Health

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Antidepressants on a par with Placebos

February 27, 2008 11:28 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
A new study questions the effectiveness of antidepressants used the world over. It claims that negative studies aren’t being published.

30-Second Summary

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Antidepressants are used extensively in the West to treat depression and other mood disorders.

But a British research team from the University of Hull suggests that although the drugs did have a positive impact on people with mild depression, the improvement was not much greater than that experienced by people taking placebos, according to the BBC.

Last month, The New England Journal of Medicine published a review suggesting that negative antidepressant studies aren’t published as often as those that favor the drugs.

What is not clear, however, is whether pharmaceutical companies aren’t submitting the negative studies, or if the journals aren’t publishing them.

Meanwhile, researchers continue studying the medications. German researchers recently discovered that genetic variations may influence the effectiveness of certain antidepressants.

Though antidepressants have received a great deal of negative press, one blogger attests to the positive impact they have on his life. He writes that although there are a number of annoying side effects, antidepressants help even out his emotions, improve his sleep and reduce irritability.

“Antidepressants” are a name given to several different types of drugs that work in the brain to help treat depression.

The drugs have evolved over the years and are classified by how they act on the brain. One of the earliest antidepressants was originally designed to treat tuberculosis, then doctors noticed their patients’ improved moods.

Headline Link: ‘Antidepressants “Little Effect”’

Background: A dearth of negative studies

Related Topics: The role of genetics and a blogger’s perspective

Reference: Antidepressants overview

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