More than half of people with depression discontinue meds before course is finished
New research has found that over half (56 per cent) of those who have experienced depression discontinued their course of medicine before it was finished.
Commenting on the research, Dr Jogin Thakore, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director, St Vincent’s Hospital, Fairview said: “Many patients begin to feel better within a few weeks of taking their medicine and sometimes assume that the depression has gone away, but it is recommended that antidepressants are taken for a minimum of between six to 12 months in order to prevent the depression relapsing.
"The risk of depression recurring increases three times if you stop your course of medicine before it is complete,” he said.
“It is important to note that many patients stop their talking therapy before they should just as patients often stop their medication before they should,” the ICGP’s Dr Mel Bates said.
“If you are going to take antidepressants you should expect to be on them for six months to a year ideally and they don’t work as well otherwise. While antidepressants should not be given out inappropriately the GP is firmly in the frontline.”
The research was conducted by Lundbeck (Ireland) Ltd.
When asked why they stopped taking their medication, 38 per cent of those who have personally experienced depression said they felt better or didn’t need to take it anymore; 30 per cent said they forgot to take it; 28 per cent said they felt it was controlling them; 28 per cent said it did not agree with them physically and 23 per cent said it did not agree with them mentally.
Posted in Research and Education on 01 September 2009