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April 8, 1983

Treatment of Depression

Author Affiliations

Riverdale, NY

JAMA. 1983;249(14):1825. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330380022008

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To the Editor.—  In an editorial entitled "Depressives, Doctors, and Antidepressants" in the Oct 15 issue, Dr E. H. Uhlenhuth hopes that basic and clinical research will "provide us with antidepressants that are more promptly effective, easier to use, safer, and more acceptable to patients." We already have two antidepressive agents that, although far from perfect, do meet those criteria. I refer to dextroamphetamine and methylphenidate hydrochloride. Administered by one of those who have taken the trouble to learn their properties, these substances will control the symptoms of depression in many patients promptly, safely, and without unpleasant adverse effects. It is true that some patients do not respond and others experience toxic reactions. However, these disadvantages are countered with all of the antidepressive drugs that are available, and they are no more frequently associated with the stimulant drugs than with the others. At the very least, the stimulants can be