Clinical drug trials for the treatment of depression are an excellent way to be exposed to cutting-edge pharmaceutical advances. Clinical drug trials are medical studies in which volunteers become part of the testing process for new drugs or combinations of drug therapies. By using resources, such as your mental-health professional, local hospitals and the media, you can learn how to participate in clinical drug trials for depression.
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Things you need
- Medical records or history
- Mental-health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist
Ask your mental-health professional about participating in a clinical drug trial for the treatment of depression. Your doctor should have access to such information and be able to review each trial to determine which one might be the most consistent with your past and current therapy. In addition, your doctor may be able to locate a clinical trial that combines the treatment of two or more conditions at the same time.
Check the bulletin boards of local hospitals and health clinics for announcements about depression clinical drug trials in your area. You may be able to participate in the trial even if you are not currently being treated by a doctor for depression, since the first step in most trials is an interview and examination from a qualified mental-health professional.
Choose a particular depression clinical drug trial in which you want to participate and make the appropriate contacts. You may be asked to supply your past medical records, so be prepared by contacting your doctor in advance. Be sure to read the informed-consent paperwork carefully before signing.
Participate in the clinical trial. This will probably involve being placed in one of three possible groups of study subjects: the group that tries the new medication or therapy, the group that uses an existing medication or therapy or the group that takes a placebo medication or treatment (or no treatment at all).
Beware of some of the drawbacks and risks when you participate in a clinical drug trial. For instance, you may be asked to discontinue your current medication, which could affect your health. Once you have participated in the trial, there is no guarantee that you will receive the new treatment.
Participate in Clinical Drug Trials for Depression
Tips and warnings
- Before you participate in any type of clinical drug trial, ask whether the study has been reviewed by an Institutional Review Board (IRB). IRBs are comprised of medical personnel who review the parameters of a study to ensure that all safety parameters have been addressed.