A lot of people have wondered at one point or the other whether Anti-depressants actually work but the results of a major new study has confirmed the amazing work done by them.
According to the results of the research which was published in the Lancet, and which analyzed data from 522 trials involving 116,477 people, 21 common anti-depressants were all more effective at reducing symptoms of acute depression than placebos.
The authors of the report said it showed that many more people could benefit from the drugs, although the study also showed big differences in how effective each drug that was used in the study is.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists said that the study “finally puts to bed the controversy on antidepressants,” and hoped it would end the stigma attached to the drugs.
In 2016, 64.7 million prescriptions for the drugs were given out in England, which was more than double the 31 million that was issued in 2006.
The systematic review and network meta-analysis – which included unpublished data in addition to information from the 522 clinical trials involving the short-term treatment of acute depression in adults – found the medications were much more effective than placebos.
The survey found that anti-depressants were more efficacious than placebo in adults with major depressive disorder.
The study went on further to state that read “smaller differences between active drugs were found when placebo-controlled trials were included in the analysis, whereas there was more variability in efficacy and acceptability in head-to-head trials.”
These results should serve evidence-based practice and inform patients, physicians, guideline developers, and policy makers on the relative merits of the different antidepressants.
Lead researcher Dr Andrea Cipriani, from the University of Oxford, said that, “This study is the final answer to a long-standing controversy about whether antidepressants work for depression.”
She went on further to make it known that she and other researchers found the most commonly prescribed antidepressants work for moderate to severe depression and that they think this is very good news for patients and clinicians.
However, some other professionals are of the believe that anti-depressants are not the only treatment option available for depression.
They are of the opinion that the things that people find helpful in managing their mental health will vary from person to person.
Whether this is medication, talking therapies, making lifestyle changes such as taking exercise, or a mixture of these, It is important to say that, while anti-depressants can be effective for some, they are not the solution for everyone and are not recommended as a first-line treatment for mild depression.
Anyone considering taking antidepressants should be made aware of the possible side effects they might experience and should have their treatment reviewed regularly.
Someone managing their mental health problems should be treated as a whole person and they should be able to access whatever treatment, or combination of treatments which works best for them.