FROM OUR EXPERTS
There is some new data concerning an old drug. Mecamylamine is an old medication originally used to treat hypertension. It had numerous side effects, such as hypotension and sedation, and thus was not often used. It had a bit of a resurgence later on as an anti-smoking drug (it is a nicotine antagonist) but the overall efficacy was poor, and the side effects made it difficult to use. It was then suggested for use as an augmentation agent to traditional nicotine replacement drugs (gum, patch, etc.) It also has some off label and occasional use for autism, Tourette's, and OCD. Recently, it has been tested for the treatment of depression. It was found to be better than placebo on the traditional rating scales for patients who had failed citalopram. While this is good, what made it particularly interesting is that the doses used were considerably less (by a factor of 10) than what had been used for hypertension—and at these low doses, mecamylamine only bloc...
Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) for the acute and maintenance treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in adolescents 12- to 17-years-old.
Here's some basic information about the approval from a Forest Laboratories press release (I have put some parts in bold for added attention):
"The approval of Lexapro for the treatment of adolescent depression was supported by two placebo-controlled studies, one conducted in adolescent patients taking Lexapro and one conducted in children and adolescents taking citalopram (Celexa) . In an 8-week flexible- dose, placebo-controlled study that compared Lexapro 10-20 mg/day to placebo in 12 to 17 year old patients reported in 2008, Lexapro showed statistically significant greater mean improvement from baseline, compared to placebo, on the Children's Depression Rating Scale-Revised (CDRS-R).
In another 8-week, flexible-dose, placebo-controlled study, children and adol...
Christos Ballas, MD, is an academic and forensic psychiatrist.
He graduated from Jefferson Medical College and completed his
residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He
joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania School of
Medicine as an Assistant Professor. He works as inpatient and
consult/liaison psychiatrist, in addition to maintaining a private
practice dedicated to forensics.
Dr. Ballas has published and lectured extensively. His medical
interests include forensic issues and violence, pharmacology, and
healthcare policy. Dr. Ballas is also a talented artist and a
technology enthusiast. One of his current projects include a novel
about the end of the internet.
Dr. Ballas looks forward to answering your questions about
depression. You can send your questions to
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