Drug treatment of seasonal affective disorder

Dietmar Winkler, Edda Pjrek, Anastasios Konstantinidis and Siegfried Kasper

in Seasonal Affective Disorder

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780199544288
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754593 | DOI:
Drug treatment of seasonal affective disorder

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Previous studies have established that BLT and several antidepressant drugs are effective and safe treatments for SAD. Available data suggest that monoamine reuptake inhibitors should be preferred when psychopharmacological treatment is indicated. Novel approaches, such as the melatonergic antidepressant agomelatine, are promising. Antidepressants can be used as monotherapy or as add-on treatment to BLT. Inasmuch as the diagnostic latency for SAD is still unacceptably high (Winkler et al. 2002), clinicians should actively evaluate seasonality in their patients. In contrast to non-seasonal depression, SAD permits reliable predictions of the onset of the patient's next affective episode. The possibility of prophylactic treatment should therefore be discussed with every patient having a diagnosis of SAD. Up to now there have been no published studies that have investigated treatments for patients with bipolar SAD. For this reason it is recommended that treatment guidelines from non-seasonal bipolar disorder be adapted to current clinical practice, and that future research be aimed at establishing specific treatment algorithms for unipolar and bipolar SAD patients.

Chapter.  6717 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry

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