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Thread: Medical research - future medication

  1. #1
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    Medical research - future medication

    PsychoPoet Research Initiative
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    UPCOMING MEDICAL ADVANCES

    Thought this might inspire a bit of hope. The following website is American, but I would think that any drugs successfully trialled in the USA will be imported to the UK before long.

    There is an extensive list of new medications for various problems such as anxiety, depression and even psychosis. There isn't much information on some of the drugs. Some of the medications have successfully completed trials and are awaiting approval for widespread use.

    The benefits of these new medications are usually quicker activation time (some of them start working within 7 days), easier tolerance, fewer side effects and ability to use alongside existing antidepressants.

    Citalopram took 3 weeks before I saw any benefits and it was more than 6 weeks until I began to tolerate it properly. Imagine going through only 5 bad days before the clouds start to break... that would be wonderful.

    Hope people find this interesting!

    http://www.neurotransmitter.net/newdrugs.html
    NOTE: This site appears to be updated regularly.
    Last edited by NoPoet; 23-03-10 at 00:01.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Medical research - future medication

    AGOMELATINE ** UPDATED 14/12/09 **

    There is a new drug that has been approved for use in Europe, and is waiting for approval in the USA.

    The information in this article reflects the majority of research results I have come across. Agomelatine is a new medication and some of the available information is contradictory or otherwise unclear. If anyone who has actually used agomelatine can tell me their experiences I will be very grateful.

    Agomelatine is the first antidepressant to target melatonin receptors, making it the first antidepressant of the melatonergic class. What this means for us in practical terms is that it apparently does not cause daytime drowsiness, weight gain or any sexual side effects, unlike SSRIs. It does, however, have a positive impact on the quality of a person's sleep, which appears to increase the effectiveness of the medication.

    What may be even more important in the long term is that agomelatine is not believe to cause withdrawal symptoms when treatment is discontinued abruptly, even when the patient has been taking high doses. Withdrawal effects are one of the most notorious effects of more established medications such as SSRIs.

    Agomelatine is effective against any severity of depression, but its effectiveness seems to increase the worse your depression is, making it a very attractive medication for the severely depressed. I have read more than one report which comes to this conclusion.

    In trials, it proved as effective at combating depression as established SSRI medication. However, when you factor in the lack of withdrawal syndrome and comparatively reduced side effects, agomelatine could be the way forward for now. (Note, however, that SSRIs are also considered to have fewer side effects than other meds and look what happened to me when I started on citalopram.)

    Finally, agomelatine appears to be useful against anxiety as well as depression, although one of the side effects may be temporarily heightened anxiety. Agomelatine side effects seemed to be at their most significant for 1-2 weeks during trials, but then again where have we heard that before.

    Agomelatine contraindications


    This is a new medication and I do not know about the long-term implications of taking it. Some research has been done into adverse drug interactions. However, there do not seem to be any horror stories floating about, and there are no known adverse interactions with existing SSRI medication or most other types of medication. You should avoid alcohol while taking agomelatine.

    Agomelatine side effects


    Agomelatine does have side effects which commonly include heightened anxiety, muscular pain in the back, dizziness and nausea. It is important that users have regular liver function checks. Side effects are supposed to become less severe over the first two weeks of treatment. It can take the usual length of time for agomelatine to become effective (eg approximately 1 month) but there is no clear evidence of this, and it seems to work more quickly in some people (e.g. sleep benefits become noticeable within one week).

    There is conflicting evidence about daytime drowsiness, with some reports stating it was a common initial reaction, and other studies clearly indicating that no-one reported drowsiness.

    It seems that in medical trials, the side effects of agomelatine were generally well tolerated, since fewer people discontinued the use of agomelatine than a rival, established medication.

    UPDATE: According to the NHS Electronic Library for Medicines, in 14 medical trials the occurrence of side effects in groups taking agomelatine was similar to occurrence in groups taking placebo. This supports other research which states that the side effect profile of agomelatine is less severe than for SSRIs and other medication.

    Spanish study

    Spanish medical researchers have declared agomelatine to be superior to sertraline for treating severe depression. Agomelatine works more quickly and the researchers found that its beneficial effects on sleep meant the agomelatine began to work faster than sertraline.

    After 6 weeks of treatment, agomelatine was clearly superior at reducing anxiety and depression. In every study there are people who discontinue treatment due to side effects. Fewer people gave up on the agomelatine than gave up on sertraline, which indicates that agomelatine either has fewer side effects than established medication, or the side effects that do occur are less severe.

    Once again, it was noted in this study that agomelatine did not cause daytime droswiness.

    The Spanish researchers concluded that agomelatine appears "promising" in the fight against major depression. However, it appears that this research was sponsored by the manufacturers of agomelatine. In fairness, the results of this research do seem to tally with the other investigations which have taken place over the last few years.

    British studies


    British research appears to indicate that agomelatine users may not be as prone to relapse as people who discontinue use of other types of antidepressant medication. Agomelatine users seem to have only a 22% risk of relapse after finishing a course of treatment, as opposed to nearly 50% of people using an established medication.

    It is also thought that agomelatine could be useful against major depression that has resisted other medical treatments. This may be because it works in a different manner to established types of antidepressants.

    However, there is not currently enough evidence to confirm either of these two points, and the British researchers advise caution when using agomelatine, as there are many better-understood medications available which do have a positive impact against major depressive disorder.

    It is not likely that doctors will begin wide-scale prescription of this medication in the UK until more is known.

    NHS Scotland


    I read online that NHS Scotland has declined to use agomelatine as the manufacturer was unable to provide sufficient financial data about the medication. This is purely about money and does not reflect any concern about the medication's effectiveness at treating depression. However, at least one member of NMP was recently prescribed agomelatine by NHS Scotland, so it appears this policy has been rescinded.

    Research on upcoming antidepressant meds

    The newest treatments for depression seem to take a different tack to SSRIs given that SSRIs are not always effective, or take too long to have any benefits. So the upcoming meds either do not target serotonin reuptake (since altering the brain's reuptake of serotonin seems to be what causes the worst side effects), or they target this mechanism alongside other areas of the brain.
    Last edited by NoPoet; 15-12-09 at 00:16.
    __________________
    Citalopram Survival Guide
    Inositol Survival Guide

    What would you do if you weren't afraid?

    I drew the line between hope and despair, and the line will hold.

    "Forth now, and fear no darkness!"

  3. #3
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    Re: Medical research - future medication

    ELECTRONIC MIND MAP

    According to an article on cnet.com, scientists have successfully created a computer program that is capable of mapping the "wiring" of the feline brain and simulate the firing of its neurons in real time.

    What this means in the language of those who don't watch Star Trek, is that they have basically created a computerised version of a cat's brain. As the feline brain is far less complex than ours, they were able to create an accurate representation of it using today's computer technology.

    The reason for doing this is simple: they want to know how the brain is wired up and how that wiring works. By doing so, they will make a significant advance in the understanding of the human brain, which could have an enormous impact on medical science.

    There is one problem. The human brain is by far the most advanced on the planet. It's 20 times more complex than the feline brain. This means that successfully "mapping" the human brain is going to take at least another decade. They created the feline brain just to see if it would work, and to pave the way for eventually creating a simulated human brain.

    Imagine it: not only will our level of computer science be increased, but we could run simulations to find out why people suffer dementia, how the brain degrades with age, what happens in the brain of a person who is suffering from psychosis or depression...

    The possibilities could, in theory, be limitless.
    Last edited by NoPoet; 27-11-09 at 22:36.
    __________________
    Citalopram Survival Guide
    Inositol Survival Guide

    What would you do if you weren't afraid?

    I drew the line between hope and despair, and the line will hold.

    "Forth now, and fear no darkness!"

  4. #4
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    Re: Medical research - future medication

    KETAMINE

    I've recently updated my Citalopram Survival Guide with information about ketamine, the well-known horse tranquiliser.

    Research into ketamine is ongoing, as it has recently been noticed that ketamine offers rapid relief from the symptoms of depression. In fact, as little as one dose can have a "pronounced, rapid and prolonged response" against depression.

    In one trial, it provided significant relief for depression sufferers whose condition was described by one researcher as "very treatment-resistant".

    However, ketamine has many potentially dangerous side effects, and its use in humans is quite limited. There is no way that ketamine will ever be prescribed as an antidepressant. So if you are thinking of obtaining some, forget it!

    Researchers are trying to find out exactly how and why ketamine relieves depression so quickly. We're talking a matter of hours after taking a dose. Today's medication usually takes weeks to have any positive effects.

    It seems that ketamine, unlike modern antidepressants, takes a direct and potent course of action by actively targeting the biological causes of depression. This is already helping researchers to better understand how and why depression physically occurs.

    Once our scientists have cracked it, they will eventually be able to create a new generation of antidepressants which act very quickly, providing near-instant relief from depression.

    Speaking as someone who has struggled with citalopram side effects, and whose depression worsened during the early weeks when citalopram was still not producing any beneficial effects (but of course was producing some horrible side effects), this is really, really good news.

    I hope they are able to get these new meds out soon! Think of the suffering that will be saved. Note, however, that ketamine has not undergone a large enough trial and due to its side effects is unlikely to do so.

    THE GLUTAMATE SYSTEM


    Research into ketamine, along with other current research results, has highlighted the neruotransmitter called "glautamate" as having a role in depression. Until now, the neurotransmitters "serotonin" and "norepinephrine" were the main focus of antidepressant research. Identifying the glutamate system as an avenue for future research just broadened our horizon in the fight against depression.

    As ever, it will be a while before we start to see significant results from this research, but once again it shows that there is plenty of hope on the horizon.
    Last edited by NoPoet; 27-11-09 at 20:14.
    __________________
    Citalopram Survival Guide
    Inositol Survival Guide

    What would you do if you weren't afraid?

    I drew the line between hope and despair, and the line will hold.

    "Forth now, and fear no darkness!"

  5. #5
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    Re: Medical research - future medication

    Veryyyyyyyyyyyyy Interesting.. Michael
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  6. #6
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    Re: Medical research - future medication

    Thanks mate! I'm surprised more people aren't interested in this... then again, when you are suffering from anxiety and depression, the thought of waiting years for more help is not an attractive one.
    __________________
    Citalopram Survival Guide
    Inositol Survival Guide

    What would you do if you weren't afraid?

    I drew the line between hope and despair, and the line will hold.

    "Forth now, and fear no darkness!"

  7. #7
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    Re: Medical research - future medication

    Its good to read this and keep ahead with developments, how often do new things come out?

    I thought about subscribing to this magazine, to see what new research/developments are ongoing, Mental Health Today Magazine

  8. #8
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    Re: Medical research - future medication

    Sounds interesting especially the Agomelatine article.

  9. #9
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    Re: Medical research - future medication

    I'm considering talking to my doctor about agomelatine. Since it's practically brand new on the market (<1yr old) I'm doubting he has heard of it or will risk any possible unknown long-term implications from putting me on it. I'm willing to give it a go if there are less side effects and positive sleep benefits.

    New medication is constantly under development. New techniques, therapies and ways of exploring the causes of depression are also underway all the time.

    Breakthroughs are starting to come because of research into ketamine. Medical science is now starting to develop an understanding of how depression occurs within the body, which has not really had many results before now. When they find out exactly how depression physically occurs (e.g. what changes take place within the body) they will be in a far better position to stamp it out once and for all.
    __________________
    Citalopram Survival Guide
    Inositol Survival Guide

    What would you do if you weren't afraid?

    I drew the line between hope and despair, and the line will hold.

    "Forth now, and fear no darkness!"

  10. #10
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    Re: Medical research - future medication

    Hi Poet

    Thanks for the research, my doc actually did suggest i take this new agomelatine, because a lot of my problems seem to be sleep related. He told me he couldn't wait to see how effective it would be (i'd be his first patient on it!!). I declined and stuck with an SSRI, but might look into it again.

    Bexie

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