(ORDO NEWS) — Antidepressants do not improve the mental or physical health of people with depression in the long term, according to a new study.
The authors note that patients still need to take antidepressants if prescribed by their doctor.
It has long been known that antidepressants are effective in treating depressive disorder, but the effect of the pill on people’s health in general remains unclear.
Now, in a study published in the journal PLOS ONE , scientists from Saudi Arabia analyzed data from a massive scientific study.
This work tracked the use of medical services by Americans from 2005 to 2015, which included more than 17 million adult patients diagnosed with depression each year. Slightly more than half of them (57.6%) were taking antidepressants.
What conclusion did the scientists come to?
The results showed that depressants improved symptoms of depression in the short term, but did not improve patients’ quality of life in the long term.
However, the study had a number of limitations. The researchers did not look at subtypes or different levels of severity of depression among the participants. They also didn’t categorize antidepressants into types, some of which work differently than others.
The researchers note that patients should still take antidepressants if they are prescribed by their doctor.
“Despite the literature demonstrating the effectiveness of antidepressants for the treatment of depressive disorder, the impact of these drugs on patients’ overall well-being and health-related quality of life remains controversial.
The use of antidepressants does not continue to improve patients’ health-related quality of life over time,” the researchers conclude.
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