Reviewed Antidepressants Top Placebo for Major Depression

Reviewed Antidepressants Top Placebo for Major Depression

After painstakingly carrying out trials involving almost 120,000 people, including patients taking 21 commonly prescribed antidepressants, the researchers found that all of the drugs were more effective than a placebo.

The so-called meta-analysis, which involved unpublished data in addition to the information from the 522 clinical trials involving the short-term treatment of acute depression in adults, found the medications were all more effective than placebos. Seventy-eight percent of them were funded by pharmaceutical companies.

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chairman of the Royal College of Global Positioning System, said: "This research should reassure patients who are taking or are contemplating commencing antidepressants, and the doctors that prescribe them, that they are an effective treatment for depression in the short-term". The drug was considered "effective" if it was able to reduce symptoms by 50% or more. In many countries, the rate drops to less than 10 percent.

Depression affects around 300million people across the world, according to the World Health Organisation. The findings are not applicable to people with treatment-resistant depression.

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In the U.K, where a number of the study authors are based, at least one million more people could benefit from drugs or psychotherapy, senior author John Geddes said. "Nevertheless, for the millions of individuals with depression who are taking antidepressants at present, or will need to take antidepressants in the future, it confirms that these drugs are safe and effective". The best at treating depression were Agomelatine (under several brand names, including Valdoxan, Melitor and Thymanax), amitriptyline (Elavil), escitalopram (Lexapro), mirtazapine (Remeron), paroxetine (Paxil), venlafaxine (Effexor XR) and vortioxetine (Trintellix).

The results add up to a complex treatment picture for what authors called "one of the most common, burdensome, and costly psychiatric disorders worldwide in adults".

At least one million more people in the United Kingdom would benefit from treatments, including anti-depressants, they said.

After you have been diagnosed with depression, everything seems lost; you don't see any cure for this and you think that people will judge you if you seek for more than simple talks with a doctor or a treatment with Placebo effect.

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Other experts said the study was of major importance. While methods like exercise, therapy, and being outdoors have proved beneficial for some, doctors hope the results of a new United Kingdom study could remove skepticism surrounding the use of antidepressants.

But she also urged caution.

Scientists say they have settled one of medicine's biggest debates after a huge study found that anti-depressants work.

Carmine Pariante, a professor at the UK's Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience and spokesperson for the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said the study "finally puts to bed the controversy on antidepressants".

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Glyn Lewis, professor of psychiatric epidemiology at University College London, said the "excellent" study provided "compelling evidence" for the effectiveness of anti-depressants.

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