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J Clin Pharm Ther. 2000 Feb;25(1):61-6.

Treatment of depression related to recurrence: 10-year follow-up in general practice.

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Department of General Practice and Social Medicine, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.



To study outcomes related to long-term treatment of depression and differences in treatments for first episodes of depression in patients with and without recurrences.


A historic cohort design study with 222 general practice patients who had been followed up for 10 years after being diagnosed of depression. Prescriptions for antidepressants, psychotropics and referrals over the period of 10 years following the first diagnosis of depression were studied.


Over the 10-year period, the length of treatment with antidepressants and the doses prescribed were low compared to what is known to be efficacious in depression. This was also true for treatment during the first episode. Patients with a recurrent type of illness were more often treated with antidepressants and other psychotropics during their first episode than patients with only one episode of depression, but they were not referred any more often.


Even though treatment was not as recommended for depression, the majority of the patients did not have recurrences. Future prospective research is needed to study causal relationships between treatment of depression and long-term outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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