February 17, 2016
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Nearly two-thirds of adults with MDD report depressive symptoms despite treatment

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Recent survey results indicated nearly two-thirds of adults with major depressive disorder reported experiencing depressive symptoms at least once a week, despite taking medication as prescribed.

“The symptoms of major depressive disorder can have a debilitating effect on all aspects of the lives of adults who suffer from the disease,” Gerald A. Maguire, MD, DFAPA, of the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine, said in a press release. “Physicians work closely with their patients to find the treatment plans that are most effective, but unfortunately, even when patients take their medication as prescribed, many still deal with MDD symptoms frequently.”

The Living with MDD survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Otsuka America Pharmaceutical Inc. and Lundbeck from April 21 to May 1, 2015. Survey participants included 300 adults, aged 18 years and older, who self-reported a diagnosis of MDD and antidepressant treatment within the last year, 150 psychiatrists who treat MDD, and 152 primary care physicians who treat MDD.

Overall, 90% of respondents reported they always took medication as prescribed. However, 61% of these respondents reported they experienced MDD symptoms at least once a week.

Adults with MDD reported taking an average of 1.8 sick days per month from work or school, 6.3 days per month where they were unable to complete daily living tasks, and missing a social event due to MDD 2.4 days per month.

Among adults with MDD who reported taking medication as prescribed and treatment satisfaction, 42% reported experiencing symptoms at least once a week and 26% reported experiencing symptoms at least several times per week.

Approximately 73% of psychiatrists and 54% of primary care physicians reported there are not enough medication options “that work well enough to relieve patients’ symptoms of MDD.” Forty percent of adults with MDD reported the same sentiment.

Half of adults with MDD reported varying levels of efficacy with MDD medication and 70% of psychiatrists and 54% of primary care physicians reported changing patients’ MDD medication at least once a year.

The majority of psychiatrists (77%) and primary care physicians (69%) reported frustration regarding side effects of MDD treatment. Forty-five percent of adults with MDD echoed that sentiment.

“Patients should speak with their physicians about treatment plans and how often they are continuing to experience symptoms of MDD,” Maguire said in the release. “New treatment advances may be required to better manage their symptoms.” – by Amanda Oldt

For more information:

Visit www.livingwithmajordepressivedisorder.com for survey results and shareable resources.