Prozac success doubt.NEW-GENERATION anti-depressants such as Prozac work no better than dummy pills on many depressed people, new research suggests.
A review of clinical trials found they had no more effect than a placebo for mildly depressed patients and for most people suffering severe depression.
Even trials suggesting benefit for severely depressed people did not provide evidence of clear clinical benefit, researchers said.
Dr Tim Kendall, deputy director of the Royal College of Psychiatrists The Royal College of Psychiatrists is the main professional organisation of psychiatrists in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, responsible for representing and certifying psychiatrists, psychiatric training and providing high quality public information about mental Research Unit, said the findings were "fantastically important".
A group of experts, led by Professor Irving Kirsch, from the Department of Psychology at the University of Hull, analysed 47 clinical trials using data released under Freedom of Information rules by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The researchers looked at four commonly-used anti-depressants and the clinical trials submitted to gain licensing approval.
They included anti-depressants regularly prescribed in the UK, including fluoxetine fluoxetine /flu·ox·e·tine/ (floo-ok´se-ten) a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor used as the hydrochloride salt in the treatment of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bulimia nervosa, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. (Prozac), venlafaxine venlafaxine /ven·la·fax·ine/ (ven?lah-fak´sen) an inhibitor of serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake that potentiates neurotransmitter activity in the central nervous system; used as the hydrochloride salt as an antidepressant and (Efexor) and paroxetine paroxetine /par·ox·e·tine/ (pah-rok´se-ten) a selective serotonin uptake inhibitor used as the hydrochloride salt to treat depression and obsessive-compulsive, panic, and social anxiety disorders. (Seroxat).
They found little evidence of benefit when analysing both unpublished and published data from the drug companies.
Furthermore, the seemingly good results for very severely depressed patients came from the fact a patient's response to the dummy pill decreased rather than any notable increase in their response to antidepressants.