Antidepressant therapy and behavioural competence.

The British journal of clinical practice

PubMedID: 9015911

O'Hanlon JF. Antidepressant therapy and behavioural competence. Br J Clin Pract. 1997;50(7):381-5.
Major depression can impair an individual's motivation to perform routine daily activities and cause a deterioration in cognitive and psychomotor function. Some antidepressants add to pathological dysfunction through unwanted side-effects. Although most patients eventually recover as a simultaneous consequence of tolerance and therapeutic response, some may not. Where side-effects continue to retard normal recovery they can be called behaviourally toxic, which can be classified as disruptive, inhibitory or provocative. Disruptive behavioural toxic effects are measured using either psychometric tests or simulations of real-life activities (for example, a driving test). There are no widely-accepted tests for inhibitory or provocative behavioural toxicity, and assessments of antidepressants are made on the basis of case studies. This review summarises the results of psychometric and real-life simulation tests and compares the effects of antidepressants on behaviour competence. The purpose is to identify those drugs that seem to be the most and least likely to produce behavioural toxicity.