The FDA has approved EMSAM (selegiline), a transdermal patch,
for the treatment of major depression. Selegeline is a MAOI
originally used to treat Parkinsons. MAOIs belong to an old
class of antidepressants, typically used as a last resort. When
taken orally, side effects with these meds tend to be onerous,
including risk of tyramine reaction and resulting hypertensive
crisis, which necessitates severely restricting ones
The patch was developed by Somerset Pharmaceuticals, who
partnered with Bristol-Myers Squibb. Because the drug is absorbed
through the skin, there is little or no contact with gastric
tyramine and interactions with various enzymes. Based on three
small studies, the product labeling advises that a modified diet is
not required for 6 mg a day of EMSAM. But due to limited data, the
labeling advises that those on doses of 9 and 12 mg are required to
restrict their diets. If hypertensive crisis occurs, the drug
should be discontinued immediately and thera...
When we moved from Connecticut to California over a year ago, I had to end therapy with the therapist I had there. (I really liked her, but figured 3,000 miles was too far to go for an appointment.) I still had some issues to be worked out, so a few weeks ago I faced the fact that I needed to find a therapist in the area. I started, as I usually do, by asking my psychiatrist if he could recommend a good therapist, but he surprised me by telling me that he didn't know anyone he could recommend, although he offered to look over the list of therapists that were available under my health insurance. I was stumped. I've never had to start from ground zero, so to speak. I always got a recommendation from my psychiatrist that turned out well, fortunately. I finally turned to a resource that, unfortunately, most people don't have access to. There is a community bulletin board in the area started by University of California, Berkeley employees called Berkel...
Bipolar disorder treatment includes medication and non-drug therapy. The good news is that most patients respond to treatment and are able to control their illness. Psychotherapy helps patients cope with the cyclical nature of the disease and can lead to better compliance with bipolar disorder medication. In addition to psychotherapy, some doctors prescribe bright-light therapy as a bipolar disorder treatment. In a recent study, this treatment was found to help with bouts of winter depression experienced by many bipolar disorder patients. Bipolar disorder patients experience seasonal affective disorder-an illness that causes depression during winter months. Bipolar disorder medications are used two ways. The first way is to control symptoms that are out-of-control and need immediate attention. These medications are known as acute phase medications. They are used to treat severe depression or suicidal behavior during depressive episodes and they help control dangerous, psychotic be...
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