Study claims antidepressants benefit only small portion of patients

Share this article:

A new study of prescription antidepressants published this week suggests the drugs may be no more effective than placebo in treating the most common forms of depression.

“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,” said the study's lead researcher Irving Kirsch, a professor of psychology at the University of Hull in Great Britain, in a prepared statement. “This means that depressed people can improve without chemical treatments.”

Kirsch and colleagues collected data on 35 clinical trials of antidepressant selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) submitted to the FDA. Drugs in the trials included fluoxetine (Prozac), venlafaxine (Effexor), nefazodone (Serzone) and paroxetine (Paxil). 

According to Kirsch's analysis of the data, patients taking the antidepressant drugs fared no better than patients taking placebo. The result appeared to be the same in patients who were mildly or moderately depressed. The antidepressants appeared to benefit a small group of patients with severe depression, the study found.

The findings were published online Feb. 25 in the journal PLoS Medicine. For more, information click here.

Global sales of antidepressants were approximately $21 billion in 2007.

Share this article:

Next Article in News

Email Newsletters

More in News

In sunny world of LASIK marketers, a dark underbelly

In sunny world of LASIK marketers, a dark ...

Last week, the former FDA branch chief who originally approved LASIK machines asked FDA to reconsider its denial last month of his petition to ban these devices.

BMS Q2 sales slip, Eliquis, Yervoy soar

BMS Q2 sales slip, Eliquis, Yervoy soar

The company attributed part of the Eliquis boost to the BMS-Pfizer DTC and education efforts.

Gilead, Merck HCV marketing battle may be on horizon

Gilead, Merck HCV marketing battle may be on ...

Disclosed in its earnings report yesterday, Gilead may have a card up its sleeve to counter Merck's experimental hep. C combo regimen.