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Long-Term Antidepressant Treatment: Let's Look at the Evidence

Activity Type:

  • Webinar

Release Date: 2/27/2020

Expiration Date: 4/26/2020

  • AMA PRA Category 1: 1
  • Participation: 1


Event Details

The live presentation will take place on March 26, 2020, 3:00-4:00pm ET.

Advance registration is encouraged. Registrants will receive an event reminder by email one day prior to the webinar.


People who experience a major depressive episode have at least a 50% chance of having one more episode during their lifetime. If they have had three or more episodes, then they have a 90% chance of another episode. Fortunately, maintenance treatment with antidepressants can lower the risk substantially and have been found superior to placebo substitution in almost all of the long-term studies. Nevertheless, questions remain: should one take an antidepressant forever? What are the risks of long-term antidepressant treatment? Can people take drug holidays (periods of time without antidepressants)? If someone had a difficult to treat depression which responded to a combination of an antidepressant and antipsychotic, should they continue to take both medications? What happens if someone is taking long-term antidepressant treatment and then they have another depressive episode? What is the role of psychotherapy in preventing another episode? Can people stop their medication if psychotherapy seems to work? This webinar will address these questions and review the data so that participants can make informed decisions about long-term antidepressant treatment.


FREE - $0

Funding for this initiative was made possible (in part) by Grant No. 1H79SM080818-01 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. 

Learning Objectives

  • Assess the risk of recurrent major depressive episodes.
  • Summarize the strengths and weaknesses of long-term antidepressant treatment.
  • Describe the strengths and weaknesses of psychotherapy alone to prevent recurrent depressive episodes.

Target Audience

Pharmacist, Psychiatrist, Physician, Physician Assistant, Nurse/Nurse Practitioner

Instructional Level


Estimated Time to Complete

Estimated Duration: 1.0 hour
Program Start Date: March 26, 2020 
Program End Date: March 26, 2020

How to Earn Credit

Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ or a certificate of participation may do so by attending the live presentation and completing the evaluation. After evaluating the program, course participants will be provided with an opportunity to claim hours of participation and print an official CME certificate (physician) or certificate of participation (non-physician) showing the event date and hours earned.

Continuing Education Credit


The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The APA designates this live event for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Faculty and Planner Disclosures


  • Andrew Nierenberg, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital. Disclosures - Consultant: Alkermes, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Sage Pharmaceuticals, Otsuka, Neuronetics, Acadia Pharmaceuticals, Esai, Myriad; Grant/Research: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, AHRQ, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). 


  • Teri Brister, PhD, LPC, National Alliance on Mental Illness. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 
  • Tristan Gorrindo, MD, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.

Accessibility for Participants with Disabilities

The American Psychiatric Association is committed to ensuring accessibility of its website to people with disabilities.  Please contact the American Psychiatric Association at 202-559-3900, if you require assistance seven (7) days prior to the start of a live webinar.

Hardware/Software Requirements

We recommend that prior to the webinar, you check system requirements to ensure your device is compatible and rule out connectivity issuess.

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using Internet Explorer 8+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari 4+. This website requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.

Optimal System Configuration

  • Flash Player: Adobe Flash Player 10.3+ 
  • Browser: Firefox (latest version), Internet Explorer 8.0+, Safari 7.0+, Microsoft Edge (latest version) or Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Operating System: Windows XP+ or Mac OS X 10.4+ 
  • Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher

Minimum Requirements

  • Windows PC: 500-MHz Pentium II; Windows XP or higher; 128 MB RAM; Video Card at least 64MB of video memory; Macromedia Flash Player 10.3 or higher; Sound Card at least 16-bit; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content
  • Macintosh:Mac OS X 10.4+ or higher with latest updates installed; 1.83MHz Intel Core Duo or faster; RAM: 128MB or more; Video Card: at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card: at least 16-bit; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content

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