Pharmacy and Wellness Review

Article Title

Treatment Options for Seasonal Affective Disorder


Many patients who have undiagnosed Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) may come into the pharmacy to try to self-treat their symptoms with over-the-counter and herbal drugs. Often, patients don ot recognize their symptoms as a true depressive disorder since they are not constant. The pharmacist has the opportunity to talk to these patients, educate them on the disease state and explain that they do have options, both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic. It also is important for pharmacists to point out any interactions that the herbal or over-the-counter medications may have with other medications and to refer patients to their physician for further treatment. Currently, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM) IV does not recognize SAD as a separate disorder but rather a specifier of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). However, there are currently recommendations to include SAD as a distinct disorder in DSM V, which is to be released in May 2013.