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Vol. 75, No. 3, 2006
Issue release date: April 2006
Section title: Innovations
Psychother Psychosom 2006;75:139–153
(DOI:10.1159/000091771)

Current Status of Augmentation and Combination Treatments for Major Depressive Disorder: A Literature Review and a Proposal for a Novel Approach to Improve Practice

Fava M. · Rush A.J.
aDepression Clinical and Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., and bUT Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, Tex., USA

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Innovations

Published online: 4/21/2006

Number of Print Pages: 15
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 0

ISSN: 0033-3190 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0348 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/PPS

Abstract

Most patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) do not reach symptom remission. These patients with residual symptoms have worse function and worse prognosis than those who remit. Several augmentation and combination treatments are used to either increase the chances of achieving remission or to eliminate/minimize residual depressive symptoms. Evidence for these pharmacological approaches rests primarily on open, uncontrolled studies, and there are clearly not enough controlled studies. Clinicians should carefully weigh these different treatment options to increase their patients’ chances of achieving and sustaining remission from depression. This paper will review the pertinent studies and will propose a novel approach to improve practice involving the use of augmentation or combination strategies at the outset of initial treatment to primarily enhance the chances of remission through synergy and/or a broader spectrum of action. This novel approach could potentially enhance retention and/or increase remission rates since the lack of response with antidepressant monotherapy may lead many depressed patients with little or no benefit to drop out of treatment, precluding the subsequent use of augmentation or combination strategies altogether. In addition, the emergence of certain side-effects (e.g., agitation, insomnia) or the persistence of some initial baseline symptoms (e.g., anxiety, insomnia) may lead to premature discontinuation from monotherapy in the absence of concomitant use of augmenting pharmacological options targeting these symptoms.


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Innovations

Published online: 4/21/2006

Number of Print Pages: 15
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 0

ISSN: 0033-3190 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0348 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/PPS


Copyright / Drug Dosage

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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

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