Antidepressants are more effective than placebos – “dummy pills” – to reduce symptoms of depression in adults, according to a new analysis published in The Lancet.
For this study, an international team of researchers conducted an analysis of 522 previous trials involving about 120,000 patients and 21 commonly-used antidepressant medications. Off-patent generic drugs, as well as newer, patented antidepressants were included in the study.
Although the researchers found differences among the medications studied, they determined that all of the antidepressants were more effective than placebos. According to the researchers, newer antidepressants, including Prozac, are generally better tolerated and produce fewer side effects. However, they suggest that the most effective drug to treat depression is amitriptyline, which was first discovered in the 1950s.