Tag: efficacy of psychiatric drugs
The most important data in an RCT is not whether the drug provides a statistically significant benefit over placebo. The most important data is the “number needed to treat” calculation (NNT). For the person considering taking an antidepressant or an antipsychotic, the NNT data provides the “math” needed to weigh the potential benefit of taking the drug against the potential harm of doing so.
Based on the studies cited, it seems hard to support the assertion that “early initiation of antipsychotics may improve long-term course of the illness.” This raises an urgent question about initial treatment. Doesn’t it make sense to try to capture all of those individuals who might get through a psychosis without drugs?
A dilemma for all of us who are struggling to broaden our understanding of human distress beyond simplistic, pessimistic, bio-genetic ideology, and to improve our mental health services accordingly, is whether or not to soften our criticisms of psychiatry in the hope of reaching those psychiatrists whose minds are not totally closed. But doing so rests on the assumption that change can come from within the profession. For the last few decades examples of that are few and far between.