Why Trials of Antidepressants Often Fail 

In a review of seven clinical trials of duloxetine (Cymbalta), researchers found that the drug-treated patients fell into two groups: 76.7% “responded” to the drug, and 23.7% did not.  In contrast, “placebo treated patients were characterized by a single response trajectory,” in which they gradually improved. At the end of eight weeks, the drug responders were doing better than the placebo group as a whole, while the drug non-responders were doing worse. When the data from the two drug-treated groups are pooled (responders and non-responders), the outcomes may be no better than for the placebo group.
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Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.