A recent study conducted by the University of Texas, has found that “Clinicians should not rush to prescribe combinations on antidepressant medications as first-line treatment” according to Dr. Madhukar Trivedi, who goes on to state “the extra cost and burden of two medications in not worthwhile as a first treatment step.”
This should be viewed as a good sign for medication management – especially in adolescents and antidepressant medication – where the affects of medication can be more severe than with an adult. Since depression is a condition that affects millions of Americans every year, and can be found in a variety of age groups, a study of medication and its effects are extremely worthwhile. Unfortunately, this study is limited in its viewpoint because of the disclaimer “first treatment step” and that of course the study and its conclusions are only a recommendation. This leaves a great deal of leeway for professionals’ in the field to still prescribe medication how they deem fit – meaning that many may start a patient off with combinations of antidepressant medication.
This also prompts me to wonder about the other various medications being prescribed today and how effective they are in combinations. Take an example of a teen with ADHD and depression. Would it be wise to prescribe, as a first treatment step, medication such as adderoll (for ADHD) and lexapro- an antidepressant medication.
The answer is – I don’t know, but I do have to wonder about the combinations of medications being prescribed. Of course, the normal response is that clinicians are trained to ‘know’ what medication works with others – and I believe that – or used to. This study conducted by the University of Texas sheds doubt on that because if they ‘know’ what works with others – than they should ‘know’ that combining combinations of antidepressants is unnecessary and therefore should not be done. Yet they obviously do prescribe combinations of antidepressants otherwise the study would not have been conducted.