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16 Oct

Why Do Some Antidepressants Take Weeks to Kick-In? Scientists Uncover Important New Clues

In a new study, researchers find patients who take SSRI antidepressants experience physical changes in their brain over the first few weeks of treatment.

Health News Results - 49

When It Comes to Weight Gain, Not All Antidepressants Are the Same

Weight gain is a common side effect of antidepressants, but some types cause people to pack on pounds more than others, a new study says.

Bupropion users are 15% to 20% less likely to gain a significant amount of weight than those taking the most common antidepressant, sertraline, res...

Slow-Release Ketamine Pill Eases Depression: Study

A new slow-release pill form of ketamine can quell hard-to-treat depression without producing psychedelic side effects normally associated with the drug, early research suggests.

Patients on the strongest dose of ketamine tablets saw significant improvement in their depression compa...

1 in 6 Patients Who Quit Antidepressants Get 'Discontinuation Symptoms'

Roughly 1 in 6 people who stop taking an antidepressant will experience symptoms caused by discontinuing the drug, a new review finds.

However, only 1 in 35 will experience severe symptoms after dropping their medication, researchers report June 5 in The Lancet Psychiatry jou...

Quick Withdrawal From Antidepressants Can Take Emotional, Cognitive Toll

People coming off antidepressants often struggle with emotional and social turmoil, especially if they quit their meds cold turkey, a new study reports.

Challenges reported by patients quitting antidepressants included feeling overwhelmed by their emotions, finding social situations less enjoyable, and feeling detached and less empathetic towards others.

"Some symptoms were so sever...

Postpartum Depression Pill Now Available to Women, Drug Maker Says

The first postpartum depression pill approved for use in the United States is now available to women who need it, the drug's makers announced Thursday.

Sold under the name Zurzuvae, the medication can quickly ease severe postpartum depression and help women regain their emotional equilibrium following childbirth.

The medication, which is now stocked in specialty pharmacies, can also...

New Postpartum Depression Drug Comes With Hefty Price Tag

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 8, 2023 (Healthday News) -- A new drug to treat postpartum depression will cost nearly $16,000 for a 14-day course of treatment, a price tag that has doctors worried that some patients won't be able to afford the medication.

Zurzuvae (zuranolone) was first ...

Ketamine's Antidepressant Benefit: Is It All in Your Head?

The party drug ketamine has gotten a lot of notice for its potential to help people with severe and persistent depression who haven't responded to other treatments.

But a new study has discovered the drug's effect may be in the heads of patients who take it.

Researchers from Stanford Medicine administered either ketamine or a placebo to 40 patients with depression who were already g...

Commonly Used Drug Might Be New Treatment Option for IBS

An inexpensive medication long used for depression and migraines now has a clinical trial to back up its off-label use for another condition that lowers quality of life: irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

In the study, British researchers found that those taking amitriptyline were almost twice as likely as those taking a placebo to see an improvement in IBS symptoms.

"We were delighted...

Some Antidepressants Take Weeks to Kick In, and Scientists May Now Know Why

Most folks know that certain antidepressants have to be taken for a few weeks before people start seeing improvement, and now a new study sheds light on that delay.

Scientists have discovered this is because of physical changes in the brain that unfold over those first few weeks of using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and lead to greater brain plasticity.

SSRIs incl...

Running vs. Meds: Which Works Best to Beat Depression?

Exercise has been dubbed "nature's antidepressant" by doctors for years, and now a new study confirms the notion.

The finding follows a four-month look at the impact that running had on anxiety and depression when compared to a common antidepressant.

SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) work by boosting levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that's a key player when it c...

Study Debunks Notion That Antidepressant Might Ease COVID Symptoms

A clinical trial designed to test repurposed medications for their impact on fighting COVID-19 has found no benefit to taking the antidepressant fluvoxamine (Luvox) to ease coronavirus symptoms.

The study, led by Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) in partnership with Vanderbilt University, found no symptom improvement in those taking the antidepressant at a dose of 100 milligrams (mg...

Antidepressants for Postpartum Depression Could Mean Better Mental Health for Kids, Too

If you are a new mom struggling with postpartum depression, taking antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may also bear benefits for your child's development.

That's according to new research that found the medications were associated with improvements in a child's behavior up to five years after birth.

Researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry, ...

Could Ativan Pose Harm to People Battling Pancreatic Cancer?

Sometimes patients with pancreatic cancer are prescribed the benzodiazepine lorazepam (Ativan) for anxiety, but that may be harming their health.

A new study found this treatment was linked to worse outcomes, with shorter survival times and faster disease progression.

Alternatively, those who took alprazolam (Xanax) had a significantly longer progression-free survival than patient...

Extended Use of Antidepressants May Help People With Bipolar Depression

Modern antidepressants could be effective for long-term treatment of some patients with bipolar disorder, a new trial suggests.

Current guidelines discourage use of antidepressants in these patients, over concerns that the drugs will trigger a manic episode.

But bipolar patients who remained on antidepressants for a whole year had fewer mood episodes than those who were switched to ...

The Most Common Depression Medications, Explained

You've been diagnosed with depression. What's next?

The cornerstone of treatment remains antidepressants, so it's likely your doctor will prescribe one for you, but which one might be best?

You will join millions around the world who struggle with how to treat the mental health disorder. An estimated 3.8% of the global population experiences depression, according to the

  • Ann Schreiber HealthDay Reporter
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  • May 26, 2023
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  • Depression Treatments: Medications, Lifestyle Changes & More

    Depression is a debilitating condition that can leave its millions of sufferers in despair.

    Globally, an estimated 5% of adults suffer from depression, according to the World Health Organization.

    Luckily, there are a variety of depression treatments that can help manage and ease symptoms. Thes...

    For Seniors on Antidepressants, Adding a Drug May Work Better Than Switching

    Many older adults with depression don't respond to their first antidepressant, so doctors will switch them to another one to see if that does the trick.

    Now, new research suggests that the best strategy for these folks may instead be to add the antipsychotic drug Abilify (aripiprazole) to the original antidepressant.

    "This is good news for older adults with difficult-to-treat ...

    Doctors Often Prescribe Antidepressants for Pain, But Do They Really Work?

    Antidepressants are often prescribed to people suffering from chronic pain, but a new evidence review argues that the science behind these prescriptions is shaky at best.

    These drugs helped people in chronic pain in only a quarter of potential uses tested, and even then the effect ranged from low to moderate, according to a combined analysis of 26 prior reviews.

    "We found that, for ...

    Depression Treatment Starts Changing the Brain Within 6 Weeks

    New research reveals that the brain is much more flexible than once thought and can change rapidly during treatment for major depression.

    People receiving inpatient treatment for major depression had increased brain connectivity after just six weeks, German researchers report.

    They compared brain connectivity -- various brain regions acting together in generating thought, emotion an...

    Study Debunks Use of Antidepressant Luvox as COVID Treatment

    A study testing drugs that are used for other conditions for their potential in treating COVID-19 has found that the antidepressant fluvoxamine (brand name Luvox) offered no benefit, at least at an initial smaller dose.

    Study participants took 50 mg of the medication twice daily for 10 days, hoping to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 symptoms. A control group took a placebo.

    "There w...

    With 'Chemical Imbalance' Theory in Doubt, What's Next for Depression Care?

    TUESDAY, Sept. 6, 2022 (HealthDay Now) -- For Mary Christ, the idea that depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain has always felt true to her personal experience.

    A former educator, Christ, 57, has taken antidepressants for much of her adult life. She experienced bouts of anxiety and panic attacks from...

    No Link Between Antidepressants in Pregnancy, Epilepsy in Children

    There's good news for women with a mental health condition: Taking antidepressants early in pregnancy doesn't increase a baby's risk of having epilepsy or seizures, researchers say.

    "The findings of this study are very important," said study co-author Ayesha Sujan of Indiana University Bloomington. "Pregnancy can be a trying time, and the addition of

  • By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
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  • May 12, 2022
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  • In Long Run, Antidepressants Don't Improve Quality of Life: Study

    Millions of Americans take antidepressants to combat low moods. But a large, new study suggests that these medications over time may do little to improve overall quality of life.

    "We found the change in health-related quality of life to be comparable or similar between patients that used antidepressant medications and those who did not use them," said study lead author Omar Almohammed, an...

    Certain Meds Raise Odds for Delirium After Surgery

    Older adults have a higher risk of delirium after hip and knee surgery if they're taking anxiety, depression or insomnia drugs, researchers say.

    "Our findings show that different classes of medicine are riskier than others when it comes to causing delirium after surgery, and the older the patients are, the greater the risk," said lead study author Gizat Kassie. He is a postdoctoral resear...

    Many Psychiatric Patients Are Getting Risky Drug Gabapentin 'Off-Label'

    Most prescriptions for the medication gabapentin are for unapproved uses -- and many patients end up taking it along with drugs that create potentially dangerous interactions.

    That's the conclusion of a new study that looked at "off-label" use of gabapentin. In the United States, the drug is officially approved for treating certain seizures and some forms of nerve pain.

    It's known, ...

    Certain Antidepressants Appear to Curb Severe COVID-19

    Certain commonly prescribed antidepressants appear to substantially lower the risk of dying among seriously ill COVID-19 patients, a large new study indicates.

    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are among the most widely prescribed drugs for the treatment of depression. They include drugs like Lexapro (escitalopram), Paxil (paroxetine) and Zoloft (sertraline).

    "We saw t...

    Placebo Effect Plays Big Role in Antidepressant's Impact on Anxiety: Study

    Illustrating the power of the mind to heal itself, new research suggests that the placebo effect could help drive antidepressants' effects against anxiety disorders.

    The placebo effect refers to an increase in the success of a treatment when a patient expects a benefit.

    In the new study, patients with s...

    Cheap Antidepressant Might Help Keep COVID Patients Out of Hospital

    A cheap and widely available antidepressant drug called fluvoxamine may reduce COVID-19 patients' risk of serious illness requiring hospitalization, according to a new study.

    The trial included almost 1,500 unvaccinated outpatients in Brazil. All of the patients tested positive for infection with SARS-CoV-2 and were deemed to be at high risk for a severe case of illness.


    Antidepressants Plus Common Painkillers May Raise Bleeding Risk

    Antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a mainstay of depression treatment, but a new study warns that taking common painkillers alongside SSRIs may raise the chances for intestinal bleeding.

    In a review of 10 published studies involving 6,000 patients, researchers found that those taking SSRIs (such as Celexa, Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft) and pain medicati...

    Stopping Antidepressants Raises Relapse Risk

    People who stop taking antidepressants after long-time use may face a high likelihood of spiraling into depression again, a new study suggests.

    British researchers found that among patients who stopped taking their antidepressants because they felt well, 56% relapsed within a year. That compared with 39% of patients who stayed on medication.

    Experts said the results offer some hard ...

    Loneliness Raises Opioid Dangers in Seniors: Study

    Illustrating a heartbreaking cycle, new research finds that lonely seniors are much more likely to take opioid painkillers, sedatives, anti-anxiety drugs and other medications.

    This puts them at increased risk for drug dependency, attention problems, falls, accidents and mental decline, the University of California, San Francisco researchers warned.

    "There's a misconception that as ...

    'Laughing Gas' Shows Promise Against Tough-to-Treat Depression

    When antidepressants fail to rein in hard-to-treat depression, the common anesthetic most know as "laughing gas" might be a safe and effective alternative, new research suggests.

    The finding follows work with 28 patients struggling with "treatment-resistant major depression," a severe condition that investigators say affects about one-third of all patients - an estimated 17 million Americ...

    Are You Taking a Med That's Raising Your Blood Pressure?

    Nearly one in five Americans with high blood pressure use medications that can cause blood pressure to spike, a preliminary study shows.

    The researchers said the findings are concerning, given how many people have difficulty controlling their high blood pressure.

    "A large number of Americans are not meeting their blood pressure goals," said lead researcher Dr. John Vitarello, an int...

    'Magic Mushroom' Hallucinogen as Good as Antidepressants: Study

    The magic ingredient in "magic mushrooms" may be at least as effective as standard medication for depression, an early clinical trial suggests.

    The study of 59 patients with major depression tested the antidepressant escitalopram (Lexapro) against psilocybin, which is the psychedelic substance in hallucinogenic mushrooms.

    Over six weeks, it appeared that just two doses of psilocybi...

    Nearly All Seniors Take Meds That Raise Their Odds of Falling

    Among older Americans, deaths from falls are up sharply, dovetailing with a surge in use of medications that increase the risk of falling, researchers say.

    Two decades ago, about 57% of U.S. seniors took medications that increased their risk of falls. By 2017, that number had risen to 94%, and deaths caused by falls had more than doubled, a new study found.

    The medications are meant...

    Common Antidepressants Won't Raise Risk for Bleeding Strokes: Study

    The most widely prescribed antidepressants in the United States don't appear to increase the risk of the deadliest type of stroke, according to a new preliminary study.

    It examined the association between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and intracerebral hemorrhage. This is when a brain blood vessel bursts and blood spreads into the surrounding tissue.

    The most commo...

    AHA News: Certain Antidepressants Might Increase Stroke Risk for Young Adults With PTSD

    Certain types of antidepressants might be better than others for treating PTSD because they carry a lower risk of stroke, according to a new study.

    The research, published Thursday in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, looked at data from 1.1 million U.S. veterans. It's the largest-ever investigation of post-traumatic stress disorder and antidepressant-associated stroke risk i...

    An Antidepressant Might Help Prevent Severe COVID-19

    The antidepressant drug fluvoxamine -- best known by the brand name Luvox -- may help prevent serious illness in COVID-19 patients who aren't yet hospitalized, a new study finds.

    The study included 152 patients infected with mild-to-moderate COVID-19. Of those, 80 took fluvoxamine and 72 took a placebo for 15 days.

    By the end of that time, none of the patients who took the drug had ...

    Why Are Dementia Patients Getting Risky Psychiatric Drugs?

    As many as 3 in 4 older adults with dementia have been prescribed drugs that may pose a risk to them, researchers report.

    The drugs in the study included commonly prescribed medications that can affect the brain or nervous system, such as sedatives, painkillers and antidepressants.

    "There just is not a lot of evidence that these medications are helpful in people with dement...

    AI May Help Guide Patients to Most Effective Antidepressant

    Choosing the right antidepressant for someone who is depressed can be hit or miss. But a new study shows that artificial intelligence (AI) technology may be able to help.

    Researchers input information from electrical signals in the brain into a computer program that learns as it goes. Based on brain activity, the AI technology helped predict whether or not an antidepressant will help...

    What Works Best to Treat Depression?

    "Talk therapy" for depression may cost more than medication initially, but in the long run, both may have a similar payoff, a new study finds.

    The study estimated the cost-effectiveness of the two treatments. It found that over one year, antidepressants offered more value for the money. But when the researchers looked at the five-year picture, talk therapy seemed to provide more bene...

    Antidepressant Doesn't Ease Obsessive Behaviors of Autism

    The commonly used antidepressant Prozac doesn't appear to help reduce obsessive-compulsive behavior in children and teens with autism, new research suggests.

    The study randomly compared use of the drug to a placebo over 16 weeks. In the end, the researchers saw no meaningful clinical benefits from the drug.

    "We found that there was little evidence for the effectiveness of ...

    Could Eating Healthier Be a Natural Antidepressant?

    Kids have long heard the refrain: Eat your vegetables to grow up big and strong. But a healthy diet may make you happier, too, according to Australian researchers.

    That was the effect eating healthier had in a small study of young adults with poor diets and moderate-to-high symptoms of depression. Those who embraced healthier food choices reported less anxiety and much better moods w...

    Aspirin, Antihistamines: Kids Often Use OTC Drugs in Suicide Attempts

    More teens are attempting suicide by overdosing on drugs, and new research suggests they are often turning to over-the-counter (OTC) medications like ibuprofen and aspirin in their efforts.

    Antidepressants, antipsychotics and antihistamines were also common choices, the researchers added.

    "What we were seeing was youth increasing suicide attempts using medications readily av...

    Antidepressants Might Raise Odds for Serious Pregnancy Complication

    TUESDAY, Oct. 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Treating depression during pregnancy can be vital to the health of both mother and child, but new research suggests that taking antidepressants may make a woman more vulnerable to gestational diabetes.

    Specifically, the drugs venlafaxine (Effexor) and amitriptyline (Endep) were associated with the highest risk, especially when taken for a lon...

    Experimental Drug Works Quickly on Major Depression

    Antidepressants typically take four to eight weeks to ease the debilitating symptoms of depression, but an early clinical trial found a new type of drug brought relief in just two weeks.

    "SAGE-217, once fully developed, has potential to offer relatively quick and clinically meaningful alleviation of depressive symptoms in patients with moderate to severe major depressive disorder," sa...

    What Treatments Work Best to Prevent Suicide?

    If you or someone you love is thinking about suicide, a new review points to effective treatments that can reduce suicide risk.

    Some involve therapy -- cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) -- while others involve medication, such as ketamine (by infusion) or lithium.

    "People should be aware that there are treatments, such as CBT or DBT that c...

    Easing Depression Can Bring Longer Life to People With Diabetes

    Treating depression may have an added benefit for people with diabetes -- longer life.

    A large new study from Taiwan found that antidepressants cut the risk of dying during the study period by more than one-third for people with diabetes and depression.

    "The first nationwide population-based study showed antidepressant use was associated with significantly reduced mortalit...

    FDA Poised to Approve Ketamine-Like Drug to Ease Depression

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration could give its approval this week to esketamine -- a relative of the "club drug" and anesthetic ketamine -- against severe depression.

    If that approval comes, it could be the first new class of medicines approved for years against an illness that plagues millions of Americans.

    Approval couldn't be too soon for Jen Godfrey, who couldn't s...

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