Washington: A new study has found that patients who use anti-depressants are much more likely to suffer relapses of major depression than those who use no medication at all.
Paul Andrews, McMaster evolutionary psychologist and lead author of the study, concluded that patients who have used anti-depressant medications could be nearly twice as susceptible to future episodes of major depression.
The meta-analysis suggests that people who have not been taking any medication are at a 25 per cent risk of relapse, compared to 42 per cent or higher for those who have taken and gone off an anti-depressant.
Anti-depressants interfere with the brain’s natural self-regulation of serotonin and other neurotransmitters, and that the brain can overcorrect once medication is suspended, triggering new depression, said Andrews.
“We found that the more these drugs affect serotonin and other neurotransmitters in your brain -- and that’s what they’re supposed to do -- the greater your risk of relapse once you stop taking them,” he stated.
The study was published in the journal Frontiers of Psychology.