Hi and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your question...
The duration of treatment for depression
usually depends on the number and severity of the episodes and whether there have been any relapses after stopping medication. If the initial episode has been severe or prolonged or if she has had more than 2 episodes or if she has a strong family history of depression, then she may have to take medication for a longer duration. It is also important to see if she has any predisposing factors for a recurrent depression like underlying thyroid
abnormalities, certain vitamin deficiencies, etc. and treat them appropriately.
In your wife's situation, since you have mentioned that there has been a clear relapse of symptoms on reducing the dosage of mediaction, I think that it is advisable to continue medication for a longer duration. 5mg of Cipralex
is the minimum effective dosage of that medication for depression, and it is a relatively safe drug with minimal side effects. However, you can discuss with your psychiatrist
if she needs to be continued on Oleanz
(which is an anti-psychotic medication
and is given only when there are 'psychotic' symptoms (delusions, hallucinations
, etc.), in addition to the depressive symptoms.
Please feel free to clarify any more doubts that you may have.
All the best.
-Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar