Biological treatment of depression and pharmacotherapy

Biological treatment of depression, in the first place, includes pharmacological therapy. At the same time, for the biological treatment of depressive spectrum disorders, electroconvulsive therapy, sleep deprivation, phototherapy, diet therapy, herbal therapy, efferent sorption techniques, and other biological effects on the patient’s body can be used.


According to the well-known domestic depression researcher A. B. Smulevich (2004), psychopharmacological therapy is the leading method of its treatment.

Among the drugs used to treat depression, antidepressants are most often used, but other drugs are also used in the treatment process: antipsychotics, tranquilizers (short course), vitamins, hormones, antioxidants, lithium salts, drugs that improve the metabolism of brain cells that affect the immune system , and other drugs.

Indications for medical therapy of depression

  1. Moderate or severe forms of depression
  2. Suicidal thoughts
  3. Prolonged, chronic depression
  4. Psychotic variants of depression (recurrent, bipolar
    new affective disorder, schizophrenia, etc.)
  5. Recurrent depression
  6. Financial or temporary restrictions for the passage of the full
    a good course of psychotherapy, lack of effectiveness in
    its holding
  7. Severe cognitive impairment
  8. Significant autonomic dysfunction
  9. Adynamic depression
  10. Depression on the background of somatic disease (in the absence of
    contraindications from individual organs or systems)

Drug treatment of depression should first be addressed if the patient has its pronounced forms, suicidal thoughts or protracted, chronically flowing variants of depression. Psychopharmacological agents are also used when there are symptoms of psychosis, for example, in the case of bipolar depression or depression developing in the structure of an attack of schizophrenia. Drugs are used in case of ineffectiveness of psychotherapeutic treatment, in the event of recurrence of depression, as well as in the absence of financial or temporary opportunities to undergo a full course of psychotherapy. Drug therapy is preferable if disorders of various organs and systems, pronounced manifestations of autonomic dysfunction (poor appetite, insomnia, weakness, memory disorders, pain of a different nature, etc.) or depression are secondary among depression symptoms, or depression is a medical condition. Psychopharmacological agents also become desirable if depression leads to a pronounced decrease in the patient’s activity, inability to perform daily duties. It should be borne in mind: in most cases, a patient suffering from depression has a negative attitude towards taking medications and often requires a lot of effort to incline him to the need for this step.

In terms of rational therapy, it may be appropriate to compare with the need for time-limited antibiotic therapy in the event of a serious infection or the importance of a temporary medical correction of a patient with diabetes in case of decompensation of his condition.

local_offerevent_note March 20, 2019

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