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A Project of the Empathic Therapy Center is an online library and newspaper project of the 501c3 nonprofit Center for the Study of Empathic Therapy, Education & Living, founded by Peter R. Breggin, MD and Ginger Breggin, working toward replacing the biological theories, diagnoses and treatments of "modern" psychiatry with better therapeutic and educational approaches

Peter R. Breggin, MD Websites

Antidepressants -- Brain Damage and Chronic Brain Impairments


SSRI or SNRI Antidepressants:

Impact of duration of antidepressant treatment on the risk of occurrence of a new sequence of antidepressant treatment. Verdoux H, Cougnard A, Thiebaut A, Tournier M. Pharmacopsychiatry, 2011 May; 44(3) 96-101

The authors studied data on 35,053 persons starting antidepressant treatment. They found "The risk of re-initiation of antidepressant treatment was higher if the duration of the index episode of
antidepressant treatment was [greater than] ≥ 6 months [hazard ratio (HR)=2.35; 95% CI 2.25-2.45) or 2-5 months (HR=1.65; 95% CI 1.59-1.71) compared to ≤ 1 month." In other words, the longer a patient is exposed to antidepressants, the greater is the risk that there will be another episode of depression requiring another round of antidepressant prescriptions.

 "Tardive dysphoria: The role of long term antidepressant use in inducing chronic depression," Rif S. El-Mallakh, Yonglin Gao, R. Jeannie Roberts, Medical Hypotheses 76 (2011) 769-773

"...emerging evidence that, in some individuals, persistent use of antidepressants may be prodepressant."

 "Blue again: perturbational effects of antidepressants suggest monoaminergic homeostasis in major depression" Paul W. Andrews, etal, Frontiers in Psychology, July 7, 2011

The authors document that antidepressant drugs increase the risk of relapse of depression for patients. They further comment on the growing habit of treating depression with multiple psychiatric drugs stating "Since many patients on antidepressants alone do not achieve full remission (Rush et al., 2006), possibly due to oppositional tolerance, atypical antipsychotic drugs, and other agents are increasingly prescribed to enhance the efficacy of ADMs. Our results suggest that the concurrent use of multiple drugs could cause greater monoaminergic perturbations, possibly further increasing the risk of relapse after they are discontinued."

Efficacy and Effectiveness of Antidepressants: Current Status of Research, H. Edmund Pogott, Allan M. Leventhal, Gregory S. Alter, John J. Boren. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 2010; 79:267-269

“Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor use associates with apathy among depressed elderly: a case-control study” Wongpakaran N., etal, Annals of General Psychiatry, 2007 6:7

“Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor-Induced Apathy: A Pediatric Case Series,” Reinblatt S.P. etal, J of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 16:1/2, 2006 227-233

“Evidence that serotonin reuptake modulators increase the density of serotonin innervation in the forebrain,” Zhou, L. etal, Journal of Neurochemistry, 2006, 96. 396-406

"SSRI-Induced Apathy Syndrome: A Clinical Review," Barnhart W.J., etal, J of Psychiatric Practice 10:3 May 2004

“Paroxetine does not improve symptoms and impairs cognition in frontotemporal dementia: a double-blind randomized controlled trial” Deakin J.B., etal, Psychopharmacology (2004) 172:400-408

 “Emotional blunting associated with SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction. Do SSRIs inhibit emotional responses?” Opbroek, A. etal, Intl. J of Neuropsychopharmacology 2002, 5, 147-151

“Chronic Antidepressant Treatment Increases Neurogenesis in Adult Rat Hippocampus,” Malberg J. etal, J of Neuroscience, 20:24 December 15, 2000, pp 9104-9110

“Persistently Increased Density of Serotonin Transporters in the Frontal Cortex of Rats Treated with Fluoxetine During Early Juvenile Life,” Wegerer V. etal,  J of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology 9:1, 1999

“Apathy and Indifference in Patients on Fluvoxamine and Fluoxetine,” Hoehn-Saric R. etal, J Clin Psychopharmacol Vol 10:5, Oct 1990

Modification of Serotonergic Neuron Properties by Long-Term Treatment With Serotonin Reuptake Blockers, Claude de Montigny, et al, J Clinical Psychiatry  Dec. 1990

“Receptor Alterations Associated With Serotonergic Agents: An Autoradiographic Analysis,” Wamsley J. etal, J Clin Psychiatry  48:3 (Suppl) March 1987


"Midlife vs Late-Life Depressive Symptoms and Risk of Dementia" Deborah E. Barnes, PhD, MPH et al, Arch Gen Psychiatry May 2012



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