Depression drugs don’t work, finds data review

Millions of people taking commonly prescribed antidepressants such as Prozac and Seroxat might as well be taking a placebo, according to the first study to include unpublished evidence.

The new generation of antidepressant drugs work no better than a placebo for the majority of patients with mild or even severe depression, comprehensive research of clinical trials has found.

The researchers said that the drug was more effective than a placebo in severely depressed patients but that this was because of a decreased placebo effect.

The study, described as «fantastically important» by British experts, comes as the Government publishes plans to help people to manage depression without popping pills.

More than £291 million was spent on antidepressants in 2006, including nearly £120 million on SSRIs. As many as one in five people suffers depression at some point. With that in mind, ministers will today publish plans to train 3,600 therapists to treat depression. Spending on counselling and other psychological therapies will rise to at least £30 million a year.

Ver Nota The Times

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