A revision of the 2008 British Association for Psychopharmacology evidence-based guidelines for treating depressive disorders with antidepressants was undertaken in order to incorporate new evidence and to update the recommendations where appropriate. A consensus meeting involving experts in depressive disorders and their management was held in September 2012. Key areas in treating depression were reviewed and the strength of evidence and clinical implications were considered. The guidelines were then revised after extensive feedback from participants and interested parties. A literature review is provided which identifies the quality of evidence upon which the recommendations are made. These guidelines cover the nature and detection of depressive disorders, acute treatment with antidepressant drugs, choice of drug versus alternative treatment, practical issues in prescribing and management, next-step treatment, relapse prevention, treatment of relapse and stopping treatment. Significant changes since the last guidelines were published in 2008 include the availability of new antidepressant treatment options, improved evidence supporting certain augmentation strategies (drug and non-drug), management of potential long-term side effects, updated guidance for prescribing in elderly and adolescent populations and updated guidance for optimal prescribing. Suggestions for future research priorities are also made.
Keywords: Antidepressants; depression; depressive disorder; evidence-based guidelines; treatment.
© The Author(s) 2015.