WEDNESDAY, April 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Antidepressants may not yield long-term improvements in health-related quality of life, according to a study published online April 20 in PLOS ONE.

Omar A. Almohammed, Ph.D., from King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and colleagues used data from the U.S. Medical Expenditures Panel Survey (2005 to 2016) to investigate the effect of antidepressant medication use on patient-reported health-related quality of life.

The researchers found that 17.5 million adults — mostly women (67.9 percent) — were diagnosed with depression disorder each year during the study period. A larger proportion of women diagnosed with depression received antidepressant medications compared with men (60.5 versus 51.5 percent). While antidepressants were associated with some improvement on the mental component of the Short Form-12 Health Survey, there were no significant differences observed between the two cohorts in the physical component or the mental component summaries.

“Although we still need our patients with depression to continue using their antidepressant medications, long-term studies evaluating the actual impact for pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions on these patients’ quality of life is needed,” the authors added in a statement. “With that being said, the role of cognitive and behavioral interventions on the long term-management of depression needs to be further evaluated in an [effort] to improve the ultimate goal of care for these patients: improving their overall quality of life.”

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