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Editorial Foreword: New antidepressants or more of the same? || FREE PAPER ||

Authors Roger M Pinder

Published 15 November 2007 Volume 2007:3(5) Pages 519—520

Roger M Pinder

York, UK

Effective antidepressant drugs have been available for half a century since the first monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), isoniazid, and the prototype tricyclic antidepressant (TCA), imipramine, were introduced into therapy (Leonard and Spencer 1990). The use of MAOIs declined when reports appeared of hypertensive crises associated with ingestion of dietary tyramine, and the TCAs, despite their shortcomings in safety and tolerability, became the mainstays of treatment. A second generation of drugs of various classes was developed with diverse chemical structures and different mechanisms of action (Pinder and Wieringa 1993), of which the most widely prescribed have been the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Although modern drug discovery technologies like combinatorial chemistry and high-throughput screening have made less likely the identification of truly novel agents (Pinder 2001), new agents and biological targets continue to be investigated (Bosker et al 2004). Psychological treatments, including cognitive and interpersonal therapies, also have their place in the acute and maintenance treatment of depression (DeRubels et al 2005).

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