Treatment-Resistant Depression

Expert Q&A

Getting Uncomfortable with Esketamine

Topics: Antidepressant Augmentation | Antidepressants | Brain Devices | Depression | Depressive Disorder | ECT | Esketamine | Ketamine | Neurotoxicity | Novel Medications | rTMS | Suicidality | TMS | Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation | Treatment-Resistant Depression

Esketamine (Spravato) was approved for treatment-resistant depression in 2019. In this interview, Dr. Williams (who has no relationship with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc) addresses some lingering doubts that have been raised about the medicine. TCPR: Where does esketamine fit in the list of interventional therapies for depression, like repetitive trans

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Research Update

TMS: Deeper is not Better

Topics: Depression | Depressive Disorder | Pharmaceutical Industry | Research Update | rTMS | TMS | Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation | Treatment-Resistant Depression

REVIEW OF: Filipcic I et al, J Psychiatr Res 2019;114:113–119 TYPE OF STUDY: Randomized single-blind controlled trial Seven transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) devices are FDA approved for depression, but only one—the Brainsway—is distinctly different from the others. Brainsway uses a patented H1 coil that penetrates deeper into the cortex t

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Expert Q&A

Inflammatory Biomarkers in Depression

Topics: Bupropion | C-Reactive Protein | CRP | Depression | Depressive Disorder | Dopamine | Exercise | Inflammation | Laboratory Testing in Psychiatry | Medical Comorbidities | Norepinephrine | Nortriptyline | Nutrition | Obesity | Treatment-Resistant Depression | Wellbutrin

TCPR: What is inflammation? Dr. Miller: Inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection or wounding. It’s important for survival, but if it goes on too long it damages the body in various ways. It contributes to heart disease, cancer, metabolic disorders, and neurodegenerative disorders. Ultimately, it can change set points in the brain th

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Highlights

Highlights From This Issue

Topics: Bupropion | C-Reactive Protein | CRP | Depression | Depressive Disorder | Dopamine | Exercise | Inflammation | Laboratory Testing in Psychiatry | Medical Comorbidities | Norepinephrine | Nortriptyline | Nutrition | Obesity | Treatment-Resistant Depression | Wellbutrin

Inflammation contributes to treatment resistance in depression and can be measured with a blood test, C-reactive protein (CRP). An elevated CRP predicts a favorable response to certain antidepressants, as well as specific lifestyle interventions. Nuedexta’s expanded use in dementia is based on questionable efficacy, but it is safer than many

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Research Update

Anti-Inflammatories as Antidepressants?

Topics: Antidepressants | Depression | Inflammation | Novel Medications | Treatment-Resistant Depression

Review of: Köhler-Forsberg O et al, Acta Psych Scand 2019;139(5):404–419 Study Type: Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials Several lines of evidence suggest that chronic inflammation contributes to depression. For example, markers of inflammation tend to be elevated in depressed patients, and inflammatory syndromes elicit depressive sym

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Article

Mirtazapine Augmentation: Running Low on Rocket Fuel

Topics: Antidepressant Augmentation | Antidepressants | Depression | Depressive Disorder | Mirtazapine | Pharmacology | Pharmacology Tips | Psychopharm Myths | Psychopharmacology | Psychopharmacology Tips | SSRIs | Treatment-Resistant Depression | Venlafaxine

Adding mirtazapine (Remeron) to a serotonergic antidepressant is a popular augmentation strategy. When added to venlafaxine, the combo was thought to possess a particularly potent synergy that Stephen Stahl called “California Rocket Fuel.” However, the strategy has failed in a handful of new studies, some of them much larger than the original data.

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Article

l-Methylfolate for Depression: Costly Mistake or Good Thinking?

Topics: Antidepressants | CAM Treatments | Deplin | Depression | Depressive Disorder | Folate | Folic Acid | l-methylfolate | methylfolate | Natural Medications | Nutrition | Pharmacology | Pharmacology Tips | Psychopharmacology | Psychopharmacology Tips | Treatment-Resistant Depression

Folate (Vitamin B9) has a long track record as a low-cost, low-risk augmentation strategy in depression. It’s also available in a more expensive form, l-methylfolate (Deplin), that promises better results but at a premium price. So, is the cost worth it? Folate pathwaysFolate (the natural form of folic acid) is a B vitamin that’s important in psych

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Article

Esketamine Gets FDA Approval

Topics: Depression | Depressive Disorder | Esketamine | Pharmacology | Treatment-Resistant Depression

On March 5, 2019, the FDA approved esketamine (Spravato) nasal spray as add-on therapy to traditional antidepressant medications for treatment-resistant depression (TRD). In this article, I will describe the events that led to esketamine’s development, review the data submitted to the FDA, and discuss what the future might hold for esketamine. Backgr

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Article Links

Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) Programs

Topics: Depression | Depressive Disorder | Esketamine | Pharmacology | Treatment-Resistant Depression

Certain psychiatric treatments require both the healthcare provider and patient to enroll in a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program before they are administered. Below are links to enroll: Brexanolone (Zulresso) http://www.zulressorems.com/ Buprenorphine-based therapies (Suboxone, Subutex) https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assi

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Research Update

Lithium in Geriatric Depression

Topics: Depression | Depressive Disorder | Geriatric Psychiatry | Lithium | Psychopharmacology | Treatment-Resistant Depression

REVIEW OF: Buspavanich P et al, J ­Affect Disord 2019;251:136–140 TYPE OF STUDY: Prospective, non-randomized controlled trial Augmentation with lithium has long been established as an effective strategy for refractory depression, but how does it fare in geriatric patients? There is a dearth of evidence on lithium in the geriatric population, which

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Ask The Editor

Wellbutrin Augmentation: When Does It Work?

Topics: Depression | Treatment-Resistant Depression | Wellbutrin

Each month, Editor-in-Chief Chris Aiken, MD, gives advice on a different practice challenge. Dear Dr. Aiken: In the July/August 2018 issue, you wrote that ­bupropion (Wellbutrin) augmentation does not work in ­treatment-resistant depression (TRD). So why do we see it work so often in practice? Dr. Aiken: When all of the studies are averaged tog

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