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February 26, 2008
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The researchers got their results by examining unpublished drug trial results done by the drug companies.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."
October 2, 2006
I saw that someone mentioned an Effexor petition on the Effexor side effects page, so I did some Googling and found it. The petition claims that Wyeth is deliberately hiding serious side effect information and asks the company to provide full disclosure of side effects.
So far, there are 11963 signatures with comments. I just read through many of the 11963 comments. A common complaint seems to be something called "brain zaps" during withdrawal. Many people continue to have the brain zaps months after stopping the drug. Others have lost their jobs and their relationships have been put in jeopardy.
I was shocked by what I read there. From the comments I read, it doesn't seem like many doctors are aware that Effexor causes these symptoms. If people are experiencing such devastating withdrawal symptoms with this drug, Wyeth definitely needs to address the issue to both doctors and the public.