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Antidepressants Dubbed Useless Yet Again

Filed February 27th, 2008 amy

Yet another study has found ineffective for the majority of people prescribed pills like Prozac, Paxil, Effexor and Serzone. As previous studies have shown, although 1 in 6 people will experience some varying degree of depression in his/her lifetime, most folks simply don’t need to be medicated.

Research headed up by the University of Hull (United Kingdom) and published online in the journal PLoS Medicine on February 26, showed that “there was virtually no difference in the improvement scores for drug and placebo in patients with moderate depression and only a small and clinically insignificant difference among patients with very severe depression.”

Because drug companies make their bucks by duping people into buying their meds, it’s only natural that most of the studies published in medical journals and broadcast in the media will reflect only the positive statistics. When the evening news is brought to you by Paxil, it’s a sign of uncertain times. The buzz about “happy pills” is everywhere, and many doctors are pushing them on patients based on hopefulness, while patients ignorant to the unpublished consequences ask for drugs wanting a quick fix. But is there really a quick fix for depression?

Dr. Nada Stotland, president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association, said in a prepared statement, “For people with mild to moderate depression, psychotherapy can work as well as medication. Studies have shown that between 70 and 80 percent of people can and do get better with a combination of treatment approaches, which will often include individual therapy, family therapy and/or medication.”

But Irving Kirsch, professor of psychology at Hull, concluded that “the new-generation antidepressants do not produce clinically significant improvements in depression in patients who initially have moderate or even very severe depression, but show significant effects only in the most severely depressed patients.”

One thing most medical professionals seem to agree on is that it generally takes many tries to find the right match between patient and pill. Meanwhile, patients gamble with side effects for months before ever experiencing the benefit (or ultimately ineffectiveness) of the drugs. Often times, the side effects and withdrawal symptoms going off the drugs are harder to live with than the depression.

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