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Richelson: use of opiates for depression

Posted by ShelliR on April 11, 2001, at 20:03:37

Dr. Richelson,

Thanks for taking questions.

There are a few of us on this board who have been treated with small amounts of opiates to augment antidepressants for treatment resistant depression. Do you believe that some people are particularly responsive to the anti-depressant effects of opiates? In some cases (on this board) and on the internet in general, there are patients who have been treated with opiates (e.g., hydrocodone), and have found the same amount to continue to be effective for many years, and others who have had to increase because of tolerance. Do you know why that might be the case? What is your feeling about using opiates as part of treatment for depression, when no other drug combinations have succeeded in treating the depression? Do you think targeting opiate receptors will play any role in the development of future anti-depressant medications?




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