Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Antidepressant Study

Since JayPeeFreely left the following info as a comment on my post Bipolar Wellness Activity 5, I'm not sure how many of you read it. So I'm reposting it here. Thanks Jason! I appreciate the information. As I believe I've mentioned before, I can't get out of a severe depression without medication, but I believe it's primarily because I took medication for too many years. But who knows? Maybe my new exercise regimen will make a difference.

"Just today, another study pointed out that placebos were nearly as effective as depression medication. That most moderate depressions could be handled without prescribing Prozac or Seroxat.

Quote: "This means that depressed people can improve without chemical treatments.

"Given these results, there seems little reason to prescribe antidepressant medication to any but the most severely depressed patients unless alternative treatments have failed to provide a benefit."

The study, published in the journal PLoS (Public Library of Science) Medicine, looked at Prozac, Seroxat, Effexor and Serzone and found the drugs were only better than a placebo for some people with severe depression.

Kirsch's team said it was one of the most thorough probes into the impact of new generation anti-depressants or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

But drug companies strongly questioned the findings.

What does that tell us? Maybe the meds route is not to be sought out as the 1st step to wellness. And our drug companies are hiding their less-than-stellar drug trials."

4 comments:

Tony C. said...

I have often wondered are the pills making me cope with bipolar, or are they doing nothing and over time Im just coping with bipolar better?
I have been off carbomazipine for 2 weeks (due to its effects on my liver)and have been advised to double my prozac. My mood swung down badly last week - but on reflection seems no worse than when I was taking the pills. Having seen this report, perhaps I should give up the prozac too and see what happens?

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Tony,
Everyone's illness is different. I believe that medication does work for some people. And it's unclear who the people tested were, what their medical history is, and how their illness manifested itself.

I wouldn't do anything without checking with my doctor. Going off one medication is a huge change for your system.

I'm really big on this exercise regimen now. The results from those studies both short-term and long-term make a big difference.

Medication affects people in different ways. I'm medication resistant so I'm not a good resource person on this.

Only you know the effect of Prozac for you. But since you've made the big switch with one medication, I wouldn't risk stopping the other.

From my research, I think some of the most helpful adjunctive therapies are meditation, yoga, and exercise. But I wouldn't stop taking medication. I'd just add some of these to your regimen. And see how you feel!

Susan

My Life with Bipolar Disorder said...

For my case, whenever I am severely depressed, I need to take about 10 days of Prozac 20mg daily. During that time, I can hardly exercise as I was too tired and have little strength. After 10 days, I will be lifted up to a more functional level in which I can then benefit from exercise and other helps. Many people said medication has undesirable long term side-effects. I am looking into alternative ways to cope such as exercise, Omega-3 fish oil supplements, managing and reducing stress, etc. But I know I need my medication at this moment.

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Nancy,
I agree. When a severe depression hits, I need to take Adderall, a stimulant until it is over. However, perhaps exercise, meditation, and other adjunctive therapies might lessen the depression and ultimately reduce my need for medication.

Susan