A recent study has outlined that more than 50 percent of patients suffering from depression, discontinue their treatment before the prescribed time.
The research from Catalan researchers stated that most patients who take anti-depressants leave their treatment in less than six months, which is the minimum period for treatment of sever depression and other derived pathologies.he study also revealed that only a quarter or 25 percent carry on with treatment for more than 11 months.
"Only one in every five patients properly completes their treatment," said Catalina Serna, co-author of the study, of Jordi Gol Primary Care Research Institute.
From 2003 to 2007, researchers from the Catalan Institute of Health (ICS) and the IDIAP Jordi Gol analysed 7,525 patients who were starting anti-depression treatment, looking at how long they continued with this treatment and the reasons why they gave it up.
It found out that, of the 3.2 percent of the population who started treatment for depression, 56 percent stopped taking their medication during the first four months, and less than 25 percent of the cohort continued their treatment for more than 11 months.
The researchers said patients are most likely to give up their medication during the acute stage of depression (the first months).
"The levels to which they stick to their treatment also declines steeply between the first four and 12 months of the monitoring period. In our study, only 22pc of patients completed their treatment," Serna noted.
Meanwhile, men are more at risk of giving up their treatment earlier than women (50 percent of men gave up their medication after two months, while 50 percent of women gave it up after three months).
The results are published in the journal European Psychiatry.