A review of the current guidelines for depression treatment

J Clin Psychiatry. 2010 Jul;71(7):e15. doi: 10.4088/JCP.9078tx1c.


A variety of American and European guidelines are available for clinicians treating major depressive disorder and depressive subtypes. Major Western guidelines published since 2000 make similar recommendations for all stages of treatment for depression, including a reliance on measurement-based care. First-line treatment is usually a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, psychotherapy, or a combination of pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. Next-step treatment recommendations are switching or augmentation, depending on patient response to the initial treatment. Maintenance therapy continues the approach that led to remission. The American Psychiatric Association will release a new treatment guideline to offer information on developments made since the last guidelines were published in 2000. Despite progress made during the last decade, no major breakthroughs in the treatment of depression have occurred, and genetic testing developments allowing for personalized care remain the goal of research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / genetics
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / therapy*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Psychotherapy
  • Research


  • Antidepressive Agents