What is the role of bright-light therapy (BLT) in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Updated: Aug 06, 2020
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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In addition to its established role in seasonal affective disorder, BLT may be effective in nonseasonal depression or as an augmenting agent with antidepressant medication. One study found that the combination of 30 minutes of bright light therapy a day plus 20 mg of fluoxetine significantly improves nonseasonal major depressive disorder. Data also show that light therapy alone is more effective than antidepressant monotherapy. [156]

Studies have demonstrated benefit of BLT for treatment of nonseasonal depression in pregnant patients and elderly patients. [157, 158]

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