Antidepressants - Day 154
Image by JF Sebastian via FlickrImage via Wikipedia

I’m a depression heretic.  Here’s why.  These are direct quotes from medical studies.

“56% to 60%, responded well to active treatment compared with 42% to 47% for placebo”

“About 96% of comparative trials were sponsored by or had at least 1 author affiliated with a pharmaceutical company

“Despite quality guidelines, the average quality of published MAs of antidepressants is barely acceptable (50.2%).”

“The more conservative estimates from the present analysis found that differences between antidepressants and active placebos were small. This suggests that unblinding effects may inflate the efficacy of antidepressants in trials using inert placebos”

“During the study period, placebo rates increased linearly; active drugs did not. Correlations between placebo and drug response rates reflected moderate to strong effect sizes. We suggest that current methodology has been unsuccessful in achieving unbiased double-blind conditions not influenced by extra-trial factors, including time.”

(All study abstracts at under what do I treat and depression.)

So, to paraphrase:  even though the drug companies sponsored the studies they were unable to show any effect of their medication over active placebo over time.  The quality of their studies didn’t meet standard medical levels, and even the newest line of antidepressants fails to help patients more than placebo over time.

If that is the case, what are we spending billions of healthcare dollars on?