Clinicians who wish to treat rather than refer these or complex patients can consult the treatment algorithms derived from the Texas Medical Algorithm Project (TMAP).18 The goal of treatment is full remission of symptoms, but less than 50% of patients achieve this goal within 8 to 12 weeks. In general, if a patient has not shown marked improvement within 8 weeks, psychiatric consultation is recommended. Clearer guidelines for treatment augmentation and switching should be derived from the ongoing multisite NIMH contract, Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical Sequenced Treatment
Alternative to Relieve Depression (STARED).83 This large multicenter trial (ultimately enrolling more than 4000 patients nationwide) is prospectively evaluating alternative antidepressants and augmentation strategies for patients at three stages of treatment resistance. Psychotic depression Psychotic depression, representing over 15% of more severely depressed cases,84 is characterized by the presence of either delusions or hallucinations, Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical which are often but not always congruent with the depressive themes. Psychotic depression has less than one half the likelihood of responding to antidepressant monotherapy compared with a nonpsychotic depressive disorder.85-88 Initially, TCAs, especially in the higher dose range, were used. Subsequent investigations indicated that TCAs combined with typical antipsychotics
provided Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical greater levels of efficacy (eg, amitriptyline and perphenazine).88 Although SSRIs alone have not been used routinely to treat psychotic depression, the use of an SSRI and an atypical antipsychotic has shown Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical efficacy greater than an SSRI alone.89 C-f 073 (mifepristone), a selective glucocorticoid receptor II (GRII) antagonist (not currently on the US market), has shown some promise in the acute treatment phase of psychotic depression.90 Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical In urgent situations or when other treatments have failed, electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) is warranted.
While ECT is efficacious (for psychotic depression), it has many drawbacks including the requirement that the treatment must be administered under anesthesia in a hospital setting or a similarly equipped ambulatory setting.91 click here Bipolar depression Bipolar depression (major depression in patients also experiencing Liothyronine Sodium periods of mania or hypomania) represents a major challenge to clinicians, since response to treatment is often poor and the process of achieving complete remission without a switch into mania is challenging. Generally, patients are already being treated with mood stabilizers. A number of investigators have pointed to the relatively poor response to traditional TCAs in this population.92-94 Most SSRIs demonstrate only moderate success. Recently, efforts to combine an SSRI with an atypical antipsychotic95 have shown promising results in bipolar depression.