It’s no wonder Big Pharma loves antidepressants.
About 13% of Americans over the age of 12 take them, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Antidepressants can be very difficult to quit. Withdrawal is similar to that of addictive drugs. A quarter of the people on the medications have taken them for at least 10 years.
Now that’s a strong customer base![i]
Antidepressants bring in more than $14 billion in drug company revenue every year.
But even though so many people pay so much money for these drugs, they don’t work for most patients. That’s the finding of a major new study that concluded there’s no evidence that antidepressants work any better than a placebo.[ii]
The research appeared in the journal BMJ Open. It was a response to a large study that was published in The Lancet last year. That study reviewed 522 trials that included 116,477 participants. It concluded that antidepressants worked better than placebos.[iii]
The mainstream media reported it as proof positive that antidepressants are effective.
But the new study, led by Dr. Klaus Monkholm, found biases in the data.
Dr. Monkholm and his colleagues point out that the best quality studies use “blinded” participants. That means they don’t know whether they’re getting a placebo. But because antidepressants have well-known side effects, study subjects can often figure out if they are taking the drugs.
The original study didn’t try to control for that problem.
Analysis by Dr. Monkholm’s team showed other defects in the Lancet study:
- It did not strictly follow the general protocol for these types of analyses.
- It fell prey to “publication bias.” Many studies of antidepressants are funded by drug manufacturers. So studies that get positive results are the ones that tend to be published…and studies with negative results are not submitted for publication.
- The effects of the drugs were relatively small and “may not be clinically significant.”
- The data show a high drop-out rate for participants. That indicates that unwanted side effects often overshadowed any possible benefits.
The bottom line?
Dr. Monkholm said the evidence “doesn’t support definitive conclusions” that antidepressants are effective. It doesn’t even establish that they’re “more efficacious than a placebo” for depression.[iv]
4 Natural Solutions for Depression
Antidepressants can be lifesavers for people with severe, suicidal depression. But the vast majority of patients take them for less serious conditions. For these people, natural mood boosters may be safer and more effective…
St. John’s wort. This herb is proven to treat depression. It naturally balances the brain’s levels of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. Take it twice a day for a total dosage of 900 to 1,800 mg a day.
Saffron extract. Studies have found extracts of this cooking spice work better than the drugs Prozac (fluoxetine) and Tofranil (imipramine). It is high in carotenoids and B vitamins. These nutrients enhance mood. Take 15 mg twice a day.
5-Hydroxytrptophan (5-HTP). This amino acid works well with depression that is combined with anxiety. It boosts the body’s natural production of serotonin. It has also been found effective against insomnia. Suggested dosages are 100-200 mg taken twice per day.
SAMe. This naturally occurring amino acid-based chemical facilitates healthy nerve connections and boosts neurotransmitters. Some holistic doctors recommend it for older patients. This is because it has beneficial effects on arthritis and joint pain as well. Dosages typically start at 200 mg twice daily.
Editor’s Note: Antidepressants are far from the only risky “solution” peddled by Big Pharma. We list the others in our special report, The Top 10 Dangerous Pharmaceutical Drugs—And Their Natural Alternatives. It’s an important read for you and your family.
Get all the details HERE.