Do Psychotropic Meds Raise or Lower COVID Risk?

Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center. Different psychotropic medications are associated with different risks of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients with serious mental illness, a new study suggests. Investigators found that second-generation antipsychotics were associated with a 48% lower risk of COVID-19, while valproic acid was associated with … Read more

A Little-Known Option for Depression

Standard therapies for depression are antidepressants and psychotherapy. In particularly severe cases, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) or vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) may also be indicated. VNS is an approved, effective, well-tolerated, long-term therapy for chronic and therapy-resistant depression, write Christine Reif-Leonhardt, MD, and her team of researchers from the University Hospital Frankfurt am Main, Germany, in … Read more

Antidepressant Drug Use in Patients With T2D Lacks Research

researchers published the study covered in this summary on medRxiv.org as a preprint that has not yet been reviewed. Key Takeaways The authors of this systematic review attempted to assess and synthesize the long-term outcomes from observational studies of people with type 2 diabetes and comorbid depression who received treatment with prescribed antidepressants. No studies … Read more

Unexpected Effect on Quality of Life

Antidepressant use is not associated with significant improvement in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with depression, new research suggests. Researchers who conducted the study admit this finding was unexpected, and outside experts say no firm conclusions can be drawn from the research. “Of course we were surprised by the results,” first author Omar … Read more

Methylphenidate Is Overprescribed to Children in France

The prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is difficult to evaluate, and the diagnosis is based primarily on clinical criteria. In 2008, a French study estimated the prevalence to be between 3.5% and 5.6%, but the study’s design was questionable. Treatment of this disorder consists first and foremost in educational, social, and psychotherapeutic management. Only if … Read more

Psilocybin ‘Rewires’ the Brain to Alleviate Depression

New research points to a general mechanism that may explain how psychedelics act on the brain to alleviate depression and potentially other psychiatric conditions marked by fixed patterns of thinking, including rumination and excessive self-focus. Led by investigators from the University of California San Francisco and Imperial College London’s Center for Psychedelic Research, the findings … Read more

Knowns and Unknowns About SSRI Use During Pregnancy in 2022

The last 15-20 years have brought enormous attention to the relevant clinical issues regarding prescribing antidepressants during pregnancy. Concern about the effects of fetal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is appropriate given the consistent data that approximately 7% of women use antidepressants during pregnancy, and that risk for relapse of depression during pregnancy … Read more

Depression and Dry Eye Correlation Probed

Symptoms of dry eye correlated with depression in one of the largest studies to examine the relationship. Clinicians should take the relationship into consideration when treating either condition, said Gui-shuang Ying, PhD, a professor of ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. “I would say that if the patient sees a doctor for dry … Read more