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Antidepressant combinations: epidemiological considerations

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Agüera LF, Rojo JE, Ros S, de la Gándara J, de Pedro JM. Antidepressant combinations: epidemiological considerations.

Acta Psychiatr Scand 2005: 112 (Suppl. 428): 7–10. © 2005 Blackwell Munksgaard. Objective: 

To evaluate the treatment options in patients who do not respond appropriately to a single antidepressant alone. Method: 

The medical literature was reviewed. Results: 

A number of strategies are available if a patient fails to respond adequately to initial antidepressant treatment, including the combination with another psychoactive drug. Evidence published to date appears to suggest that benzodiazepines are the drugs most frequently combined with antidepressants. The combination of two antidepressants together is less common, occurring in approximately 5–15% of cases showing a poor initial response. The key figures involved in such co-prescription are psychiatrists. Conclusion: 

There appears to be considerable variability in the data concerning combined prescription of antidepressants, with differences arising depending on the type of physician, the type of patient or illness and the geographical area. It is also unclear how closely research findings parallel with what doctors do in everyday practice.

Keywords: antidepressants; depression; drug combinations; epidemiology

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Hospital Universitario12 de Octubre, Madrid 2: Hospital Universitàri de Bellvitge, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat 3: Hospital del Mar, Barcelona 4: Hospital General Yagüe, Burgos 5: Medical Department, Organon Spain SA, Barcelona, Spain

Publication date: November 1, 2005


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