The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.

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  • Recent Comments

    CAM to augment anti-depressant drug effects

    A study published in the journal, eCAM, and summarized in an earlier post, reported a remission rate of 65% when Iyengar yoga was used to augment the effects of anti-depressant drugs in 20 adults with unipolar major depression in partial remission.

    How do other forms of CAM compare when used to improve a less than complete response to pharmacologic treatment of depression?

    In a discussion of the results, the authors commented that their findings were similar to other studies of yoga, and similar as well to other CAM treatments when added to pharmaceuticals.

    Here’s the improvement reported with S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe), omega-3, and folate.

    • 43% using SAMe to augment the response to venlafaxine (Effexor, Efexor).
    • 20% using omega-3 fatty acid combined with paroxetine (Paxil), fluoxetine (Prozac), mirtazapine (Remeron), fluvoxamine (Luvox), moclobemide (Aurorix, Manerix), or citalopram (Celexa).
    • 65% using folate vs 48% with fluoxetine alone based on a liberal criteria for success.

    The bottom line?
    None of these study results are definitive for using these complementary treatments. But they do illustrate positive responses to specific complementary therapies in people with major depression who have not responded fully to mainstream drug treatment.

    For depressed patients who need a better response to treatment, changing drugs is an option. These studies suggest its not the only option.

    8/19/08 18:20 JR

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