A new study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association studied the effects of two different kinds of antidepressants on 728 patients who suffer from mild to severe depression. The study showed that SSRI’s and tricyclics showed no significant difference than placebos did in patients with mild depression.
This report may make people who are currently taking an anti-depressant wonder if they need the medication at all or if the thought of taking it is what is making them feel better.
Don’t stop taking your anti-depressant just yet! One of the kind of anti-depressants that was studied is a tricyclic called Imipramine. Tricyclic anti-depressants are the older way of treating depression and are not even commonly prescribed any more for depression. The other anti-depressant tested was an SSRI, Paxil.
The newer anti-depressants, SSNRI’s, like Cymbalta and Effexor, were not even a part of this study. These anti-depressants work differently than SSRI’s and tricyclics. They target serotonin and norepinephrine.
SSRI’s, like Paxil and Prozac, can be effective in patients with severe depression. Selective serontonin reuptake inhibitors like Paxil and Prozac have been used for depression for many years. Many people feel that these drugs did help them overcome their depression.
A combination of talk therapy along with anti-depressants is helpful for treating depression. The study showed that for some people, anti-depressants do work.
The problem with studies like this one is that the media jumps on the idea that anti-depressants work as well as a placebo for treating depression and it catches people’s attention. If you take the time to really understand the study, you will see that this study is just the beginning of understanding how anti-depressants work and where more research is needed.
Doctors and researchers believe that depression is caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. They have not yet been able to prove that is why some people suffer from depression. If you listen carefully to pharmaceutical companies commercials for anti-depressants, they state this clearly.
Depression affects many Americans and the research into what causes depression still seems to be in its infancy. Pharmaceutical companies spend millions of dollars researching drugs to cure a disease without knowing what causes it.
Maybe what this study really shows is that we need to find out more about depression so that we can treat it more successfully. Depression is serious if left untreated.