Antipsychotic Drugs In Conjunction With Antidepressants

Should one take an antidepressant like Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, and/or Zoloft in conjunction with an antipsychotic medication like Abilify, Seroquel, Risperdal and/or Symbyax?

Traditionally, antipsychotic drugs are prescribed to treat conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. Antipsychotic drugs are not traditionally used to treat depression.

However, it is not uncommon for doctors to prescribe antipsychotic drugs to people who do not fully respond to an antidepressant. The effectiveness of this practice appears to be slight and is linked to unwelcome side effects.

In a study, Glen Spielmans, an associate professor in the department of psychology at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minn. said “The evidence supporting the use of antipsychotics in depression is marginal. Other options may be as effective, or more effective and carry a lesser side-effect burden.”

In an effort to ascertain the effectiveness of these drugs, Spielman and his team compiled data from 14 studies that compared antipsychotic medications to an inactive placebo in patients who were getting little depression relief from their antidepressants.

The study found these drugs relieved depression marginally and had little or no benefit in improving patients’ quality of life or ability to function. The drugs did, however, have adverse effects, including – Restlessness, Sleepiness, Weight Gain and some abnormal lab tests, such as Increased Cholesterol Levels.

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