Study: Adjunctive L-methylfolate May Benefit Depression Patients Who are Resistant to Antidepressants

By April 26, 2013 July 10th, 2019 Drug Safety

Information found in a new study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry has demonstrated that depressed patients who are resistant to SSRI medications like Paxil or Effexor may benefit from augmentation therapy with the medical food L-methylfolate.

The study was able to show how much safer and tolerable L-methylfolate (deplin) is as a treatment for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). While depression is a common condition that is often treated with drugs like Paxil or Effexor, experts say that it is common for patients taking the pills to find the first round of treatment unsuccessful. This is why this new study may help depressives — it may help provide an alternative that is safe when the antidepressants aren’t working.

“Deplin can be part of a novel approach to depression therapy that is effective in patients that do not respond to traditional SSRIs, as well as relatively safe and well-tolerated compared to almost all alternative options,” said Dr. George Papakostas, lead author of the study. “The efficacy to the molecule has been proven in a randomized controlled trial examining at 15mg daily dose, and we are eager to see how it can benefit certain subsets of the depressive population with SSRI-resistant depression.”

“The results of this clinical trial are very encouraging,” said Dr. Maurizio Fava, the study’s lead investigator. “It will be exciting to see additional research involving L-methylfolate as an adjunct therapy for MDD. If continued to be proven to help patients achieve a superior response in the treatment of depression, this could be a true game-changer in the field.”

The dangers linked to antidepressants like Paxil and Effexor include violent and suicidal thoughts and behaviors as well as birth defects in babies whose mothers take the drug while pregnant. Some of those defects include PPHN, spina bifida, neural tube defects and oral clefts. A study like this may go a long way toward helping depressed patients find alternative treatments to these dangerous prescription medications.

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