Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Here's my first and last word(s)

Posted by fca on September 19, 2006, at 11:18:47

In reply to Re: my last post for thread, posted by SLS on September 19, 2006, at 10:28:07

After following this discussion I felt compelled to scan the literature my self--I googled "efficacy SSRIs versus placebo". There were enough hits to keep me busy for several hours and I must have scanned the conclusion/summary of 25-30 scientific articles-- adults, elderly, children, meta-analyses all with placebo control, etc. I was hard pressed to find any where ADs did not show a superior 'response" and fewer "relapses" however they were defined. It ranged from 6% to 30+% statistically favorable profile of ADs over placebos and slightly stronger for relapses. Now I am sure some one can go out and collect a series of stdiues that show no or only minimal differences between ADs and placebos. I have chosen to put my money and well being in the hands of the ADs particularly based on information on relapse and long term follow up. PS I take ADs for primarily for an anxiety disorder and some relatively mild recurrent OCD.

I think one of the best and most objective summaries is the following:

Here is the concluding paragraph

Therefore, contra some of the media "hype" on this topic, antidepressant research confirms an empirically demonstrated drug-placebo difference, although careful examination of this literature reveals that this difference is not nearly as large as most individuals believe, or as many of the pharmaceutical companies would have the public believe. Currently, the methodological problems with antidepressant trials preclude us from concluding definitively that the difference actually indicates specific biological effects of the drugs, as various nonspecific factors have not been adequately ruled out. Until these questions are answered, the media should understand that placebos can be double-edged swords, and that "expectancy" effects can result in harm as well as benefit. In a piece on this topic for the Guardian, a UK newspaper, Jerome Burne (2002) reports that many subjects in Leuchter's trial (2002) relapsed and requested to be placed on the active medication after learning they were in the placebo arm. Vedantam's Washington Post piece is similar to other articles on this topic that have appeared in the popular press recently, in that it occasionally betrays an imbalanced presentation of the evidence. The media should continue to follow this complicated debate and report on it responsibly, making certain not to overhype the "power" of placebo and, as a consequence, the "powerlessness" of antidepressants.




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