Practice guidelines

Timo Partonen and Andres Magnusson

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:
Practice guidelines

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The usual first-line option for the treatment for patients with winter SAD is bright-light therapy. This treatment is usually administered by using a light-box. New innovative light devices have been developed, but their efficacy and clinical advantages have not yet been established. Continuing treatment throughout the winter season is advisable to prevent relapses. Those patients at risk of light-induced eye damage should consult an ophthalmologist before the bright-light therapy is started and at regular intervals thereafter. Antidepressant drugs are a relatively unexplored treatment for winter SAD, but preliminary data from randomized controlled trials suggest that a range of antidepressants may be effective. While the treatment of choice for winter SAD is bright-light therapy, all methods of treatment need to be considered when the treatment response is not optimal. In addition, patients may be encouraged to examine if they can change their present situation, both at home and at work, in a way that they would be able to receive more light from the environment.

Chapter.  2483 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry

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