Statistics show that 1 out of 5 Americans will have an encounter with serious depression during their lifetime. Among the antidepressant medications available, only half of them work for the users. About 1 in 3 patients never find the right medication. This trial and error causes a lot of wasted money and time for sufferers. On top of that, the longer a patient isn’t able to find a medication, the longer the recovery process. Is there a better solution?
Health practitioners use a number of strategies to try to deal with the condition. From cognitive behavior therapy to prescription drugs, or a combination of both. There is no single solution that works for everyone and finding ones’ fit is usually a process of trial and error. This requires weeks or months of trying different medications and suffering the side effects before finding something that works. A new tool is showing much potential to end this cycle.
Researchers in England proposed the idea of a premedication blood test that is aimed in helping patients find the right combination of medication or therapy faster. This could be possible by testing the level of two chemicals that have been linked to poor response in medication. Since people vary in their levels of these chemicals, it would be possible to determine whether the common medications would work or not. This could greatly reduce the need for patients to try the all common medications before finding something that works. Those within a certain threshold would be considered as part of the category of those who need to find alternative medications aside from the go-to meds.
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Although this doesn’t totally remove the corroboration needed between patients and psychiatrists, the frustrating trial and error could be skipped and other solutions tested. This would be a great relief to depression sufferers would be able to start treating their condition as soon as possible instead of suffering at the hands of medications that don’t work.
The drug test is not yet available and still needs to undergo clinical trials to determine if it is a good alternative to current methods. It is hoped that the research provides a shortcut to the future where chance is not at play in prescribing vital medication.
With this blood test, depression patients will be able to start on the road to recovery and good health without making unnecessary steps experimenting with different medication.