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Major New Study Finds Antidepressants Do Work

Will this put an end to the debate?

Quashing speculation if antidepressants really do work, a landmark study has suggested that antidepressant drugs are more effective than placebos in treating depression.   

A landmark study led by researchers at Oxford University and published in The Lancet analysed data from 522 trials testing 21 different types of antidepressants, with 116,477 participants.

The study found that every type of antidepressant examined was more effective at lessening depression symptoms than a placebo. A drug was considered “effective” if the symptoms of depression were lessened by 50 per cent or more.

“We need to increase the number of people who are getting treated effectively,”  lead study author Dr. Andrea Cipriani of the University of Oxford told TIME.

“I’m not saying all patients with depression should be treated with antidepressants—they should all be offered effective treatments.”

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Speaking to SBS, acting head of psychiatry at the University of Melbourne Professor Malcolm Hopwood explained that the study demonstrated that “commercially-available antidepressants in Australia are more effective than placebos”. 

“(They’re a) helpful part of treating what can be a dreadful human condition,” Professor Hopwood said, also noting that other treatment options are also available.

In Australia, around one million adults have depression and more than two million have anxiety.    

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