Treating Depression

What treatments are available for depression?

Both non-drug and drug therapies are available to treat depression. Depression is often treated first with psychotherapy (talk therapy) and antidepressant medication administered together. Although antidepressants can be effective for some patients, they do not work for everyone. Also, there can often be unwanted side effects from antidepressant drugs.

Antidepressant drugs

When first-line antidepressant drugs are not effective, other depression treatment options may be considered:

  • Patients can be switched to a different type of antidepressant medication (such as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) or a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA)
  • Patients may have another medication, such as lithium or thyroid supplement, added to their current antidepressant medication
  • Patients may have an atypical antipsychotic medication added to their antidepressant medication

Adding more depression medications can result in additional unwanted side effects.

TMS Therapy for depression

For patients who do not receive adequate benefit from antidepressant medication and/or cannot tolerate the side effects caused by them, other treatments with a medical device are available.1 One of these treatments is transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). The 2010 Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Patients with Major Depression cites TMS as an appropriate treatment option for patients who have not benefited from initial antidepressant medication.10

TMS uses short pulses of a magnetic field to stimulate nerve cells in the area of the brain thought to control mood. The pulsed magnetic field may have a positive effect on the brain’s neurotransmitter levels. Treating depression with NeuroStar TMS Therapy® provides a breakthrough depression treatment for those who have not been satisfied with the results they have had with antidepressant drugs.