Too much can be lost to depression—even for those on treatment

MDD is a highly prevalent mental health concern

US adults aged ≥18 years experienced a major depressive episode* in 2020.1†

of adult participants in a national survey were estimated to have experienced MDD at some point in their lives.2‡

*A major depressive episode is a primary component of MDD, but differs from MDD in that MDD cannot be better explained by a psychotic disorder and there has never been a manic or hypomanic episode.3
NSDUH 2020 prevalence estimates based on sample size of N = 29,950.1
Report of 2012-2013 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions III (N= 36,309).2

In an analysis of 6,980 patients in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)4,5:

80% of patients with depression reported that symptoms of depression interfered with their ability to maintain a home, be socially active, and to work.4,5

Early response may determine long-term success

Learn about the relationship between earlier response to antidepressants and improved patient outcomes.

Review the data
See the latest science

Learn about the neurochemical systems expanding the understanding of depression.

See the science
Get more facts about depression

Download 3 infographics showing statistics about the unmet needs in depression and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health.

MDD Infographic Impact of COVID-19 PPD Infographic

MDD=major depressive disorder;

PPD=postpartum depression

Compared to patients without mood disorders, patients with depression were:

§Based on results from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) 2004-2006 Household and Medical Condition files. Data were collected from a large pool of participants aged 18 to 64, including 5,464 people with depression and 53,905 people without a mood disorder.6

Living with depression

Hear from patients about their journey to depression diagnosis, treatment experience, and the impact depression has had on their daily lives.

Too often, antidepressants may fail to provide optimal outcomes for patients7

In a meta-analysis of 182 clinical trials involving 36,385 patients with MDD,|| nearly half (46%) of patients on antidepressants (n=23,278) failed to respond, vs 63% of patients on placebo (n=13,107).8

||Meta-analysis of 182 randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trials (between 1980-2007) of acute antidepressant monotherapy for treatment of adults with MDD. Clinical response was defined as a ≥50% reduction in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) or Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) scores from baseline to endpoint or a Clinical Global Impression (CGI) Scale score <3 at final visit.8

Patients want to quickly return to their full lives8

Only ~1/3 of patients achieved remission with a first-line antidepressant9

But achieving remission may take weeks to months-if it occurs at all

  • ~2/3 of patients failed to achieve remission with a first-line antidepressant in the STAR*D study, the largest prospective clinical trial of MDD ever conducted10

    ‒ Mean time to remission was more than 6 weeks with a first-line antidepressant

  • For a second, third, or fourth line of therapy, mean time to remission was between 5.4 and 7.4 weeks

The Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) Study enrolled 4,041 adult patients with MDD. In treatment step 1, patients (n=3,671) received antidepressant monotherapy. Those who did not achieve remission (QIDS-SR16 score <5) or were unable to tolerate treatment were eligible for the next step. Steps 2 to 4 included several switch and augmentation choices.9

QIDS-SR16=Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomology (Self-Report)-16 item.

Patients often cycle through treatments, hoping to find one that works for them11,12

Among patients with an inadequate therapeutic response to a first-line antidepressant, dose increases, switching, and/or augmentation are commonly required.11,12

For many patients, antidepressant side effects can be bothersome, persistent, and a cause of discontinuation13-15

Common side effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants frequently persist well past the initial treatment period.13

Percent of patients (N=401) reporting side effects during the first 2 weeks of a standard of care antidepressant who reported the same side effects at
3 months13#

#Based on a telephone survey of 401 patients who had received an SSRI for a new or recurrent case of depression. Telephone interviews were conducted within 75 to 105 days of starting antidepressant therapy. Patients responded yes or no to whether they had experienced any of a list of 17 common side effects of SSRIs.13

Up to one third of patients who discontinued antidepressants early cited side effects as a reason14,15**

Ultimately, many patients may continue antidepressant therapy with side effects and without remission.8,13

**Based on a telephone survey of patients (N=272) on antidepressant therapy in general practitioner practices in which 23% of patients dropped out due to adverse events after a mean period of 6.5 weeks, and a 6-month study of patients newly treated for MDD (N=135) in general psychiatric clinic. In the latter study, early discontinuation was defined as within 2 months from starting the antidepressant.14,15

Early response may determine long-term success

Learn how earlier response to antidepressants can lead to better outcomes.

Learn why urgency matters
See the latest science

Learn about research on neurochemical systems that may offer new perspectives on depression.

See the science

Stay up-to-date

Follow the science of depression.

(All fields with an * are required)

Thank you for signing up!

We'll keep you informed as we move forward with the science of depression.

Read about the urgency of treatment