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

Posted 1 day 2 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, Lexapro, Zoloft, Effexor, Cymbalta, Migraine, Insomnia, 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 1 day 3 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, Effexor, Cymbalta, 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 9 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, Effexor, Cymbalta, Prozac, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Pristiq, Social Anxiety Disorder, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Effexor XR

Many Seniors Take Multiple Meds That Can Affect the Brain

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 13, 2017 – There has been a sharp rise in the number of American seniors who take three or more medications that affect their brains, a new study reveals. The study looked at seniors' use of opioid painkillers, antidepressants, tranquilizers and antipsychotic drugs. A review of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data showed that the use of these drugs in people over 65 more than doubled from 2004 to 2013. The researchers estimated that approximately 3.7 million doctor visits a year are by seniors taking three or more of these drugs. The largest increase was seen among seniors in rural areas. There, the use of these drugs more than tripled. The spike in the combined use of drugs that act on the central nervous system is cause for concern because it can lead to falls and resulting injuries, affect driving ability, and cause memory and thinking problems, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Xanax, Oxycodone, Lexapro, Zoloft, Hydrocodone, Effexor, Methadone, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Tramadol, OxyContin, Prozac, Fentanyl, Seroquel, Celexa, Morphine, Citalopram, Paxil, Valium, Codeine

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, Effexor, Cymbalta, Prozac, Seroquel, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Abilify, Sertraline, Pristiq, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Effexor XR, Mania

Depression Often Untreated in Dialysis Patients

Posted 27 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 26, 2017 – Depression is common among kidney failure patients undergoing dialysis. But efforts to get them on antidepressants often fail, a new study finds. Many patients refuse to start or modify depression treatment. And in some cases kidney specialists don't want their patients taking antidepressant medication, researchers reported. "Our study demonstrated that many patients on chronic hemodialysis have depressive symptoms but do not wish to receive aggressive treatment to alleviate these symptoms," said study co-leader Dr. Steven Weisbord. "We also noted that when patients are willing to accept treatment, renal [kidney care] providers commonly do not prescribe treatment," said Weisbord, who's with the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. When kidneys fail, dialysis treatment is needed to remove wastes and salt from the blood. It's often done at a hospital, dialysis ... Read more

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

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, Effexor, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Prozac, Opiate Dependence, Seroquel, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Trazodone, Abilify, Sertraline, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

More Than 1 in 10 Pilots Suffer From Depression, Survey Finds

Posted 15 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 15, 2016 – More than one-tenth of professional airline pilots may suffer from depression, and a small percentage might experience suicidal thoughts, a new survey reveals. The findings come in the wake of the Germanwings air crash in 2015. In that tragedy, a co-pilot with depression deliberately crashed an airliner in the French Alps, killing all 150 people onboard. "We found that many pilots currently flying are managing depressive symptoms, and it may be that they are not seeking treatment due to the fear of negative career impacts," said senior study author Joseph Allen. He is an assistant professor of exposure assessment science at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. "There is a veil of secrecy around mental health issues in the cockpit. By using an anonymous survey, we were able to guard against people's fears of reporting due to stigma and job ... Read more

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

1 in 6 U.S. Adults Takes a Psychiatric Drug: Study

Posted 12 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 12, 2016 – One in six U.S. adults takes a psychiatric medication to cope with conditions such as depression, anxiety and insomnia, a new study finds. Researchers found that in 2013 nearly 17 percent of adults said they filled one or more prescriptions for antidepressants such as Zoloft; sedatives and sleep drugs, including Xanax and Ambien; or antipsychotics, used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. "From a drug safety perspective, I am concerned that so many of these drugs have withdrawal effects and that some of the overwhelming long-term use may reflect drug dependence," said study co-author Thomas Moore. "These questions need further investigation," added Moore, a senior scientist for drug safety and policy at the nonprofit Institute for Safe Medication Practices in Alexandria, Va. Because most prescriptions for these drugs are written by primary care ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Xanax, Anxiety and Stress, Lexapro, Zoloft, Effexor, Cymbalta, Klonopin, Insomnia, Prozac, Clonazepam, Celexa, Ativan, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Trazodone, Sertraline, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

2 Out of 3 Depressed Teens Gain Lasting Benefits From Therapy

Posted 2 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 1, 2016 – For teens, depression can affect more than their relationships and educational achievement – it can harm their future prospects. But a new study suggests that many of these young people could reap long-term benefits from psychological counseling. "Depression can seriously impair people's lives, and in many cases begins during their teenage years," said Ian Goodyer, a professor at the department of psychiatry at the University of Cambridge in England. "If we can tackle it early on, evidence suggests we can reduce the chances of severe depression returning." According to background material provided in a university news release, psychological treatments are effective in the short term in about 70 percent of adolescents with depression. But it's not clear how these patients fare in the long term, the study authors noted. The study included 465 teens in England ... Read more

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

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, Effexor, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Prozac, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Pristiq, Bupropion, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Viibryd, Effexor XR

Psychiatric Drugs May Reduce Ex-Prisoners' Violent Crime Rate

Posted 2 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 1, 2016 – Released prisoners may be less likely to commit violent crimes if they're prescribed certain kinds of psychiatric medications, a new study suggests. These medications can affect someone's mental state. They include antidepressants, antipsychotics, psychostimulants, drugs to treat addiction and antiepileptic drugs, the researchers said. The study authors looked at information on more than 22,000 prisoners in Sweden. They were released between July 2005 and December 2010. The researchers had a median of nearly five years of follow-up information. During that time, 18 percent of the prisoners committed violent crimes, the researchers said. Three classes of drugs were linked to much lower rates of violent crimes. Antipsychotics were tied to a 42 percent reduction in violent crimes. For psychostimulants, the reduction was 38 percent. Drugs to treat addiction were ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Lexapro, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Prozac, Seroquel, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Abilify, Sertraline, Lithium, Bupropion, Amitriptyline, Fluoxetine, Viibryd, Schizophrenia

Mom-to-Be's Antidepressant Use May Be Tied to Speech Issues in Child

Posted 12 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 12, 2016 – Children whose mothers used an often-prescribed type of antidepressant during pregnancy may be more likely to develop speech and language disorders, a new study suggests. Researchers found that mothers who bought selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs at least twice during pregnancy were 37 percent more likely to have a child with a speech and/or language disorder than those who did not take the antidepressants. SSRIs include medicines such as Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft. The study was observational, meaning it couldn't prove that the drugs helped cause the language/speech problems, only that there was an association. And experts who reviewed the findings stressed that women who require an SSRI during their pregnancy may still want to stick with the drug. "It must be remembered that the prevalence of speech-language disorders was ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, Paroxetine, Luvox, Paxil CR, Fluvoxamine, Sarafem, Luvox CR, Brisdelle, Pexeva, Prozac Weekly

Antidepressant Might Prevent Depression Following Brain Injury

Posted 14 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 14, 2016 – Depression can often follow a traumatic brain injury, but new research suggests the antidepressant Zoloft might help prevent this from happening. One expert said prior studies have produced similar findings. The new research "provides further support of the possibility that depression following neurological injury could be avoided, rather than treated after the fact," said Dr. Paul Mattis. He is chief of neuropsychology at Northwell Health's Neuroscience Institute in Manhasset, N.Y. The new study was led by Dr. Ricardo Jorge, of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. His team randomly assigned 94 patients who suffered a traumatic brain injury to receive a low dose of sertraline (Zoloft) or a placebo pill for six months, or until they developed symptoms of a mood disorder. Overall, 46 people took the placebo, while the other 48 were given the 100 milligrams ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Zoloft, Major Depressive Disorder, Sertraline, Head Injury, Dysthymia, Head Injury with Intracranial Hemorrhage, Head Injury w/ Intracranial Hemorrhage and Loss of Consciousness, Head Injury with Loss of Consciousness

Many Depressed Adults Not Getting Treatment: Study

Posted 29 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 29, 2016 – Most American adults who suffer from depression aren't getting treatment, a new study finds. After screening survey data on more than 46,000 people, researchers found that 8 percent had depression, but only a third were being treated for the mood disorder. The reasons why were varied. "Some adults who experience depressive symptoms do not believe they are significant and require medical attention, or that they could benefit from treatment," said lead researcher Dr. Mark Olfson. For others, stigma or shame interferes with a desire to get professional help, said Olfson, a professor of psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in New York City. "In still other cases, the medical visits are oriented around more pressing and urgent medical problems, and the clinical opportunities to detect depression are missed," he said. The survey ... Read more

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

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