The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
Drugs for Depression
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Superseded by The Medical Letter "Drugs for Depression" - Issue 1592, February 24, 2020
Complete remission of symptoms is the goal of antidepressant therapy; partial response is associated with an increased risk of relapse. Improvement can occur within the first two weeks of drug therapy, but it may take 4-8 weeks to achieve a substantial benefit. Fewer than 50% of patients with depression respond to first-line pharmacotherapy, and the rate of response decreases with each subsequent drug trial. Following remission after a first episode of depression, many experts recommend continuing antidepressant treatment at the same dose for at least 6-12 months to consolidate recovery. For patients with recurrent depressive episodes, long-term maintenance therapy can reduce the risk of recurrence.
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