January 5, 2010
Mild to severe depression might be better treated with alternatives to antidepressant drugs, which do not help patients much more than an inactive placebo, researchers said Tuesday.
Combining data from six studies that examined the effectiveness of two commonly prescribed antidepressants — paroxetine and imipramine — found the drugs produced benefits only slightly greater than a placebo in patients with mild to severe depression.
“They would have done just as well or just about as well with a placebo,” said Robert DeRubeis, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, who with colleagues performed the meta-analysis.
Paroxetine is one of a popular class of drugs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and is sold under the brand name Paxil by GlaxoSmithKline. Imipramine is an older tricyclic antidepressant drug developed in the 1950s.
The so-called placebo effect is powerful in treating depression, where people believe they are helped even though they are taking an inactive sugar pill, DeRubeis said.
Read entire article: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60454020100106
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