Thursday 14 October 2010

AstraZeneca Launches 'Take on Depression' Campaign Through Facebook and Twitter

WILMINGTON, Del., Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) is launching a new campaign called "Take on Depression" through a "Take on Depression" Facebook page and a @FaceDepression Twitter feed to support, educate, and inspire those affected by bipolar depression and major depressive disorder (MDD), also known as depression.

The "Take on Depression" Facebook page will provide tools and resources to individuals who are struggling to manage their symptoms of bipolar depression and MDD. The @FaceDepression Twitter feed will provide articles, links to Web sites, tips, and community events that will help people learn more about their illness and have a more effective dialogue with their physician.

"AstraZeneca believes the best way to help those who are still struggling with bipolar depression and major depressive disorder is to provide them with resources and tools to help understand their illness and manage their symptoms," said Sandy Sommer, Executive Director and Commercial Brand Leader at AstraZeneca. "With the launch of these Facebook and Twitter pages, AstraZeneca hopes to amplify conversations about mental health and provide important health information in innovative ways."

Eighty percent of consumers have searched for health information online(1). Sixty percent of American adults who look online for health information, or one-third of adults, access social media related to health(1).

To "like" the "Take on Depression" Facebook page, visit

To become a follower of "FaceDepression" on Twitter, visit

About Bipolar Disorder

Millions of American adults are affected by bipolar disorder(2,3). People with bipolar disorder experience extreme mood swings ranging from highs, called bipolar mania, to lows, called bipolar depression(4). Bipolar disorder can significantly interfere with thoughts, activity, and physical health(5). The depressive episodes of bipolar disorder often produce symptoms like prolonged periods of sadness, a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, and feelings of worthlessness(4). For many individuals, the depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder are often the predominant mood episode. This means that for people living with bipolar disorder, their depressive symptoms may recur more often and last longer than their mania(6).

About Major Depressive Disorder

MDD is estimated to affect approximately 14 million American adults in a given year(7,8). Unlike normal instances of sadness, loss, or passing mood states, MDD is persistent and can interfere with an individual's thoughts, behavior, mood, activity, and physical health. Depression is one of the leading causes of disability in the US(3).

Symptoms of depression include persistently sad or irritable mood; pronounced changes in sleep, appetite, and energy; difficulty thinking, concentrating, and remembering; physical slowing or agitation; lack of interest in or pleasure from activities that were once enjoyed; feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness, and emptiness; recurrent thoughts of death or suicide(4). The diagnostic criteria for a major depressive episode in MDD is the same as for a depressive episode of bipolar disorder with the major distinguishing feature between the disorders being the absence of manic or hypomanic episodes in MDD(4).

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines. As a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease medicines, AstraZeneca generated global revenues of $32.8 billion in 2009. In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $14.8 billion healthcare business.

For more information about AstraZeneca in the US or our AZ&Me™ Prescription Savings programs, please visit: or call 1-800-AZandMe (292-6363).


Fox, Susannah. The Social Life of Health Information: Americans' pursuit of health takes place within a widening network of both online and offline sources. Pew Research Center. Pew Internet & American Life Project. 2009. Accessed on July 26, 2010.
Kessler RC, Chiu WT, Demler O, Walters EE. Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of twelve-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Archives of General Psychiatry. 2005:62(6):617-627.
National Institute of Mental Health. The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America. 2008. Accessed on June 9, 2010.
American Psychiatric Association (APA). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. Washington, DC: APA; 2000, pp. 382-397.
National Alliance on Mental Illness. Understanding Bipolar Disorder and Recovery. August 2008. Accessed on April 15, 2010.
Calabrese JR, Hirschfeld RMA, Frye MA, et al. Impact of Depressive Symptoms Compared with Manic Symptoms in Bipolar Disorder: Results of a U.S. Community-Based Sample. J Clinical Psychiatry. 2004;65:1499-1504.
Kessler, RC, Berglund, P, Demler, O, et al. The Epidemiology of Major Depressive Disorder Results From the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). JAMA. 2003; 289: 3095-3105.
Rush, A, Trivedi, MH, Wisniewski, AA, et al. Acute and longer-term outcomes in depressed outpatients requiring one or several treatment steps: a STAR*D Report. Am J Psych. 2006;163:1905-1917.

SOURCE AstraZeneca