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Antipsychotics and the Treatment of Depression

Atypical Antipsychotics to Treat Depression?

antipsychoticsAccording to a study led by St. Paul’s Metropolitan State University Department of Psychology’s Associate Professor Glen Spielmans, Ph.D., adding an atypical antipsychotic to the medication regiment for patients with depression may produce a small improvement in symptoms; however, this small improvement is not worth the adverse effects that come with them.[1]

Antipsychotics: Benefit Small

Spielmans and colleagues analyzed 14 randomized controlled trials in which antipsychotics were used to treat depression compared with a placebo.1 All of the trials showed that the antipsychotics had very small effects on depression remission, and in fact, did not provide a benefit regarding daily functioning and quality of life.1

Adverse Effects Associated with Antipsychotics

The antipsychotic trials came with their fair share of adverse effects, commonly including weight gain, akathisia, sedation, and abnormal metabolic laboratory panels.1 According to Spielmans, the long-term effects of these medicines are unknown and, therefore, should not be used to treat depression.1 Clinicians should be extremely careful when prescribing these medicines in persons with depression.1



[1] Brooks, M. (2013, March 18). ‘Unimpressive’ Evidence Base for Antipsychotics in Depression. Medscape News Today. Retrieved March 25, 2013, from www.medscape.com/viewarticle/781006?nlid=29463_1049&src=wnl_edit_dail antipsychotics.

One Comment

  • Darla

    September 27, 2013, 12:46 am

    I’m not a writer, but I do love to read and I know what I like. I also know good writing when I see it and this is very good.

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