A new review of 4 meta-analyses of efficacy trials submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests that antidepressants are only "marginally efficacious" compared with placebo and "document profound publication bias that inflates their apparent efficacy." In addition, when the researchers also analyzed the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) trial, "the largest antidepressant effectiveness trial ever conducted," they found that "the effectiveness of antidepressant therapies was probably even lower than the modest one reported...with an apparent progressively increasing dropout rate across each study phase." Lead study author Ed Pigott, PhD, a psychologist with NeuroAdvantage LLC in Clarksville, Maryland, said: "...if you're trying to look at sustained benefit, you're only looking at 2.7%, which is a pretty jaw-dropping number." Overall, "the reviewed findings argue for a reappraisal of the current recommended standard of care of depression," write the study authors.
Deborah Brauser, Medscape Today
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