Antidepressants No More Effective Than Placebos
A new study published in the Public Library of Science Journal claims that SSRI antidepressants Prozac, Effexor, Paxil, and Serzone are no more effective than placebos, except in the case of those who are "at the upper end of the very severely depressed category."
"Although patients get better when they take antidepressants, they also get better when they take a placebo, and the difference in improvement is not very great," lead researcher Irving Kirsch, a professor of psychology at the University of Hull in Great Britain, said in a prepared statement. "This means that depressed people can improve without chemical treatments," he added.
The researchers got their results by examining unpublished drug trial results done by the drug companies. They got the study results from the FDA through the Freedom of Information Act.
Not surprisingly, the drug companies aren't thrilled with the results of the review. A spokesperson from Prozac manufacturer Eli Lilly said the study "does not take into account that today more than 12,000 patients have participated in Prozac clinical trials and thousands of scientific papers have referenced Prozac, supporting its use in the treatment of depression."
GlaxoSmithKline, makers of Paxil, said, "This analysis has only examined a small subset of the total data available ... and this one study should not be used to cause unnecessary alarm and concern for patients."