Video: Dr. Jain on Major Depressive Disorder Treatment Considerations
Studies show that at least half of patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) have an inadequate response to antidepressant medications.1,* In the video below, Dr. Jain discusses treatment considerations that may address the inadequate response of MDD patients.
Dr. Rakesh Jain, MD, MPH
Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavior Sciences, Texas Tech University School of Medicine
Dr. Jain is a paid consultant of Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. and Lundbeck.
“I’m on an antidepressant, but I still have little interest or desire in doing things.”
“My depression is not getting better.”
“I am on a treatment for depression, but I am still feeling sad.”
Dr. Jain: Do you see patients like these in your practice?
Dr. Jain: Major depressive disorder, or MDD, can be overwhelming for your patients and challenging for clinicians—especially when our patients continue to experience symptoms.
Dr. Jain: My name is Dr. Rakesh Jain, and I am a Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Texas Tech University School of Medicine.
This video was created by Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. and Lundbeck for healthcare professionals looking for guidance when patients with MDD have symptoms that are not adequately treated with antidepressant medications.
We’ll review the prevalence of inadequate response to antidepressant therapy in patients with MDD. We will discuss recommended treatment options, and explore current utilization of atypical antipsychotics as adjunctive treatment for these patients.
Many of us have had patients with MDD who don’t respond well to an initial course of antidepressant treatment, but how common is this problem?
The STAR*D trial evaluated outcomes in patients with MDD across successive steps of treatment.
Dr. Jain in voiceover: In this large study involving a broadly representative population of outpatients, at least 50% of patients with MDD did not achieve an adequate response after initial treatment with an SSRI.
Results of that classic study, published more than 10 years ago, have been confirmed in several meta-analyses. Together, these studies demonstrate that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for MDD.
Dr. Jain in voiceover: If we extrapolate from the STAR*D study to the overall US population, we can estimate that as many as 8.2 million adults in the United States may currently have an inadequate response to their antidepressant.
So, given that estimated prevalence, odds are that you may have patients with MDD in your practice who demonstrate inadequate response as well.
Dr. Jain in voiceover: What is the best approach to treat patients with MDD experiencing an inadequate treatment response? Let’s look at the professional guidelines.
The American Psychiatric Association, the leading authority for MDD treatment guidelines, endorses four treatment options, which may be used concurrently: First, optimize medication dose as tolerated. Second, augment pharmacologic therapy with depression-focused psychotherapy, an option at any time during treatment. Third, switch to a different monotherapy of the same or different pharmacologic class, and fourth, augment with antidepressant pharmacotherapy, including an atypical antipsychotic.
Dr. Jain: At least two meta-analyses were recently published comparing outcomes in patients with MDD who had an inadequate response and who were then treated with an antidepressant alone or an antidepressant plus an atypical antipsychotic.
Both showed adjunctive use of atypical antipsychotics significantly increased response rates versus antidepressant alone. This provides further support for considering an atypical antipsychotic when adjunctive therapy is indicated.
Dr. Jain in voiceover: However, although we see that patients can potentially benefit from adjunctive treatment, one study suggested that fewer than 10% of patients with MDD who received a change in their treatment received an atypical antipsychotic. What could be the reasons for this discrepancy?
Dr. Jain: Let’s look at a survey that asked for reasons why physicians did or did not prescribe an atypical antipsychotic for their patients with MDD who had an inadequate response to treatment.
In a recent survey, physicians in the United States and Europe were asked to document the reasons behind their treatment decisions for 10 consecutive adults with MDD who had an inadequate response to antidepressant therapy for whom they had considered or made a treatment change.
The most common reason for not prescribing an adjunctive atypical antipsychotic, or not prescribing one earlier, was a preference to wait to see if symptoms improved. Other common reasons were that the patient’s response to antidepressant therapy was adequate, their symptoms were not severe enough for an atypical antipsychotic, and the physician had concerns about tolerability or safety.
The most common reasons physicians reported that they did prescribe an adjunctive atypical antipsychotic for individuals with MDD with an inadequate response to their antidepressant were: that they were looking for efficacy and symptom control in addition to the patient's current treatment, specific drug features, as well as the patient's disease and their treatment response history.
Dr. Jain in voiceover: What is your approach when your patients face an inadequate response to antidepressant treatment?
Dr. Jain: It is my sincere hope that you consider this information when you’re developing treatment strategies that may improve symptoms for your patients with MDD for whom monotherapy is not enough.
When antidepressant treatment (ADT) is not enough…
AT LEAST 50%
OF MDD PATIENTS DID NOT ACHIEVE
ADEQUATE RESPONSE after initial treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)1,a
FEWER THAN 10% of patients with MDD who received a change
in their antidepressant therapy WERE GIVEN AN ADJUNCTIVE ATYPICAL ANTIPSYCHOTIC3,b
aAs demonstrated in almost 3700 adult patients with MDD who were prescribed ADTs. In the STAR*D study, inadequate response was defined as a less-than-50% reduction from treatment step entry in Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology-Self-Report score at 12 to 14 weeks.
bAs demonstrated in a claims database study of over 5000 started on SSRI monotherapy, of which approximately 47% either continued with their initial SSRI monotherapy or discontinued treatment altogether. The remaining patients were either switched to a new monotherapy or given adjunctive treatment, including atypical antipsychotics.