DUMMY PILLS 'AS GOOD AS PROZAC'.Byline: By MIKE SWAIN, Science Editor
TAKING some types of antidepressant may be a waste of time, say researchers.
Drugs such as Prozac work no better than dummy pills for mildly depressed people, a review of clinical trials found.
And scientists discovered the benefit to even the most clinically depressed was not conclusive. That was because the data only revealed patients did not respond well to the placebo rather than improving after taking the anti-depressant.
Researchers used Freedom of Information laws to analysis American data on modern anti-depressants such as Prozac, Effexor and Seroxat.
Professor Irving Kirsch kirsch
A colorless brandy made from the fermented juice of cherries.
[French, short for German Kirschwasser; see kirschwasser. , who led the study, said: "This suggests that depressed people can get better without chemical treatments which may have side effects Side effects
Effects of a proposed project on other parts of the firm. ."
Doctors wrote a record 16.2 million prescriptions for anti-depressants in 2006, at a cost of pounds 119million.
The total NHS NHS
National Health Service
NHS (in Britain) National Health Service bill for them is put at almost pounds 300million.