New York Times Editorial Questions Penn Study Questioning The Effectiveness Of Anti-Depressants

prozac.jpgNEW YORK TIMES: Last week, The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study questioning the effectiveness of antidepressant drugs. The drugs are useful in cases of severe depression, it said. But for most patients, those with mild to moderate cases, the most commonly used antidepressants are generally no better than a placebo. […] And the real test of an antidepressant is not just whether it can lift someone out of depression; it is whether it can keep depression from returning. For a vast majority of people with depression, the illness is chronic. Relapses and low-level symptoms between episodes are common. Scores of studies show that antidepressants are highly effective in preventing relapse; on average, the risk of relapse in patients who continue on an antidepressant is one-half to one-third of those who are switched to a placebo.Every once in a while, a landmark study comes along and overturns everyone’s cherished ideas about a particular treatment. But the current study is not one of them. So it would be a shame if it discouraged depressed patients from taking antidepressants. MORE

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