The Antidepressant Debate

 Here's the latest news and some other useful reading on the debate over antidepressants. 

First a study that concludes antidepressants are more effective than placebo for all depressed patients, not just the most severely affected: Benefits From Antidepressants: Synthesis of 6-Week Patient-Level Outcomes From Double-blind Placebo-Controlled Randomized Trials of Fluoxetine and Venlafaxine. The authors state that "the results do not support previous findings that antidepressants show little benefit except for severe depression. The antidepressants fluoxetine and venlafaxine are efficacious for major depressive disorder in all age groups, although more so in youths and adults compared with geriatric patients."


Another new finding is reported in this link to a recent article from Psychiatric Times by Arline Kaplan called "On the Efficacy of Psychiatric Drugs." (Free registration required.) The researchers conclude from an extensive review of drug versus placebo studies that the effectiveness of psychiatric drugs is in the range of most of the drugs used in medicine.


Finally, a pair of abstracts from opposing scientific articles on antidepressant effectiveness: CON and PRO.

(Illustrated below, but more readable using the links).


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