Major New Study Finds Antidepressants Really Do Work

The drugs do work: anti-depressants should be given to a million more Britons, largest ever review claims

The drugs do work: anti-depressants should be given to a million more Britons, largest ever review claims

In total, researchers included 522 trials comprising 116,477 participants in their study.

The analysis of more than 500 trials did find that some medications worked better than others, however.

What is the controversy behind antidepressants? Pharmacological and non-pharmacological medicines are accessible but since of lacking assets, antidepressants are utilized more every now and again than mental intercessions. Pharmaceutical companies funds the majority of studies on antidepressants, and they have a clear financial interest in the success of these drugs.

Although antidepressants are considered to be efficient and the US Food and Drug Administration has approved them as a suitable treatment for depression, researchers are still trying to prove that they are more effective than other methods (Placebo is the most popular alternative).

Millions more people around the world should be prescribed pills or offered talking therapies, which work equally well for moderate to severe depression, say the doctors, noting that just one in six people receive proper treatment in the rich world - and one in 27 in the developing world.

"We need to increase the number of people who are getting treated effectively", lead study author Dr. Andrea Cipriani of the University of Oxford told TIME.

For the latest review, the researchers found evidence that some medications ranged from being roughly a third more effective to more than twice as effective as a placebo - a fairly wide range. However, there was a big variability in how well they fared.

Through this search, the team found almost 30,000 citations. Two drugs (agomelatine and fluoxetine) appeared to be better tolerated than placebo, with less dropouts due to side effects, and only one drug (clomipramine) was more poorly tolerated than placebo. "Antidepressants can be an effective tool to treat major depression, but this does not necessarily mean that antidepressants should always be the first line of treatment", she said.

The importance of addressing depression can not be overstated.

The drugs do work: anti-depressants should be given to a million more Britons, largest ever review claims
Antidepressants work for treating depression, study finds

"Depression is the single largest contributor to global disability that we have - a massive challenge for humankind", said John Geddes, professor of epidemiological psychiatry at Oxford University.

According to the World Health Organisation, some 300 million people worldwide have depression. And, though the meta-analysis is strong, this paper is unlikely to conclusively end the debate over the efficacy of antidepressants. Furthermore, the trials covered only short-term usage (eight weeks).

Furthermore, several previous trials have cast serious doubts on antidepressants (at least some of them). The FDA demands pharmaceutical companies provide data on all the clinical trials they sponsor-including unpublished trials. Some people suspect drug companies of fiddling trial results.

It has been suggested that more than a million people per year in the United Kingdom should be given access to treatment for depression, through either drugs or talking therapies, with scientists saying the study proves that the drugs do work.

The findings contrast with a similar analysis in children and adolescents, which concludes that fluoxetine is probably the only antidepressant that is helpful for this age group.

There might be different mechanisms causing depression, potentially causing different types of depression, which is something that's still a matter of active debate.

Antidepressants included in this study were either compared with a placebo or with another antidepressant in a head-to-head format. However, this does nothing to diminish the merit of the study. "The choice will need to be made by doctor and patient".

Dr James Warner, reader in psychiatry at Imperial College London, said: "This rigorous study confirms that antidepressants have an important place in the treatment of depression".

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