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Salud mental

versión impresa ISSN 0185-3325


TAMAYO, Jorge M.; ROSALES-BARRERA, Juan I.; VILLASENOR-BAYARDO, Sergio J.  y  ROJAS-MALPICA, Carlos. Literature review on management of treatment-resistant depression. Salud Ment [online]. 2011, vol.34, n.3, pp.257-266. ISSN 0185-3325.

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a prevalent and costly disease that is usually associated with high rates of disability. The target for the treatment of MDD is to achieve and maintain remission or complete control of depressive symptoms by the choice of an effective antidepressant. Sometimes, despite evidence based-treatment, it is possible that the patient does not have a favorable response. Although there is an increasing number of antidepressants available to treat depression, approximately half of the patients do not respond and two-thirds do not achieve remission after first-line treatment. In these cases we refer to treatment-resistant depression (TRD) as is defined in an article in this issue of Salud Mental. The TRD is one of the most complex conditions in psychiatry from the therapeutic point of view due to different definitions, algorithms, and response criteria, especially in Latin America where the procedures based on regional needs and consensus are scarce and not always based on evidence. It was conducted a systematic review using several databases such as MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library and LILACS from 1949 to March 2011 crossing terms which allowed the inclusion of relevant articles in the management of the TRD. Unfortunately, the original publications in Latin America are often based on TRD case report, so the results and conclusions of this review have been based entirely on Anglo-Saxon scientific production. The therapeutic strategies used in the TRD are many, and include combinations of antidepressants or other psychotropic agents, in some cases addition of psychotherapy and, in extreme cases, neurostimulation techniques such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). The study Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR-D) is the largest trial of treatment for MDD conducted in real practice settings, and the first to study remission as a measure of pre-defined primary outcome. It consists of four different stages of resistance. It is clear that there are diminishing remission rates as the number of treatment trials increases. The strategies include: antidepressant dose optimization, addition of medications like thyroid hormone, lithium, or nutritional supplements, a combination of antidepressants, and addition of second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs). Evidence suggests that remission rates can be from 25% to 50%, although with some differences among the drugs recommended. Evidence supports the use of SGAs for increasing the level of remission of new-generation antidepressants, although neither the profit nor the long-term benefits of this strategy have been well established. Neuro-modulation techniques include ECT, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), deep brain stimulation (DBS), and vagus nerve stimulation (VNS). ECT remains a first line option for the treatment of DRT with response rates ranging from 50% to 89%. Finally, the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in the management of the DRT could be a useful alternative when practiced in conjunction with any of the pharmacological strategies. However, further studies are needed to recommend it as first line treatment.

Palabras llave : Refractory-depression; resistant-depression; antidepressants; antipsychotics; neurostimulation.

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