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Bauer, Michael; Severus, Emanuel; Möller, Hans-Jürgen; Young, Allan H. (2017): Pharmacological treatment of unipolar depressive disorders: summary of WFSBP guidelines. In: International Journal of Psychiatry In Clinical Practice, Vol. 21, No. 3: pp. 166-176
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Abstract

Objective: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a severe mood disorder affecting individuals of all ages and is characterised by single or recurrent major depressive episodes. Key elements of acute and maintenance treatment of MDD include pharmacotherapy, and psychological approaches such as psychoeducation and adherence monitoring.Methods: This summary of the Practice guidelines for the biological treatment of unipolar depressive disorders' comprises acute, continuation and maintenance treatment developed by an international Task Force of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP), and focuses on pharmacological treatment options.Results: A variety of different antidepressants are available for the effective acute and prophylactic treatment of depressed patients. Randomised placebo-controlled efficacy studies indicate that all major classes of antidepressants are effective in acute treatment but also in preventing recurrence of depression showing about a two-fold higher relapse rate with placebo treatment. Evidence suggests that the newer' antidepressants have superior long-term effectiveness due to better tolerability and safety profile compared to traditional antidepressants, e.g., the tricyclic antidepressants (TCA).Conclusions: Despite progress in the availability of different treatment options there is still a substantial proportion of patients who do not achieve full remission. Several add-on pharmacological treatment options are among the best-evidenced strategies for refractory depressed patients.