New guidelines favor anti-depressants

May 7, 2008 at 7:48 PM
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MANCHESTER, England, May 7 (UPI) -- The British Association of Pharmacology new treatment guidelines favor anti-depressants over cognitive behavioral therapy for depression.

Saying their comprehensive review of depression treatments reveals a lack of evidence for cognitive behavioral therapy, the organization issued new guidelines recommending the choice between anti-depressants and cognitive behavioral therapy be individually decided. Previously, cognitive behavioral therapy was routinely turned to first -- especially in the case of mild depression -- or was sometimes combined with drug therapy.

Dr. Ian Anderson of the University of Manchester in England says the cost effectiveness of cognitive behavior therapy needs to thoroughly investigated before being adopted more widely.

"There is often not a level playing field in considering evidence for drugs vs. psychological treatment, especially in milder depression," Anderson says in a statement.

Overall, says Anderson, the new guidelines, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, clear up some issues and alter the emphasis on certain treatments.

"We have also challenged the idea that anti-depressants need to be given more than once a day or that for most anti-depressants you need to follow a long tailing off before starting a new anti-depressant," Anderson says.

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