and individuals who have experienced longer and more disabling periods of depression before seeking treatment.

As for the one-third of individuals who didn’t reach remission, possible explanations include:

· There may be some depressions for which medications don’t work.

· Individual biological and genetic differences, as well as life circumstances and other medical conditions, may render some medication treatments ineffective.

· People suffering from long bouts of depression might have been helped earlier in the course of the disease, but may not achieve remission after lengthy chronic depression.

“This study emphasizes the importance of long-term management of this disease,” Dr. Rush said. “The short-term matters, but the long-term matterseven more.”

Source-Newswise
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