We are excited to welcome Jessica Booth, LMFT, LCAS-A as our newest provider! Jessica is a full-time integrated CPCH team member who focuses on helping patients individually, as a couple, as a family, or in support groups. Please welcome Jessica!
When Prozac was first introduced in 1987, it generated a wave of excitement – finally, there seemed to be a new antidepressant medication with fewer side effects that worked well. Over the years, there has been a shift towards disappointments – efficacy of antidepressants seems low, side effects seem high, and placebo effects may be larger than we first thought.
To date, we do not have a good explanation for why antidepressants work for some people and not others. Perhaps our best data comes from a government study called STAR-D (Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression)*. This study showed that about the first antidepressant medication eliminated depression in about one-third of patients and improved depression in about one-half of patients. In the next level, some patients had a medication switch, and depression was eliminated in another one-quarter of these patients. Other patients tried to add on another medication and about one-third of these patients became symptom-free. There were an addition third and fourth level switch available. Over the course of the total four levels, about 70% of patients became symptoms free.
So what does this mean? Even in a controlled study, there were 30% of patients who did not become symptom-free, even after 4 different medication changes! Clearly, medication does not work for everyone.
So what can you do? Here are some options you can consider:
Live mentally healthy,
Dr. Jennie Byrne
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