Treatment Resistance

Psychiatry & Mental Health located in Tulsa, OK

Treatment Resistance

Struggling with depression is hard, so imagine how discouraging it would be if your antidepressants failed to improve your mood, a challenge called treatment resistance. Bradley McClure, MD, and his experienced team at McClure & Associates Psychiatry in Tulsa, Oklahoma, specialize in helping patients with treatment resistance. They work closely with each person to find a solution, improve their mood, and restore their mental health. Don’t wait to call the office or connect online to schedule an appointment and overcome treatment-resistant depression.

Treatment Resistance Q & A

What is treatment resistance?

Treatment resistance occurs when your mental health symptoms don’t improve with prescription medications.

Before diagnosing treatment resistance, your McClure & Associates Psychiatry provider ensures you have the right diagnosis. Then, you need to take at least two different medications targeting that diagnosis.

With each medication, you need to reach the optimal dose (your provider starts at the lowest effective dose and gradually increases it if necessary to improve your results) and then take each new dose long enough for the medication to work.

Antidepressants take four to eight weeks to improve your symptoms, but your medication trial could last two or three times longer depending on how many times your provider increases the dose.

When might I become treatment-resistant?

Treatment resistance most often affects people taking antidepressants for mood disorders, including major depressive disorder (MDD), bipolar disorder, and schizoaffective disorder.

At least 30% of patients taking antidepressants, whether for MDD or bipolar disorder, develop treatment-resistant depression.

People taking antipsychotics for schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder may also struggle with treatment resistance.

How can I get better if I’m treatment-resistant?

As specialists in treatment resistance, the McClure & Associates Psychiatry team considers all the following steps:

Scheduling a physical exam

You could have an undiagnosed health condition interfering with your response to antidepressants.

Reviewing all medications

Your provider may review all the medications you take from other physicians and any over-the-counter dietary supplements you use. You may be taking substances that interact with antidepressants and reduce their effectiveness.

Talking about medication adherence

You may not be treatment-resistant if your symptoms don’t improve because you missed too many doses or stopped taking the medication.

Starting another medication trial

Another round of the same medication may be the best choice if you didn’t take the prescribed dose or you’re taking a medication that interacts with your antidepressants.

Adding a second antidepressant

Adding another antidepressant that works differently than your first medication may boost the overall effectiveness of both drugs.

Recommending pharmacogenetic testing

Pharmacogenetic tests profile your genetic makeup and identify the best medications for your unique metabolism.

Considering a different FDA-approved treatment

The FDA has approved two antipsychotic medications and esketamine nasal spray for treatment-resistant depression. Other therapies approved for treatment resistance include electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS).

Call McClure & Associates Psychiatry today or book an appointment online to get help for treatment resistance.