Long-term management of depression

Robert M.A. Hirschfeld, Alan F. Schatzberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Major depression is often a chronic and recurrent disorder. Findings from a landmark study, the Pittsburgh Study of Maintenance Therapies in Recurrent Depression, demonstrate that full doses of antidepressants prevent recurrent depression and that maintenance therapy lasting at least 5 years may be required for patients with severly recurrent disease. In addition, psychotherapy is a useful adjunct to antidepressant maintenance therapy in prolonging the duration between recurrent episodes. The currently accepted approach to preventing recurrent depression is to treat the acute episode to full remission and follow up by maintaining the patient on the full, acute dose used to achieve the initial response. The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been studied in recurrent depression and are rational choices for initial maintenance therapy because of demonstrated efficacy, safety, and tolerance during long-term therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S33-S38
JournalThe American Journal of Medicine
Issue number6 SUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Dec 19 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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