Treatment-resistant depression is a big problem for older adults. More than half of seniors with clinical depression dont get relief from standard antidepressant medications. To address that problem, psychiatrists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are helming a multicenter study to evaluate the efficacy of supplementing current therapies with additional drugs, or changing medications altogether. The study will follow 1,500 people with depression from St. Louis and rural Missouri, Los Angeles, Western Pennsylvania, New York City, Toronto and rural Ontario. Study subjects will be 60 or older, and all will have failed to respond to treatment involving at least two antidepressants. Some subjects will take additional drugs during the study, and others will be switched to different medications. After treatment, the researchers will attempt to evaluate which types of patients respond best to specific treatment strategies.
TREATMENT-RESISTANT DEPRESSION IS A PARTICULAR PROBLEM FOR OLDER ADULTS. LESS THAN HALF OF SENIORS WITH CLINICAL DEPRESSION RESPOND COMPLETELY TO THE MOST COMMONLY USED ANTIDEPRESSANT DRUGS. SO NOW, RESEARCHERS AT WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE IN ST. LOUIS ARE LEADING A STUDY TO IDENTIFY BETTER WAYS TO PROVIDE RELIEF FOR THOSE WHO DONT CURRENTLY GET COMPLETE RELIEF FROM COMMON ANTIDEPRESSANT MEDICATIONS. JIM DRYDEN HAS THE STORY
ITS CALLED THE OPTIMUM STUDY AN ACRONYM FOR OPTIMIZING OUTCOMES OF TREATMENT-RESISTANT DEPRESSION IN OLDER ADULTS AND RESEARCHERS ARE RECRUITING 1500 PEOPLE OVER THE AGE OF 60 WHOSE DEPRESSION HASNT RESPONDED COMPLETELY TO DRUGS CALLED SELECTIVE SEROTONIN REUPTAKE INHIBITORS, OR SSRIs. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY PSYCHIATRIST ERIC LENZE IS LEADING THE OPTIMUM STUDY.
(act) :26 o/c these medications
Most older adults get either an incomplete benefit or an
insufficient benefit. Youll almost always receive a medication
that we call an SSRI. These are medications like Prozac or Paxil
or Zoloft or Lexapro. Half, or more, of older adults will have, as
I said, either an incomplete or a very insufficient benefit from
SOME PEOPLE IN THE STUDY WILL REMAIN ON WHATEVER DRUG THEYRE CURRENTLY USING, AND A SECOND DRUG WILL BE ADDED, TOO. ADDING A SECOND DRUG IS KNOWN AS AUGMENTATION, AND LENZE SAYS ITS A COMMON WAY TO TREAT MANY DISORDERS.
(act) :22 o/c first one
Many people might have high blood pressure or diabetes, and
they take one medication for it. And that helps some but not
enough, so they need to take a second medication. So in
depression treatment, if one treatment isnt enough, add a
second one that seems to work well with that first one.
OTHERS IN THE STUDY WILL GET A DIFFERENT DRUG ENTIRELY. THATS A STRATEGY THAT LENZE CALLS A SWITCH.
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The other line of thinking is, well if this medication isnt
working, dont stay on that medication because its not working
very well. So try switching to a different kind of medication.
THE REASON SWITCHING IS ATTRACTIVE, PARTICULARLY FOR OLDER ADULTS, IS THAT IT LIMITS THE NUMBER OF PILLS A PATIENT HAS TO TAKE.
(act) :14 o/c to do
If you get augmentation treatment, that means youre going to
be on two medications, so you might have more side effects.
You might have more risks, simply because youre on two
Medications, and right now, we dont know which is the best
thing to do.
THE AUGMENTATION AND SWITCH PATIENTS WILL BE EVALUATED AFTER 10 WEEKS OF TREATMENT, AND IF SOME STILL HAVE DEPRESSION, THEYLL BE PLACED INTO ANOTHER ARM OF THE STUDY IN WHICH OLDER, HARDER-TO-USE DRUGS MAY BE INTRODUCED AS TREATMENTS.
(act) :25 o/c like that
You might benefit from your doctor adding lithium. And in fact,
decades ago, thats what psychiatrists used to do. And this isnt
done very much anymore, in part because lithium can be difficult
to prescribe. You need to check someones kidney function. You need
to do blood levels of the medication, instruct them on how to stay
hydrated, and things like that.
OTHERS IN THE STUDY WILL GET AN OLDER TYPE OF ANTIDEPRESSANT DRUG CALLED NORTRIPTYLINE. LENZE SAYS THE RESEARCHERS HOPE THAT BY STUDYING ALL OF THESE DIFFERENT COMBINATIONS OF AUGMENTATION AND SWITCHING, THEY MAY BE ABLE TO IDENTIFY EFFECTIVE THERAPIES THAT CAN BE PERSONALLY TAILORED TO INDIVIDUAL PATIENTS. IM JIM DRYDEN…