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Episode 15: Treating Depression: The Recent Sad News about Anti-Depressants

In episode 15 a guest assists us in addressing the evidence suggesting anti-depressants are not as effective as believed. We review some biases in the anti-depressant research including publication bias (how good studies are published more than bad studies). We discuss how the benefits of anti-depressants over placebo increase as the severity of depression worsens. James prompts us to explain the effectiveness of the medications; although we dodge, some vague commitments do manage to escape.

Show Notes

1) Selective publication of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors data

BMJ 2003;326:1171-73

2) Another select report on the selective publication of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

NEJM 2008; 358: 252

3) Antidepressants have a clinically important effect above placebo only in patients with severe depression

PLOS 2008:5(2):0260-8

4) Fluoxetine – evidence for benefit in children – others maybe not?

Lancet 2004;363:1341-5

5) In children, with antidepressants, the magnitude of benefit is unlikely sufficient to justify the harms

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/328/7444/879

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