A review of more than 200 studies into the effectiveness of second-generation antidepressants has concluded that they are all equally effective although they do have different side effects. The review was carried out by the American College of Physicians which recommended that physicians make treatment decisions based on side effects, cost and patient preferences and make changes if the patient's response is not sufficient after 6-8 weeks. The guidelines issued by the college also recommend continuing treatment for four to nine months after a satisfactory response to an antidepressant in patients with a first episode of major depression. Those people who have had two or more episodes of depression should have a longer course of treatment aimed at preventing a recurrence or relapse.
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