Jama Logo With anti-depressants being easily available over the counter, it doesn’t come as a surprise that it is being consumed by many. However, analyzing its pros and cons looks like an intelligent move. With this view, a study published in JAMA, has shown that antidep-ressants apparently show substantial improvement in people with severe depressive symptoms.

The information used in the study was collected from PubMed, PsycINFO, and the Cochrane Library databases between January 1980 and March 2009. The team studied the effect of FDA-approved anti-depressant drugs on patients with mild and acute forms of depression. A comparison was drawn between the medicine and placebo for a span of 6 weeks.

They did not exclude patients based on a placebo washout phase and utilized the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS). Approximately 718 patients from 6 studies were examined in the analysis. The outcome showed that the differences between the medication and placebo seemed to change significantly as per baseline severity. Those with HDRS scores below 23 supposedly manifested very less variation in effects for both placebo and medication.

As baseline depression severity increased, the superiority of the medication over placebo presumably elevated and went above the threshold put forth by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence for a clinically noticeable difference at baseline HDRS score of 25.

The results essentially present that the advantages of anti-depressant medications is prominent in people with severe kinds of depression and those with more symptoms. However, among patients with mild or moderate depression, there seemed to be minimal or no beneficial influences of such anti-depressant drugs.

The study is published in JAMA.