Huge research study suggests risk of harm might outweigh the small benefits
A new study that has reviewed the findings of other studies on the use of a group of anti-depressants called SSRIs has concluded that the benefits for people with depression are small and that the risks of harm are high. The meta-analysis by Jakobsen et al., published in the BMC Psychiatry journal, reviewed previous research trials covering a huge 27,000 people with depression. They concluded that most of the studies claiming that SSRIs were helpful were poorly designed and showed strong evidence of bias. Any benefits of SSRIs were small, and possibly not clinically significant. More worryingly, they concluded that the risk of 'adverse events' (unwanted side effects ranging from physical health problems to suicide) were significantly increased.
The link to the paper is below, along with a great podcast by local CBT therapist, Jim Lucas from Open Forwards, about the implications of this research. If you are thinking of taking, or are currently taking SSRIs, listen to the asvice linked below and discuss the issues with your doctor. It is not advisable to come off prescribed medication without seeking medical advice.
Jakobsen et al. (2017). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors versus placebo in patients with major depressive disorder. A systematic review with meta-analysis and Trial Sequential Analysis
Open Forwards podcast on anti-depressants
Let's Talk Withdrawal Podcast