Antidepressants should be considered a generally effective means of treating the signs of acute depression, according to a new study.
Researchers from the University of Oxford have carried out a meta-analysis of 522 trials including a total of 116,477 participants, representing the largest amount of unpublished data on this subject to date.
“A broad-ranging new study has provided evidence supporting the effectiveness of antidepressants in the treatment of acute depression.“
All 21 antidepressants analysed in the research were shown to be more effective than placebo in the short-term treatment of acute depression in adults, with only one drug - clomipramine - shown to be less well-tolerated than placebo.
It was also shown that some antidepressants were more effective than others, including agomelatine, amitriptyline, escitalopram, mirtazapine, paroxetine, venlafaxine and vortioxetine - most of which are available in affordable generic form.
These findings will prove helpful for doctors seeking to provide patients with the most effective treatment for patients experiencing mental health issues.
Dr Andrea Cipriani of Oxford University's department of psychiatry said: "Antidepressants can be an effective tool to treat major depression, but this does not necessarily mean that antidepressants should always be the first line of treatment. Medication should always be considered alongside other options, such as psychological therapies, where these are available."
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