Objective: The present study uses the data from a large survey conducted to examine the general practice of Spanish psychiatrists on the use of antidepressant combinations in the treatment of depressive disorders.
Method: The sample was drawn from specialists and psychiatric residents practicing in Spain who were respondents to a questionnaire distributed during an annual national psychiatry meeting and sent by mail.
Results: A total of 1032 questionnaires were collected; following the data-filtering, 831 were analysed. Most psychiatrists (89%) believe that many patients do not respond to the first treatment; in such cases of non-response, 58% choose a combination of antidepressants as the next treatment option. Reasons for using the combined treatments include greater efficacy (57%), overcoming resistance to the first antidepressant (27%), faster onset of action (21%) and avoidance of side effects (17%). The most sought after pharmacological profile was serotonergic-noradrenergic (96%) and the most popular combinations were selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) + mirtazapine, SSRI + reboxetine and SSRI + tricyclic antidepressant.
Conclusion: Antidepressant combinations are frequently used in clinical practice. Pharmacological profiles are always considered and SSRIs + mirtazapine is the option usually chosen.