Are antidepresssants any better than placebo ?

pills.jpgA review article in this week’s British Medical Journal questions whether antidepressants have any more effect than placebo.

The report, authored by psychiatrist Joanna Moncrieff and psychologist Irving Kirsch, analyzes data used in previous healthcare recommendations, concerning a class of antidepressants called SSRIs, of which Prozac is the most famous.

They argue that the improvements found in previous reviews of the data have either been so small that they are clinically insignificant, or have been due to errors or biases in analysis.

In response, Darrel Reiger from the American Psychiatric Association is quoted as saying the researchers have “written an article that selectively pulls out negative studies and conveniently ignores or mischaracterizes positive studies.”

Link to BMJ article ‘Efficacy of antidepressants in adults’.
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