The drugs do work: antidepressants are effective, study shows
The study published in the Lancet took six years, Cipriani said, and included all the published and unpublished data that the scientists could find. It was carried out by a team of international experts. They looked at results after eight weeks of more than 500 trials involving either a drug versus placebo or comparing two different medicines.
The most famous antidepressant of them all, Prozac – now out of patent and known by its generic name, fluoxetine – was one of the least effective but best tolerated, measured by a low drop-out rate in the trials or fewer side-effects reported. The most effective of the drugs was amitriptyline, which was the sixth best tolerated.
In a commentary in the journal, Sagar Parikh from the University of Michigan in the USA and Sidney Kennedy from the University of Toronto in Canada pointed out that three drugs scored best for efficacy and tolerability: agomelatine, escitalopram, and vortioxetine. Three others scored particularly poorly: fluvoxamine, reboxetine, and trazodone. The first three “might be considered first choice” by doctors, they write, although the two most effective drugs – amitriptyline and venlafaxine – might still be first choice for severe depression.
But Cipriani said any of the drugs might still have their uses. The trial data cannot show which drug would be likely to work best for any one individual.
|The drugs do work: antidepressants are effective, study shows | Science | The Guardian