STROKE AND ANTIDEPRESSANTS
ANCHOR LEAD: SHOULD EVERYONE WHO HAS A STROKE BE GIVEN AN ANTIDEPRESSANT MEDICINE? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Antidepressant medications help prevent depression in people who’ve had a stroke and may also be beneficial is other ways, a recent study concluded. Rafael Llinas, a stroke expert at Johns Hopkins, comments.
LLINAS: This is an interesting study, for two reasons, I thought. One is there aren’t many psychiatric problems you can predict and prevent, and so this is a subcategory of patients where you can do an intervention and they do better over time. Second of all we do use a lot of antidepressants in patients who have stroke and the really good double blind placebo controlled evidence hasn’t been there. One other thing is they actually had a medication arm and a therapy arm where they gave people problem solving skills and those people did just as well as medication and that’s really important too. :31
Llinas says some people who’ve had a stroke may already be taking other medications that preclude their use of antidepressants, so its good news that therapy also helps. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.