Antidepressants 'no better than placebo'

Antidepressants have no benefit over placebo for most patients, say UK researchers.

Only some very seriously depressed patients will benefit from fluoxetine, venlafaxine, nefazodone or paroxetine, according to the report.

Findings come from a meta-analysis of 47 clinical trials on the four drugs. All trials, including those not published due to poor results, were assessed to avoid bias.

Analysis showed no clinically significant differences between the antidepressants and placebo in mildly depressed patients or the majority of patients with severe depression.

The findings come as the DoH announced £170 million to train 3,600 psychological therapists to boost access to talking therapies.

PLoS Medicine 2008; 5: 260-8

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