Is Medication an Effective Treatment for SAD?

In a recent review article, researchers examine emerging treatment options for seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The authors acknowledge that bright light therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy have been demonstrated to be effective in SAD; however, they focus their review on several psychopharmacological treatment options. They review first-line treatment options—sertraline and fluoxetine—as well as the evidence for use of other antidepressants (e.g., bupropion) for SAD treatment. The authors report that their examination of the
literature reveals that although clinical trials have shown that some of these antidepressants may be of benefit, there is not yet enough evidence to support the use of any of these agents for the treatment of SAD yet. They also review the limited evidence available on the effectiveness of other treatment options, such as propranolol, melatonin, and hypericum. The authors conclude that patients with seasonal depressive symptoms should thoroughly be evaluated for any cues of bipolarity, and their treatment should be planned accordingly.
Source: Yildiz M, Batmaz S, Songur E, Oral ET. State of the art psychopharmacological treatment options in seasonal affective disorder. Psychiatr Danub. 2016;28(1):25–29.

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