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Do antidepressants work or not?
This debate, considered one of the largest in modern medicine, has just been resolved, according to the authors of a study published in The Lancet .
The answer is that medications for depression do work .
The work consisted of a meta-analysis that examined data from 522 trials with 21 proven common antidepressants 116,477 people.
All these drugs proved to be more effective in reducing the symptoms of acute depression than placebos (harmless pills used in clinical studies to measure suggestion).
But the international study also showed that there are large differences in the effectiveness of each drug: while some were only a third more effective than a placebo, others duplicated them.
The most effective antidepressants:
The least effective s :
Source: The Lancet
“This study is the final answer to a longstanding controversy over whether antidepressants work for depression ,” lead author Andrea Cipriani told the BBC.
The researcher at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford added: “We discovered that the most prescribed antidepressants work for depression from moderate to severe and I think this is very good news for patients and doctors.”
In this regard, the authors stated that the study could help doctors prescribe better , but clarified that this did not mean that all patients should change their medication based on their findings.
It is that the work analyzed the average effect of the drugs and not how they worked for people of different ages or sex, the severity of the symptoms and other specific variables.
In addition, the researchers clarified that most of the data covered treatments for eight weeks, so the findings may not apply to long-term use .
For his part, Cipriani recalled that antidepressants are not always the best or only form of treatment : “Medication should always be considered along with other options, such as psychological therapies, when they are available.”