Prescription Abuse Among Antidepressant Users

Reuters health from New York is reporting that even though recent debates about how well antidepressants really work in people  with only mild to moderate depression they have come up with a new analysis of drug studies and they suggest they may have some benefits across the board.  From the University of Chicago, Robert Gibbons, the study’s lead author said, “The idea that unless you’re very, very ill, you’re not going to benefit from treatment does not appear to stand up, when looking closely.”  Researchers have found that more patients taking Prozac or Effexor had a substantial improvement in their symptoms than those taking a drug-free placebo pill it didn’t matter how bad their symptoms were in the first place.

One researcher who was not involved in this study noted that its findings still don’t mean the drugs are any better than non-drug methods of treating depression, there is still talk therapy and being more physically active.

Gibbons and his co corkers looked at and analysized outcomes for each individual patient in published and unpublished trials that were testing the effects of six weeks of treatment with antidepressants versus placebo pills.  It is noted that most of those trials were funded and run by the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture Prozac and Effexor – Eli Likely and Wyeth, respectively.  They looked at 12 studies of Prozac in adults and four each in elderly patients and youth, as well as 21 trials of immediate-or extended-release Effexor in adults.  About 9,000 participants were included.  This is what they found:

Adults taking Prozac had a least 50 percent improvement.

Fifty-five percent of adults on Prozac responded to treatment compared to 34 percent in the placebo group.  In the young people 30 percent on Prozac had significant symptom improvement compared to just six percent of the comparisons.

It did not matter how severe patients’ symptoms were before starting treatment there was some benefits.  When they looked at the elderly they found the difference between the treatment and placebo it was smaller.  17 older patients would have to be treated with Prozac for one to gain from it.  Gibbons said, “Clearly the efficacy of antidepressants is age-dependent, (and) largest, most interestingly, in youth, which I don’t think would be the mainstream view in psychiatry.”

Irving Kirsch, who studies antidepressants and placebos at Harvard Medical School in Boston said, “This new report didn’t make me more optimistic about the drugs.  There are alternative treatments for depression that also produce about the same symptom reduction as the drugs do, but without the risk of side effects, including psychotherapy and exercise.”

Antidepressants are on the prescribed drugs that are being abused in this country.  The drug companies are trying to make sure their popularity continues to be high.  There are other alternative ways to help yourself if you are depressed.  Don’t just take a drug.  Find a natural way first.

It’s been proved that prescription abuse can lead to heroin abuse.  If you or someone you love needs help finding heroin rehabs, call our hotline now at 1-877-340-3602.

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