How Does Understanding Mechanism of Action Help Clinicians Personalize Antidepressant Treatment Choices?




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Despite a vast array of treatments for depression, many patients fail to achieve and maintain remission. Some individuals are unable to find a treatment that effectively controls their symptoms while others achieve symptom improvement but are unable to continue treatment because of intolerable side effects. Still others may experience a symptom profile that changes over time, such as an individual who first appears to have unipolar depression but later exhibits signs of mania or hypomania. When treating patients with depression, clinicians can achieve optimal outcomes by continually balancing the efficacy and tolerability of treatments and by considering the different mechanisms of action of treatments and matching these to a patient’s unique symptom profile. Here, follow the case of Adam, a 30-year-old man, who is experiencing a recurrence of depression.

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J Clin Psychiatry 2016;77(2):e173