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Research Article

Initial Severity and Antidepressant Benefits: A Meta-Analysis of Data Submitted to the Food and Drug Administration

  • Irving Kirsch mail,

    To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: i.kirsch@hull.ac.uk

    Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Hull, Hull, United Kingdom

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  • Brett J Deacon,

    Affiliation: University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, United States of America

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  • Tania B Huedo-Medina,

    Affiliation: Center for Health, Intervention, and Prevention, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, United States of America

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  • Alan Scoboria,

    Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

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  • Thomas J Moore,

    Affiliation: Institute for Safe Medication Practices, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, United States of America

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  • Blair T Johnson

    Affiliation: Center for Health, Intervention, and Prevention, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, United States of America

    X
  • Published: February 26, 2008
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0050045

Reader Comments (48)

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Long-term studies?

Posted by plosmedicine on 31 Mar 2009 at 00:22 GMT

Author: J Dales
Position: Medical writer
Institution: Embla Systems
E-mail: jennifer.dales@sympatico.ca
Submitted Date: February 28, 2008
Published Date: February 28, 2008
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

I find it very surprising that the study authors can conclude that these medications don't work when the studies only lasted 6 weeks. Many people take the meds for years, not weeks. Are there not any long-term studies of how patients have done on medication? Does the placebo effect continue to help depressed patients over, say, five years? I have been taking Paxil for almost seven years, and the medication has lead to a very significant improvement in the overall quality of my life. I have, over the years, participated in talk therapy, and have also been very physically active. However, the only treatment that has really made any difference for depression is medication. So, it is all in my head? :-)

I do find Cognitive Behavioural Therapy somewhat helpful, and perhaps strangely, chiropractic therapy involving soft tissue massage as well as adjustments. But only in conjunction with medication.

I really hope this study does not compel people to stop taking their medications, at least in those cases where they are doing well!

No competing interests declared.