A review of research on antipsychotic medications as an adjunctive treatment for depression published this week in PLoS Medicine finds that the widespread practice produces either no benefit or a very small to moderate benefit on quality of life, while also being linked to adverse events such as akathisia, sedation, metabolic effects and weight gain. The authors urge that although clinicians may observe very small to moderate improvement of symptoms, “the lack of benefit with regards to quality of life or functional impairment, and the abundant evidence of potential treatment-related harm” suggest caution.
Spielmans, G., Berman, M., Linardatos, E., et al; Adjunctive Atypical Antipsychotic Treatment for Major Depressive Disorder: A Meta-Analysis of Depression, Quality of Life, and Safety Outcomes. PLoS Medicine 10(3): e1001403. Online March 12, 2013
Of Further Interest:
Use of adjunctive antipsychotic medications in depression (Medical Xpress)
Antipsychotic Meds Not So Helpful for Depression? (WebMD)
Adding antipsychotic meds to depression treatment offers risks, little benefit, Metro State study finds (MinnPost)