New Analysis Shows Antidepressants May Not Work

There are many health challenges in the world today. This includes both physical as well as mental issues. Statistically, there are more cases of mental health issues such as depression than ever before. In fact, it is now almost a global problem.

Depression is perhaps the most common mental disorder nowadays. The effects of the condition can vary from person to person. It can be much more intense in one case than another.

At the moment, there are different therapies available for depression. This ranges from weekly therapy to the prescription of antidepressants.

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, around twelve percent of people take an antidepressant monthly.

Regardless of such startling stats on mental health issues, they do not get attention. This is also why people do not seek help for mental health issues.

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However, now there is an increase in research on depression. Scientists are looking for effective ways that will actually help people overcome the condition. In the midst of doing so, some also look at while the present ones are any good.

For instance, a new study looked at the effectiveness of taking anti-depression medicines. Researchers from the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Denmark examined did a comparison of placebos with antidepressants.

Since people are now also questioning the effects of antidepressants, research on it is fundamental. The new review appears in the journal BMJ Open. The leading author of the study is Dr. Klaus Monkholm.

Read the study here.

What Was the Research Methodology?

The controversy around antidepressants is because of a number of factors. These range from marketing by big pharmaceutical companies to willingness of patients. A lot of times, scientific journals also give preference to studies with positive conclusions on antidepressants.

On the other hand, medicines for mental health issues, in general, have side effects. Consequently, researchers are not clear whether antidepressants are any better than a placebo.

Previously, researchers in a study had several trials on working of antidepressants. In total, there were at least 116,477 participants and around 522 trials. This study was conducted by Dr. Andrea Cipriani.

Read the analysis here.

This research gave positive conclusions. The general final statement confirmed that antidepressants did work. However, in the new paper, the researchers point out that the data used had biases in it.

There were also several issues in the previous research by Dr. Andrea Cipriani. For example, neither of the participants knew whether they were taking the medicine or placebo.

In addition, the original research said that it used the golden standard to analysis. This appears in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions.

In the re-analysis by Dr. Monkholm, it is shown that there were many instances where the researchers did not follow. Secondly, the short-term studies in the analysis were not applicable to people who are on antidepressants for many years.

Lastly, Dr. Monkholm says that the analysis may even have publication bias. It is not new that the publishers and journals favor one type of research rather than the others.

Conclusively, the researchers state that it is better to be more cautious regarding medicines for mental health issues. They do not say that antidepressants do not work. Rather, they highlight the lack of evidence to support the benefits. More research may confirm their effects in the future.



Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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