Seems like depression medications are better than any new treatment. At least these drugs are better than brain stimulation with electric impulses, according to a new study held by Brazilian researchers. So, why tDCS cannot beat usual meds for depression?
Depression medications vs tDCS
The trial compared the effects of transcranial, direct-current stimulation (tDCS) with those of Lexapro antidepressant. Finally, the researchers found that the effectiveness was about the same. Moreover, lead researcher says antidepressants are better than tDCS, especially in cases when these medicines can be used.
Briefly, people who received brain stimulation lowered their depression score less then those taking Lexapro. And placebo showed the worst results.
So, the study revealed that tDCS cannot be recommended as a first-line therapy.
Another problem is that anyone can buy unapproved tDCS units on the internet. But trying brain stimulation at home is risky, first of all because of its possible side effects.
So, keep in mind that tDCS is experimental, and still works worse than common depression medications.
What is Lexapro?
Lexapro with an active ingredient escitalopram treats depression, or generalized anxiety disorder. Its doses vary from 5 mg to 20 mg.
This antidepressant, one of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, positively affects communication between nerve cells in the central nervous system, and restores chemical balance in the brain.
Usually Lexapro treats anxiety in adults, but also major depressive disorder in adults and children over 12 years old.
In the study mentioned people took Lexapro 10 mg pills once a day daily for three weeks, and then 20 mg pills for the next seven weeks.
They noticed less side effects than those taking brain stimulation. Particularly, common Lexapro side effects may include drowsiness, increased sweating, sleeping problems, vision changes, mild digestion problems, sexual problems, and weight changes. And tDCS may cause strong mania.