Depressed Teens Respond Well to Combination Therapy

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

More than half of teenagers with the most debilitating forms of depression that do not respond to treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) show improvement after switching to a different medication combined with cognitive behavioral therapy, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center and their colleagues in a multicenter study have found. The 334 study participants, ranging in age from 12 to 18 and coming from six sites across the country, suffered from depression on average for about two years. The teenagers, who were evaluated between 2000 and 2006, exhibited moderate to severe major depressive disorder, many with suicidal ideation.

  • Nearly 55 percent of teenagers who failed to respond to a class of antidepressant medications known as SSRIs, responded when they switched to a different antidepressant and participated in cognitive behavioral therapy, which examines thinking patterns to modify behavior.
  • About 41 percent of participants responded after switching to either a different SSRI or to venlafaxine, a different kind of depression medication.

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