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New drugs, old problems: Revisiting… Pharmacological management of treatment-resistant depression

  • Philip J. Cowen

Effective pharmacological management of depression resistant to antidepressant medication is best carried out in the context of a supportive and collaborative relationship, following a mutually agreed care plan. Simpler pharmacological approaches such as switching antidepressant classes are tried first, then augmentation is used if needed. New classes of antidepressants have made antidepressant combination a popular augmentation strategy, but lithium addition has most supporting evidence. The use of atypical antipsychotics as augmenting agents is increasing. For patients unresponsive to these strategies, monoamine oxidase inhibitors and electroconvulsive therapy remain important. Large randomised pragmatic trials are needed to help clinicians and patients make better treatment choices.

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New drugs, old problems: Revisiting… Pharmacological management of treatment-resistant depression

  • Philip J. Cowen
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