Second generation antipsychotics (SGAs) are increasingly employed in the treatment of depression. Adjunctive aripiprizole and olanzapine/fluoxetine combination (OFC) have been approved in the US in the treatment of depression. Quetiapine also appears to be poised for an FDA approval as an adjunctive treatment for resistant depression. Historically, first generation antipsychotics were thought to carry an enhanced risk of certain side effects in the treatment of mood disorders, including an enhanced risk of extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS). The second generation antipsychotics are also known to be associated with a variety of metabolic side effects. The use of SGA in a depressed population may pose risks that differ from use in other conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. In this paper, the risk of extrapyramidal and metabolic side effects is reviewed in depressed patients treated with second generation antipsychotics.
Keywords: Major depression, drug treatment, anti-psychotics, toxicity
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