Relapse prevention in recurrent major depressive disorder. A comparison of different treatment options based on clinical experience and a critical review of the literature

F. Cosci, G. Mansueto, G.A. Fava*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Background Reducing the risk of relapses is a critical component of major depressive disorders treatment. Guidelines suggest maintenance with antidepressant drugs in recurrent depression, but this solution has recently been questioned. Objective The aim of this article is to provide a critical review of the literature of the main treatment options currently available to prevent relapse and recurrence in depression. Methods We compared long-term antidepressant therapy (i.e., indefinite maintenance of antidepressant), intermittent antidepressant therapy (i.e., use of antidepressants mainly limited to the acute phases), use of psychotherapy in the sequential model (i.e., pharmacotherapy in the acute phase and psychotherapy in the residual phase). Results We argue that the same solution may not apply to all patients and question the feasibility of a single course of treatment in the setting of complex disorders that are encountered in practice. The clinician should weigh advantages and disadvantages in the individual case. Conclusions The sequential model appears to be particularly indicated in recurrent depression.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-348
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • adults
  • antidepressant
  • antidepressant treatment
  • depression
  • drugs
  • guidelines
  • metaanalysis
  • primary-care patients
  • psychotherapy
  • relapse
  • residual symptoms
  • therapy
  • treatment preferences
  • trials
  • METAANALYSIS
  • GUIDELINES
  • THERAPY
  • DRUGS
  • PRIMARY-CARE PATIENTS
  • TRIALS
  • TREATMENT PREFERENCES
  • ADULTS
  • Depression
  • ANTIDEPRESSANT TREATMENT
  • RESIDUAL SYMPTOMS

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