Do Antidepressants Really Work? – The New York Times

Other researchers, together with Dr. Lewis, argue that the advantages from antidepressants are vital sufficient to make a constructive distinction in individuals’s lives, at the very least for just a few months. “There’s sturdy proof that antidepressants could be efficient for individuals experiencing a variety of depressive signs,” she mentioned. But, she added, the medicine “don’t work for everyone.”

And once more, it’s unclear how useful these medicine are when taken for various months — which raises issues for the various adults who’ve been taking the medicine for a very long time. According to a Times analysis, 15.5 million Americans have been taking antidepressants for at the very least 5 years. Dr. Horowitz argued that the medicine will in all probability have more and more smaller advantages the longer individuals take them, partially as a result of sufferers can construct up a tolerance to the drugs, he mentioned.

Research suggests that folks may also expertise unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, often called antidepressant discontinuation syndrome, after they cease taking antidepressants, typically for weeks or months, and that the medicine can pose different dangers, maybe increasing the likelihood of strokes, coronary heart assaults, falls and even loss of life. And after all, like several remedy, antidepressants may cause negative effects, together with nausea, agitation, weight acquire, decrease intercourse drive and indigestion.

If you’re on antidepressants, Dr. Horowitz recommended checking along with your physician to see should you ought to proceed taking them and, in that case, to make sure you are nonetheless taking an applicable dosage. The American Psychiatric Association recommends that sufferers who’ve skilled only one episode of melancholy take antidepressants for between 4 and 9 months. But “individuals mustn’t cease chilly turkey. They ought to do so slowly,” Dr. Horowitz mentioned, and ideally underneath the supervision of a health care provider.

Many individuals can get actual, life-altering advantages from these medicine and will profit from taking them over the long run. But all of us need to know extra about how effectively they work, and the dangers they could pose, when taken for years and even a long time.

If one factor is obvious, it’s that we want extra cautious analysis on how finest to assist the greater than 16 million Americans who presently undergo from melancholy — and whose signs could effectively have worsened through the pandemic.


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