Bioethics News

If Antidepressants Don’t Work Well, Why Are They So Popular?

June 9, 2016

(New Scientist) – Another day, another study casting doubt on antidepressants. The latest says that for children and teenagers, nearly all these drugs don’t work. So why do prescriptions for antidepressants in the UK continue to climb? Previous research suggests that for adults too, the Prozac class of antidepressants – selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – is no better than a placebo, at least in people with mild or moderate depression. Confusingly, other research finds that these drugs do work, for example, a recent study that found that SSRIs work better than placebo for major depression in adults. But there’s reason to think that we may not be able to trust most studies unless the researchers have no links to pharmaceutical firms, and have access to all trial data.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.