Antidepressants Effective in Helping Only 50% of Patients
Why So Many People on Antidepressants are Still Depressed
You have followed your doctor’s instructions to the T. You faithfully take your antidepressant medication daily, never missing a dose. You have reformed your diet to include more lean proteins and complex carbs, cut way down on sugar and alcohol consumption. You even joined a gym where 3-4 times a week you engage in an hour of moderate exercise. Still depressed? Well, you are not alone.
Since the 1980s when Prozac made it’s debut on the psychiatric scene, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have become the go-to treatment tool for helping those battling major depressive disorder (MDD). Ballooning now to about 32 entries in the stable of antidepressant drugs, this class of medications is relied upon in almost a knee-jerk fashion to treat depression with approximately 11% of Americans aged 12 and older taking them. Why, then, are so many people on antidepressants still depressed?
The Efficacy of, or Lack Thereof, Antidepressants
While antidepressants are currently a widely prescribed class of drugs, the fact remains that half of the clinical studies designed to measure their efficacy have failed to show a significant difference in depression symptom resolution between the SSRI and a placebo. Even in a study where patients who had reported remission were then switched to a placebo, 59% continued to be in remission—on the placebo. While the debate rages on as to whether antidepressants are effective in bringing about remission from MDD, the fact remains that roughly 50% taking antidepressants are still depressed.
Some nasty side effects also dog these drugs, which variations of effects between the different antidepressants. One of the most serious side effects is the risk of a young patient, between ages 18-24, becoming suicidal. It is thought that this could be a result of the drug causing agitation and restlessness, or for their depression symptoms to actually worsen. Some of the common side effects of antidepressants include nausea, sexual dysfunction, insomnia, weight gain, constipation, dry mouth, irritability, bad dreams, fatigue, and diarrhea. Imagine suffering through these side effects from taking antidepressants and still feeling depressed!
Deep TMS a Safe and Effective Depression Treatment
After trying multiple antidepressants and finding no relief of depression symptoms, a search for an alternative treatment is the next logical step. For medication-resistant people with MDD an exciting new treatment was approved by the FDA in 2013, deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS).
Deep TMS is a safe, noninvasive alternative therapy for treating depression, with no sedation or down time required. Deep TMS uses state-of-the-art technology that delivers magnetic pulses directed to the prefrontal cortex of the brain—the mood center. The magnetic fields produce electrical currents that stimulate brain cells in the region that is underactive, a common trait in depressed patients. This has the effect of balancing out brain chemistry, resulting in improved sleep, concentration and decision-making, and mood.
Each dTMS session lasts about 20 minutes and you can return to your normal daily activities immediately following the treatment. For best results, 5 sessions per week for 4-6 weeks are prescribed. Minimal, if any, side effects have been reported. Those that have were some irritation at the scalp where the pulses are delivered, or mild to moderate headache.
Achieve TMS East: Largest Provider of dTMS in Massachusetts
More than 60 clinical studies have shown dTMS to produce statistically significant results using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D), with remission rates of 32.6%. Achieve TMS East is the premier provider of dTMS in the U.S. with multiple office locations in Massachusetts. The expert staff at Achieve TMS East has decades of experience treating depression and are specializes in dTMS therapy. If you are one of the many who are on antidepressants but still depressed, dTMS might be the answer for you. For more information on this promising depression treatment, contact our staff at (877) 297-5816.