Monday, November 24, 2008

Psychiatrists Give Mixed Reviews on ACP Antidepressant Guideline

A practice guideline on the use of second-generation antidepressants, issued here this week by the American College of Physicians, has earned cheers as well as jeers from psychiatrists.

"I don't see anything that's at variance with the American Psychiatric Association's [current] treatment guidelines or the ones that are in process now," said Alan Gelenberg, M.D., chair of the APA's working group on depression management and clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin.

The group is now revising the APA's guidelines on the topic.

"I just applaud them for taking depression seriously," Dr. Gelenberg added.

But a past chair of the group, T. Byram Karasu, M.D., of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, who was lead author of the APA's existing depression guideline, slammed the ACP effort, calling it the "worst possible practice."

The ACP's guideline was based on a review of 203 clinical trials involving selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, and other antidepressants introduced in the last 20 years.


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