This content is created by the Healthline editorial team and is funded by a third party sponsor. Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are sometimes called dual reuptake inhibitors. As the fastest growing consumer health information site a€” with 65 million monthly visitors a€” Healthlinea€™s mission is to be your most trusted ally in your pursuit of health and well-being. Mindfulness training, which is often called mindfulness-based cognitive therapy or MBCT, could potential be used for treating depression as well as its other growing list of uses. The Oxford research echoes results from other studies that showed mindfulness training to be an effective alternative treatment. With mindfulness training, someone learns to observe and acknowledge her or his own thoughts without judgment and then let them go.
The Oxford researchers equated the program with training the mind and body to prevent another episode by responding more constructively to their experiences.
The latest research involved 424 people who were already taking antidepressants to treat major down periods.
When the meditation versus medication question arises for treating a new patient, mindfulness is apparently as good as meds for treating depression. However, the study could only point to an association between long-term or high-dose use of these drugs and a higher risk of dementia, it could not prove cause-and-effect. The new study was led by Shelly Gray of the Group Health Research Institute-University of Washington.
The new study tracked outcomes for more than 3,500 seniors who were followed for more than seven years.
Manevitz noted that occasional use of these medications did not seem to be tied to a rise in dementia risk. According to Manevitz, “we need to educate patients and their families about over-the-counter medicines and alternative therapies. He believes doctors should think about substitutes for anticholinergics when possible, prescribe the lowest dose possible, and stop the medication as soon as is medically advisable. She said that substitutes are available for some anticholinergic drugs, including a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant like citalopram (Celexa) or fluoxitene (Prozac) for depression, or a second-generation antihistamine such as loratadine (Claritin) for allergy relief.

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Both of which will support, guide, and inspire you toward the best possible health outcomes for you and your family. But a growing number of studies are showing that mindfulness training can be just as good as meds in effectively helping people alleviate their depression and prevent recurrence. In fact, researchers at the University of Oxford found MBCT to be comparably effective as antidepressants in preventing a depression relapse.
Some believe the studies strongly encourage using MBCT as a tool to wean people off antidepressants, or avoid them entirely, without the considerable risk of relapse. Through guided mindfulness training and meditation people can increase their awareness of when negative spirals are starting. The person then replaced any negative or destructive thought patterns with more productive, positive ones. They were divided into two groups: one continued taking a maintenance dose of their meds to prevent relapse and the other titrated off their drugs while simultaneously learning MBCT. Last year, a Johns Hopkins meta-data analysis reviewed numerous studies on meditation and depression; the results showed meditation to be largely as effective as antidepressants.
Two more pluses from these findings: Mindfulness therapy has no cost beyond the training, whereas people can be on medication for years.
Known as “brief depression symptom measures,” the self-administered questionnaires are used in primary care settings to determine the frequency and severity of depression symptoms among patients.Recently, several questionnaires have been developed to help reduce untreated depression. Her team explained that the anticholinergic class of medications work by blocking a neurochemical called acetylcholine, in both the brain and body. Gray’s group found that people who took at least 10 milligrams per day of Sinequan, 4 mg per day of Benadryl, or 5 mg per day of Ditropan for more than three years were at greater risk for developing dementia.
And they should tell their health care providers about all their over-the-counter [drug] use,” she added.
26 in JAMA Internal Medicine, is the first to link higher use of anticholinergic medications to increased risk of dementia, the researchers said.

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This is also combined with cognitive behavioral training that teaches how to resist or counter damaging thoughts or moods before the spirals turn to crippling sadness or hopelessness. The practice impacts depression by dealing with the intrusive and negative thoughts that lead to the most crippling symptoms. The latter group went through eight MBCT group sessions, was given instructions to practice at home, and had four subsequent in-person follow-up appointments. Researchers were concerned that the questionnaires might lead to prescriptions for antidepressant medication being given to those who aren’t depressed.Antidepressants can be effective in treating moderate to severe depression but can have significant side effects, including sexual dysfunction, sedation, and anxiety.
It is also the first to suggest that the dementia risk associated with these drugs may not be reversible even years after people stop taking them.
Over the two-year study period, the relapse rates were remarkably similar – 44 percent in the therapy group and 47 percent in the medication group – indicating that the MBCT did keep the depression at bay for those who reduced their medication. Gray's group found that people who took at least 10 milligrams per day of Sinequan, 4 mg per day of Benadryl, or 5 mg per day of Ditropan for more than three years were at greater risk for developing dementia.Manevitz noted that occasional use of these medications did not seem to be tied to a rise in dementia risk. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare.
He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

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