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Mood Meds' Second Wind: Depression drugs aided by extra treatment step

A second, modified course of drug treatment fosters recovery in a substantial minority of depressed adults who don't feel better after treatment with a commonly prescribed antidepressant, according to a federally funded investigation.

Among depressed patients who didn't improve on the antidepressant citalopram (Celexa), one in four became virtually symptomfree by switching from citalopram to a second antidepressant. In another test, one in three patients improved comparably within 14 weeks of adding another antidepressant to their citalopram regimen.

The researchers had earlier reported that about a third of patients get relief from citalopram alone. With the effect of the supplemental drugs, about half of the 4,041 depressed patients participating in the project shed most or all of their symptoms.

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