Thursday, February 2, 2023

Tag: antidepressant efficacy

Regulators Are Approving Drugs Without Clear Evidence That They Work

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Drug regulators frequently approve drugs despite contradictory clinical trial results and without evidence of clinical benefits.

Garbage in, Garbage out: The Newest Cochrane Meta-Analysis of Depression Pills...

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In May 2021, Cochrane published a network meta-analysis of depression pills for children. The abstract is misleading and reads like drug company marketing.

Researchers: Antidepressant Use in Children Increases Suicide, No Evidence of Benefit

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Noted antidepressant researcher, Michael Hengartner, summarizes the latest research on the use of antidepressants in children and adolescents.

Unblinding in Antidepressant Trials Biases Results

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Studies that compare the effectiveness of different antidepressant drugs are unreliable, according to new research in BMC Psychiatry.

Results of World’s Largest Antidepressant Study Look Dismal

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The STAR-D study is by far the largest and most expensive study of antidepressants ever conducted, and it suggests that in real life situations, people taking antidepressants do not do very well. This may be the reason why the results of the main outcome of the STAR-D study have remained buried for so long.

Joanna Moncrieff and Carmine Pariante Debate Antidepressants

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On June 19th, Joanna Moncrieff and Carmine Pariante held an online antidepressant Q&A session with host Danny Whittaker. There was an initial debate, followed...

Review Finds Lack of Evidence for Antidepressants in Treatment of Insomnia

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Results from a Cochrane meta-analysis find that the common practice of prescribing antidepressants to treat insomnia is not supported by current evidence.

Dr. Joanna Moncrieff: Challenging the New Hype About Antidepressants

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An interview with psychiatrist, academic and author Dr Joanna Moncrieff, one of the founding members of the Critical Psychiatry Network. We talk about the recent meta-analysis of the efficacy and tolerability of 21 antidepressant drugs, widely reported in the UK news media on February 22nd.

Pharma Responds: Antidepressants Really Work. Really?

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A recent meta-analysis published in Molecular Psychiatry claims to have settled the debate on whether the slight superiority of antidepressants in trials is due to side effects breaking blind. The principle author was quoted as saying: "once and for all, we've answered the SSRI question." Have they?

Study 329 Taper Phase

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Most doctors still affect surprise at the idea SSRIs might come with withdrawal problems. Regulators knew very clearly since 2002 about the problems, but have decided to leave any communication of these issues in company hands.

Study 329 Continuation Phase

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All the fuss about Study 329 centers on its 8-week acute phase. But this study had a 24-week Continuation Phase that has never been published. Until Now.

Rising Rates of Suicide: Are Pills the Problem?

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If you’ve read recent reports that state “US suicide rates surge to a 30 year high,” you might first justify the reality with the fact that things feel very wrong in our world today. On a personal, national, and planetary level, people are suffering to survive and the distress is coming from all sides – medical to economic to existential. But you probably also wonder why more people are choosing this permanent and self-destructive path, and feel compelled to submit to seemingly logical appeals to provide these individuals more help and greater access to treatment. Surprise: that may be the last thing our population of hopeless and helpless needs. Life’s inevitable challenges are not the problem. It’s the drugs we use that are fueling suicide.

Who Will Guard the Guardians of Psychiatry?

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The assertion that the so-called antidepressants are being over-prescribed implies that there is a correct and appropriate level of prescribing and that depression is a chronic illness (just like diabetes). It has been an integral part of psychiatry's message that although depression might have been triggered by an external event, it is essentially an illness residing within the person's neurochemistry. The issue is not whether people should or shouldn't take pills. The issue is psychiatry pushing these dangerous serotonin-disruptive chemicals on people, under the pretense that they have an illness.

Restoring Study 329: Letter to BMJ

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When we set out to restore GSK’s misreported Study 329 of paroxetine for adolescent depression under the RIAT initiative, we had no idea of the magnitude of the task we were undertaking. After almost a year, we were relieved to finally complete a draft and submit it to the BMJ, who had earlier indicated an interest in publishing our restoration. But that was the beginning of another year of peer review that we believed went beyond enhancing our paper and became rather an interrogation of our honesty and integrity. Frankly, we were offended that our work was subject to such checks when papers submitted by pharmaceutical companies with fraud convictions are not.

“Why You Should Stop Taking Your Antidepressants”

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The New York Post reprints an excerpt on antidepressants from the latest book by MIA contributor, Kelly Brogan, MD, “A Mind of Your Own:...

“The Mystery of When to Stop Antidepressants”

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Researchers are studying whether psychological treatments can prevent relapse after patients go off antidepressant medication, reports the Wall Street Journal, noting that "SSRIs have long been...

Are Antidepressants and Psychotherapy Really Equally Effective for Depression?

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A recent review of the evidence by the American College of Physicians (ACP) determined that cognitive behavioral therapy and antidepressants had similar levels of effectiveness for the treatment of depression. In a critical commentary for the Journal of Mental Health, however, Michael Sugarman from Wayne State University challenges these findings. Pointing to differences in research settings and clinical practice, Sugarman asserts that “these head-to-head comparisons are heavily biased in the direction of psychiatric care.”

Further Evidence of the Adverse Effects of Antidepressants, and Why These...

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When the idea that selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) might make people feel suicidal first started to be discussed, I admit I was sceptical. It didn’t seem to me the drugs had much effect at all, and I couldn’t understand how a chemical substance could produce a specific thought. Because these effects did not show up in randomised controlled trials, they were dismissed and few efforts were made to study them properly. Then some large meta-analyses started to find an association between the use of modern antidepressants and suicidal thoughts and actions, especially in children.

Postpartum Depression Screening: Prevention or Problem?

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What does screening mean, in the ever more prevalent field of Psychiatry? Psychiatric screening is not a biological metric that can be assumed to predict the future in a linear manner. It’s a series of subjective questions. It is, in short, a survey.

Largest Meta-Analysis of Antidepressants Finds Doubled Risk of Suicide in Youth

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The largest-ever meta-analysis of antidepressant trials appeared yesterday in the British Medical Journal. Researchers from the Cochrane Collaboration reviewed 70 trials (involving 18,526 subjects), to find that - counter to the initially-reported findings - antidepressants doubled the risk of suicide and aggression in subjects under 18. This risk had been misrepresented in the original study reports, the authors say, and suggest that the risks to adults may be similarly under-reported.

What Disability Benefit Trends Tell Us About Psychiatric Treatments and the...

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If antidepressants are effective, and people with depression are more likely to be prescribed them, then you would expect the consequences of depression to start to lessen. One of those consequences, according to government statistics, is being out of work. But what we see is quite the opposite: Increasing use of antidepressants correlates with increased numbers of people with depression who are out of work and claiming benefits, and increasingly on a long-term basis. And this is at a time when disability due to other medical conditions has fallen.

FDA: New Depression Drug “Not Approvable”

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Gepirone, a new depression drug by Fabre-Kramer Pharmaceuticals, did not meet the FDAs efficacy standards. The new drug application for gepirone has now received...

Study 329: 50 Shades of Gray

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Access to data is more important than access to information about conflicts of interest. It is only when there is access to the data that we can see if interests are conflicting and take that into account. Problems don’t get solved unless someone is motivated for some reason. We need the bias that pharmaceutical companies bring to bear in their defense of a product, along with the bias of those who might have been injured by a treatment. Both of these biases can distort the picture but it’s when people with differing points of view agree on what is right in front of their noses that we can begin to have some confidence about what we have.

Brain Response to Antidepressant Mirrors Placebo Effect

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People diagnosed with severe depression show the same changes in brain scans when they respond to a placebo as they do when they take an actual antidepressant, according to a new study. Researchers also found that those whose symptoms were decreased by a placebo were more likely to report relief from antidepressant drugs.

Study 329 in Japan

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By 2002 GlaxoSmithKline had done 3 studies in children who were depressed and described all three to FDA as negative.  As an old post on Bob Fiddaman’s blog reproduced here outlines, several years later they undertook another study in children in Japan. (Editor's note: This is a re-print, by David Healy, of a post by Bob Fiddaman)