Caution Ahead –
August 20, 2019 – According to Amsterdam and Kim, previous studies have found that a prior antidepressant trial results in up to a 50% loss of effectiveness for the next attempt. In the latest study, they wanted to see if previous prescriptions were associated with an increased risk of relapse after recovery.
Antidepressant use after recovery is sometimes recommended as it is thought to reduce the likelihood of relapse. However, research has been equivocal about whether long-term use prevents depressive episodes. Amsterdam and Jay’s study may provide some evidence that, rather than protecting against relapse, continued antidepressant use, and previous antidepressant use, are associated with an increased likelihood of relapse.
Their study included 148 people with the Bipolar II diagnosis and who had recovered from a major depressive episode. They were randomly assigned to groups: one group took fluoxetine (Prozac) after recovery, one group took lithium, and one group took a placebo (fake pill).