Antidepressants Work No Better Than a Placebo February 26, 2008Posted by Dreamhealer in Big Pharma.
A new study has indicated that new generation antidepressants only benefit the most severely depressed people.
According to the findings, these drugs ‘do not produce clinically significant improvements in depression in patients who initially have moderate or even severe depression’.
As part of the study, a team from the University of Hull in the UK analysed data on all of the clinical trials that had been submitted to the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) for the licensing of four drugs that belong to the SSRI group of drugs.
SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are the newest type of antidepressants available. They include Prozac and Seroxat.
The analysis included both published and unpublished data on the drugs.
The researchers found that the overall effect of these new generation of antidepressants ‘was below the recommended criteria for clinical significance’.
They found ‘virtually no difference’ between the effects of the drugs and the effects of placebo in patients with moderate depression. Furthermore, they found ‘only a small and clinically insignificant difference’ among patients with very severe depression.
The point at which the drugs were shown to reach clinical significance was in patients with the most severe type of depression.
The researchers concluded that ‘there is little reason to prescribe new generation antidepressant medication to any but the most severely depressed patients, unless alternative treatments have been ineffective’.
Details of these findings are published in the journal, PloS Medicine.