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Study: Depression May Require Multiple Treatments For Success

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Depression is difficult to treat because medication that works for one person doesn't always work for another. A new study shows doctors need to try multiple treatments on each patient to find one that works.

The study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, found two-thirds of depressed patients can be helped if they keep trying different medications until they find one -- or a combination -- that works.

"You should not rest until you have given multiple treatments and achieved remission, that is, all symptoms are gone," said Dr. Madhukar Trivedi, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Physicians need to be vigilant about following up with patients to see how well medications are working, and patients have to be involved in their treatment as well, Trivedi said.

"They should ask the right questions and also keep track of their symptoms and side-effects and bring it back to the doctor every time they come," he said.

Casey Thompson, who slipped into depression a few years ago, said she has finally found a combination of medications that work for her.

"Nothing that I did made me happy. I was just very very sad, and it just wasn't going away," Thompson said of her initial symptoms.

Doctors tried an anti-depressant, which she said helped but didn't solve the problem.

"I got a little better, but I wasn't to where I should have been," she said, noting that her condition improved when a second drug was added to her regimen. "I got much better. About six weeks after that, I was feeling wonderful."


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