Antidepressants help with treatment of depression, study finds

  • Antidepressants help with treatment of depression, study finds

Antidepressants help with treatment of depression, study finds

In total, researchers included 522 trials comprising 116,477 participants in their study.

Prof Pariante said this type of study can not account for individual differences in response to medication, and "we still need to understand why some antidepressants work better than others, even within classes of drugs that supposedly have the same pharmacological actions".

Antidepressants are a controversial topic.

Antidepressants have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (and comparable regulatory agencies in other countries) and prescribed by medical professionals for decades.

The debate over antidepressants has unfortunately often been ideological, said Cipriani. This is where this new study steps in, attempting to draw conclusions about the overall efficiency of antidepressants. By clarifying which antidepressants are most effective, and which ones patients find easiest to take, this new work will greatly help clinicians and patients in those decisions'. However, there was a big variability in how well they fared.

The researchers found that all antidepressants were more effective than placebo in terms of efficacy, with odds ratios ranging from 2.13 for amitriptyline to 1.37 for reboxetine.

The study did, however, discover significant variations in the level of effectiveness and side effects caused by different pills.

However, some are more effective than others, with agomelatine, amitriptyline, escitalopram, mirtazapine, paroxetine, venlafaxine and vortioxetine proving most effective, and fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, reboxetine and trazodone the least effective.

The importance of addressing depression can not be overstated. "The large amount of data allowed more conclusive inferences and gave the opportunity also to explore potential biases", says co-author Professor John Ioannidis, from the Departments of Medicine, Health Research and Policy, Biomedical Data Science, and Statistics, Stanford University, USA. It affects around 350 million people worldwide and instances rose nearly 20% from 2005-2015. And, though the meta-analysis is strong, this paper is unlikely to conclusively end the debate over the efficacy of antidepressants. Among the trials, 9 percent were rated as having high risk of bias, 78 percent as having moderate risk of bias and 18 percent as having low risk of bias.

Furthermore, several previous trials have cast serious doubts on antidepressants (at least some of them).

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. Through the Freedom of Information Act, the FDA demands pharmaceutical companies provide data on all the clinical trials they sponsor - including unpublished trials.

We were open to any result.

The findings contrast with a similar analysis in children and adolescents, which concludes that fluoxetine is probably the only antidepressant that is helpful for this age group. There have been studies which found that the effectiveness of antidepressants decreases over longer periods of time.

David Taylor, Professor of Psychopharmacology, King's College London pointed out that the most effective antidepressant found is amitriptyline - an antidepressant first found in the 1950s.

The researchers conducted a network meta-analysis and systematic review of all double-blind, randomized controlled trials that compared antidepressants with placebo, or with another antidepressant, for the acute treatment of adults with major depressive disorder over 8 weeks.