More than likely, you know somebody that is currently suffering from a major depressive disorder or perhaps you may have experienced one yourself. It is one of the more common health problems that people in the United States experience and medical science has not really been able to find a way to overcome it completely. What they have done is to provide antidepressants but they are surrounded by controversy. In fact, the term “Prozac Nation” is used to describe overprescribing of these medications.
If you have heard some of the negative things that people are saying about antidepressants, you might be interested in knowing that a new study has finally put the nail in that coffin. The study is from The Lancet and involved an international team led by the University of Oxford. A total of 120,000 individuals were used for this study and they talked about their experiences of using the top 21 most commonly described antidepressant drugs.
The verdict is shocking: antidepressant drugs work!
Dr. James Warner is a psychiatrist at the Imperial College of London. He wasn’t involved in this particular study but he was happy with the fact that this study confirmed that antidepressants can be used as an effective part of a treatment program. He goes on to talk about how depression causes misery too many people every year and this study helps to show that there are treatments available. It helps to clarify things about the effectiveness of antidepressants that will be beneficial to both clinicians and patients.
This study looked for antidepressant medications that would be considered “effective”. In order to meet that criterion, the depression symptoms had to be reduced by a minimum of 50%. In comparison with placebo, all 21 antidepressants were more effective after 8 weeks. Some drugs, however, proved to be more effective than others. Some of the better drugs that were tested included mirtazapine, escitalopram, agomelatine, amitriptyline, venlafaxine, vortioxetine, and paroxetine. These are the generic name for the drugs and they may be sold under a number of different brand names.
It is estimated that more than 300 million individuals suffer from depression at any given time. That is not a stagnant number and it is thought to be increasing. Many physical and mental problems occur but when you reach out for help, you may find that there are treatment options available. Antidepressants are an option that many people consider.
Although there are many different types of medications, antidepressants are more commonly prescribed than most others. There are various types that work in different ways but it is often associated with increasing neurotransmitter levels, including norepinephrine and serotonin. This research has received a lot of press but it is still important to understand that antidepressants do not fit all situations and they are not a catchall solution.
According to Prof. Alan Young of Kings College London’s Institute of psychiatry, psychology, and neuroscience, the conclusions are backed up by hard data. He goes on to state that the results of the study are only associated with major depressive disorders and are part of a group effort, but individuals may experience different benefits.
He went on to say: “A lot of ‘antidepressants’ are used for other disorders (such as anxiety or OCD) or off-label (where the drug is prescribed for something other than the original condition for which it was officially approved) and this evidence does not apply in these instances.”
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