Product News and Recalls

Survey: Antidepressants not the only treatment

Consumer Reports conducted a survey about antidepressant use, compiling answers from 1,500 respondents. According to an article accompanying the survey results, the findings contradict the implications of antidepressant advertisements, which imply that pills are the only answer for serious depression or anxiety disorders and that they work for everyone.

The survey found that rates of reported side effects among people taking antidepressants were higher than those reported in studies funded by drug companies. The article also mentions a 2010 report in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association, concluding that placebos worked as well as antidepressants in cases of mild and moderate depression.

In addition to raising doubts about the efficiency of antidepressants, some studies have raised safety concerns about the drugs. A number of studies link antidepressants categorized as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, with potentially dangerous heart and lung defects in newborns.

SSRI antidepressants include Prozac and Zoloft.

Findings of the Consumer Reports survey included the following:

— Most respondents, amounting to 78 percent, received medication for their depression or anxiety. According to Consumer Reports, that reflects the tremendous growth of the use of antidepressant drugs in the past 15 years. According to the article, U.S. doctors prescribed $9.9 billion worth of antidepressants in 2009, which represents a 3 percent growth over the previous year. Antidepressants are the third most-prescribed class of drugs in the United States, after cholesterol-lowering drugs and codeine-based painkillers. That’s due at least in part to aggressive marketing.

— Respondents who stuck with talk therapy for at least seven sessions reported as much improvement as those who only took medication, though people who did both fared even better.

— Of respondents who sought help for a mental-health difficulty, 58 percent had experienced anxiety, up from 41 percent in a previous survey from 2004.

Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with an SSRI lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries from SSRIs.

See the article here: