Sunday, January 31, 2010

Why Antidepressants Are No Better Than Placebos -

Why Antidepressants Are No Better Than Placebos - "In 1998 Moore used the Freedom of Information Act to pry such data from the FDA. The total came to 47 company-sponsored studies—on Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Serzone, and Celexa—that Kirsch and colleagues then pored over. (As an aside, it turned out that about 40 percent of the clinical trials had never been published. That is significantly higher than for other classes of drugs, says Lisa Bero of the University of California, San Francisco; overall, 22 percent of clinical trials of drugs are not published. 'By and large,' says Kirsch, 'the unpublished studies were those that had failed to show a significant benefit from taking the actual drug.') In just over half of the published and unpublished studies, he and colleagues reported in 2002, the drug alleviated depression no better than a placebo. 'And the extra benefit of antidepressants was even less than we saw when we analyzed only published studies,' Kirsch recalls. About 82 percent of the response to antidepressants—not the 75 percent he had calculated from examining only published studies—had also been achieved by a dummy pill."

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