A meta study of clinical trials into the efficacy of the antidepressant drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) has revealed that they could be no better than placebo except in extremely severe forms of depression. Writing in PLoS Medicine Irving Kirsch and colleagues at the University of Hull, UK, have analyzed results for fluoxetine (Prozac), venlafaxine (Effexor), nefazodone (Serzone), and paroxetine (Seroxat / Paxil) and found them wanting. By including data from unpublished as well as published trials, the researchers set out to avoid bias that might come from non-publication of disappointing findings. Needless to say the manufacturers of these products have responded in kind with a rebuttal of the findings.
Depressing news about antidepressants