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Individuals on antidepressants 'more likely to relapse'

Individuals on antidepressants 'more likely to relapse'
20th July 2011

Individuals with depression, likely to use home care or assisted living, could be more likely to experience a relapse if they take medication for the condition, research has indicated.

According to the study, published in journal Frontiers of Psychology, those who take and then stop taking antidepressants have a 42 per cent or higher risk of relapse.

In comparison, people with depression who do not take any medication have just a 25 per cent chance of becoming depressed again.

Paul Andrews, study leader, explained that anti-depressants interfere with the brain's natural self-regulation of neurotransmitters, sometimes causing it to overcorrect once the medication is stopped - potentially triggering a new wave of depression.

"All these drugs do reduce symptoms, probably to some degree, in the short-term. The trick is what happens in the long term. Our results suggest that when you try to go off the drugs, depression will bounce back," he said.

In other news, a study published in journal Biological Psychiatry has suggested that a smaller hippocampal volume in the brain is a result of depression rather than a cause.

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