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Antidepressants May Not Help, Appear To Help Only Severely Depressed People & Work No Better Than Placebos

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Antidepressant medications appear to help only very severely depressed people and the drugs work no better than placebos in many patients, British researchers said Tuesday.

Their findings raise questions about the use of antidepressants, the most commonly prescribed drugs in the U.S. The study, led by Irving Kirsch of the University of Hull, concludes that less severely depressed patients might benefit just as much from therapy, exercise or other non-medical interventions.

"There is little reason to prescribe new-generation antidepressant medications to any but the most severely depressed patients unless alternative treatments have been ineffective," wrote researchers in the latest issue of the public Library of Science Medicine.

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