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'Off-Label' Antidepressants Common, But Where's the Evidence?

Posted 6 hours ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22, 2017 – Doctors often prescribe antidepressants to tackle conditions like migraine headaches for which they aren't technically approved. Now, researchers say such "off-label" usage mostly occurs without clear scientific evidence backing up the treatments. A new Canadian study found that almost one-third of antidepressants are prescribed for pain, insomnia, migraine or other unapproved uses. But just 16 percent of those off-label prescriptions were found to be supported by strong research. Study lead author Jenna Wong described the findings as "eye-opening" but in line with the findings of prior investigations. Wong, a doctoral candidate in epidemiology, biostatistics, and occupational health at McGill University in Montreal, said she hopes the findings raise awareness among doctors. "Some physicians may not be aware that certain off-label antidepressant uses are not ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Insomnia, Lexapro, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Migraine, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Chronic Pain, Pristiq, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Effexor XR, Mirtazapine, Escitalopram, Savella

After Stroke, 'Blue' Light May Help Beat the Blues

Posted 8 hours ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22, 2017 – Depression is always a danger for people recovering from a debilitating stroke. But new research suggests that tweaking a rehabilitation facility's lighting system may help patients keep depression at bay. Specifically, the Danish study of stroke rehab patients found they were less prone to depression if the facility used "blue" light in its lighting system. Sunlight is humans' largest source of blue-spectrum light, noted a team led by Dr. Anders West, a stroke specialist at the University of Copenhagen. So, blue light is key to the circadian (day-night) "body clock" that helps guide bodily processes, the study authors explained. As such, blue light has been shown to increase memory and thinking skills, as well as alertness, the Danish team said. However, stroke patients are often kept in indoor rehabilitation facilities with artificial lighting systems that ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Pristiq, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Effexor XR, Escitalopram, Savella, Nortriptyline, Elavil

Some Partners Need Extra Loving This Valentine's Day

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 14, 2017 – The best gift you can give a stressed or depressed partner this Valentine's Day is extra love and support, researchers say. They surveyed more than 1,400 couples on self-esteem, levels of depression and mutual support. The study revealed that when one partner was feeling stressed, support from their mate was associated with improved self-esteem and lower risk of depression in the future. "Efforts from a partner to help alleviate stress may prevent the development or worsening of mental health problems and, in fact, could help keep the relationship healthy," said lead researcher Matthew Johnson. He's an assistant professor at the University of Alberta's Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, in Edmonton, Canada. "When we experience stress, especially high levels of stress, we are particularly vulnerable and perhaps that's why partner support ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Lexapro, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Pristiq, Social Anxiety Disorder, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Effexor XR

Brain Scans May Shed Light on Bipolar Disorder-Suicide Risk

Posted 31 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 31, 2017 – Among teens and young adults with bipolar disorder, researchers have linked brain differences to an increased suicide risk. About half of people with bipolar disorder – marked by extreme mood swings – attempt suicide and as many as one in five dies by suicide, the study authors said. For the new study, teens and young adults with bipolar disorder underwent brain scans. Compared with those who had not attempted suicide, those who had attempted suicide had slightly less volume and activity in areas of the brain that regulate emotion and impulses, and in the white matter that connects those areas. "The findings suggest that the frontal cortex is not working as well as it should to regulate the circuitry," said study senior author Dr. Hilary Blumberg. "That can lead to more extreme emotional pain, difficulties in generating alternate solutions to suicide and ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Lexapro, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Seroquel, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Abilify, Sertraline, Pristiq, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Effexor XR, Mania

Obamacare Covered More People With Mental Illness, Addictions

Posted 20 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 20, 2017 – More Americans with mental illness and substance abuse disorders got health insurance after the Affordable Care Act was introduced, a new study shows. However, these patients still face significant barriers to treatment, the Johns Hopkins researchers added. "The Affordable Care Act has been very effective in reducing the uninsured rate in this vulnerable population, where there is a real need to get people into services," said study leader Brendan Saloner. He's an assistant professor in the department of health policy and management. "We got more people covered, but we didn't make dramatic progress in closing the under-treatment gap," Saloner said in a university news release. "We need to find ways to take the next step and ensure people are seeing the providers who can help them." For the study, researchers reviewed data from nearly 30,000 adults, aged 18 to ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Lexapro, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Opiate Dependence, Seroquel, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Trazodone, Abilify, Sertraline, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Demi Lovato Wants to Change the Face of Mental Illness

Posted 1 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 30, 2016 – Since her 2008 breakthrough role in the Disney Channel musical "Camp Rock," singer and actress Demi Lovato has released five best-selling albums and a slew of hit singles. Numerous music awards have followed, as has a stint as a judge on the TV megahit "The X Factor." But for the 44 million American adults struggling with mental illness, it's the 24-year-old's decision to share her own mental health battles that may rank as her most meaningful achievement to date. "I've been very, very open about my story," said Lovato. "I was diagnosed when I was 18 with bipolar disorder," a condition shared by roughly 13 million Americans. "And ever since, I've been doing whatever I could to raise awareness about mental illness, and mental health, in America." Since 2015, Lovato has served as the public face of the "Be Vocal" initiative. It's a campaign that brings together ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Lexapro, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Pristiq, Bupropion, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Viibryd, Effexor XR

Could New 'Talk Therapy' Cut Cost of Treating Depression?

Posted 23 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 22, 2016 – A simpler and less expensive form of talk therapy is as effective as the gold-standard treatment – cognitive behavioral therapy – for treating depression in adults, a new study suggests. The researchers found that so-called behavioral activation therapy treats depression just as well as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). But behavioral activation can be provided by mental health workers with minimal training and is significantly cheaper, the study authors contended. Cognitive behavioral therapy is provided by highly trained and highly paid specialists. In many countries, CBT is available only to patients who can afford it or who have health insurance, and waiting lists can be long. For example, in the United States, only about one-fourth of people with depression have received any form of psychological therapy in the last 12 months, the researchers said. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Pristiq, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Effexor XR, Mirtazapine, Escitalopram, Savella, Remeron

1 in 13 Young Adults in U.S. Considered Suicide in Past Year

Posted 16 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 16, 2016 – About one in 13 young adults in the United States had serious thoughts of suicide in 2013-2014, federal officials reported Thursday. That rate of 7.4 percent translates into 2.6 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 25, researchers said. "Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among young adults, and it is preventable," said Kana Enomoto. She's principal deputy administrator at the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which released the report. "We need to reach out to young people with the message that help is at hand, and promote effective programs for saving lives by treating people at risk whenever and wherever they need it," Enomoto added in an agency news release. One expert said help is out there for the troubled, but more must be done. "Breaking down barriers regarding mental health, improving access to ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Pristiq, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Effexor XR, Mirtazapine, Escitalopram, Savella, Remeron

Antidepressants Not Just for Depression Any More

Posted 24 May 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 24, 2016 – Doctors prescribe antidepressants for a wide range of medical problems other than depression, apparently fueling the boom in sales of these medications, researchers report. Depression accounts for only a little more than half the antidepressant prescriptions issued by Quebec physicians during the past decade, the Canadian study found. Doctors also issued antidepressants to treat anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, panic disorders, fibromyalgia, migraine, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and a host of other "off-label" conditions for which the drugs are not approved, according to the report. Two out of every three non-depression prescriptions for antidepressants were handed out under an off-label purpose, the findings showed. "The thing that's of concern here is that when prescribing for conditions other than depression, often these are for indications such as ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Depression, Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Headache, Insomnia, Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Lexapro, Zoloft, Fibromyalgia, Sleep Disorders, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Migraine, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram

Could Inducing Brief, Mild 'Fever' Help Ease Depression?

Posted 16 May 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 16, 2016 – Temporarily raising the body temperature of people who are depressed seems to ease symptoms for up to six weeks, a small new study finds. The treatment, known as whole-body hyperthermia, essentially gives patients a mild, transient fever, the researchers explained. Similar to some antidepressant drugs, the treatment is thought to work by activating a part of the brain that produces the chemical serotonin. This brain region is less active in people with depression, the researchers explained. "Our hope is to find better and faster-acting treatments for depression than the antidepressants currently in use," said lead researcher Dr. Charles Raison of the University of Wisconsin. "We think that using heat to stimulate the skin activates serotonin-producing cells in the mid-brain, which then produce a change in how the brain functions," he explained in a university ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Trazodone, Sertraline, Fever, Pristiq, Bupropion, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Viibryd

Many Suicidal People Make Long-Term Recovery, Study Shows

Posted 17 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17, 2016 – Nearly four in 10 people who seriously consider suicide end up recovering long-term, achieving a mental state that's free of suicidal symptoms or thoughts, a new Canadian study finds. Certain factors help, however: The chances of recovery are more than seven times greater when a patient has a close confidant to trust and count on, researchers from the University of Toronto reported. "Most people will eventually have to deal with tragedy," said study co-author Philip Baiden, a doctoral candidate and graduate fellow at the university's Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. "So this speaks to the general importance of having somebody to confide in. It can be challenging to find these people, even if you have a lot of friends. But having people you can draw on to have an intimate personal conversation with, and who can offer you some support, can be very ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Trazodone, Sertraline, Pristiq, Bupropion, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Viibryd, Effexor XR

Parent's Depression May Harm Child's Grades, Study Finds

Posted 3 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3, 2016 – A child's grades in school might suffer if a parent is suffering from depression, according to a new study. Researchers found that Swedish teens received lower grades during their final year in school if either of their parents had previously been diagnosed with depression. The difference in grades was noticeable but not huge, said senior author Brian Lee, an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Drexel University's Dornsife School of Public Health in Philadelphia. "It's not an entire letter grade drop, but at the same time it might be the difference between a student passing or failing," Lee said. Parents' depression could affect the children's home lives, causing stress that impacts their academic performance, Lee said. "Depression is a social disease," he said. "It doesn't just affect you. It affects your relationships as well. If there's ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Trazodone, Sertraline, Pristiq, Bupropion, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Viibryd, Effexor XR

Did Studies Lack Key Data on Link Between Antidepressants, Youth Suicides?

Posted 28 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 27, 2016 – Antidepressants appear to be much more dangerous for children and teens than reported in medical journals, because initial published results from clinical trials did not accurately note instances of suicide and aggression, a new study suggests. Young people actually have a doubled risk of aggression and suicide when taking one of the five most commonly prescribed antidepressants, according to the new analysis published in the Jan. 27 issue of BMJ. Earlier published drug trial results masked those risks by not accurately reporting suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts, and by not emphasizing instances of increased aggression, said study author Tarang Sharma, a researcher with the Nordic Cochrane Centre at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. The new analysis revealed these risks by skipping the published studies, and instead gathering information from ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Trazodone, Sertraline, Pristiq, Bupropion, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Viibryd, Effexor XR

Can Early Menopause Trigger Depression Later in Life?

Posted 6 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 6, 2016 – Premature menopause may increase a woman's later risk of depression, a new review suggests. If further studies confirm the findings, doctors might try to identify women most likely to need psychiatric or hormonal treatment after their periods end, the researchers said. For the study, published online Jan. 6 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, researchers analyzed the results of 14 studies that included nearly 68,000 older women. Those whose menopause began when they were 40 and older had a lower risk of depression later in life than those with premature menopause, the study found. Women who are older when menopause begins and have a longer reproductive life have greater exposure to the hormone estrogen, the study authors said in a journal news release. The findings suggest "a potentially protective effect of increasing duration of exposure to [natural] estrogens ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Trazodone, Sertraline, Pristiq, Bupropion, Amitriptyline, Hot Flashes, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Viibryd

Antidepressants in Pregnancy May Raise Autism Risk, Study Suggests

Posted 14 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 14, 2015 – Women who take antidepressants during the final two trimesters of pregnancy may put their children at risk for autism spectrum disorder, a new Canadian study suggests. Researchers said it seemed that children had an 87 percent increased risk of autism if their mothers used antidepressants during the second and third trimester. The risk of autism rose even higher if a mother took a type of antidepressant called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI, the study found. These drugs include escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft). However, experts noted that the study findings don't establish a clear cause-and-effect link between antidepressants and autism. Pregnant women should not stop taking prescribed antidepressants without consulting their doctor, the experts said. "It is critical to caution currently pregnant women who ... Read more

Related support groups: Lexapro, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Citalopram, Paxil, Trazodone, Sertraline, Pristiq, Bupropion, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Viibryd, Effexor XR, Mirtazapine, Wellbutrin XL

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