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Re: Tonight I don't feel that antidepressants work

Posted by linkadge on September 19, 2006, at 8:21:47

In reply to Re: Tonight I don't feel that antidepressants work SLS, posted by linkadge on September 19, 2006, at 8:07:13

Some other interesting points:

The FDA requires at least two placebo-controlled trials with positive results to authorize a drug indication, regardless of how many trials fail to demonstrate the drug's superiority to placebo.

For example, the efficacy of Prozac could not be distinguished from placebo in 6 out of 10 clinical trials (Moore, 1999).

The "file-drawer problem" (i.e., the fact that negative results are less likely to be published than those with positive results; Rosenthal, 1979) renders it difficult to ascertain the meaningfulness of those studies actually showing differences.

In a controversial meta-analysis published in 1998, Irving Kirsch and Guy Sapirstein compared the mean effect size changes in symptoms of depression across 19 double-blind studies assessing the efficacy of antidepressant medications. Results demonstrated that placebos reproduced approximately 75% of the improvement found in the active drug. Furthermore, the authors assert that the remaining 25% of improvement accounted for by the active drug is debatable, and could be the result of an enhanced placebo response due to the side effects that patients experience when taking the active drugs, or other nonspecific factors.

But my favorite quote:

"After thousands of studies, hundreds of millions of prescriptions and tens of billions of dollars in sales, two things are certain about pills that treat depression: Antidepressants like Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft work. And so do sugar pills" (p. A01).





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