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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Antidepressants useless

Ref.: BBC: Antidepressants 'of little use'

After decades being a supposed panacea for every sort of low emotional states, a research team of the University of Hull (UK) has found what many suspected anyhow: antidepressants are useless.

The research, focused on drugs like Prozac, Efexor and Seroxat, that keep serotonin for longer in the blood, on the grounds that this bodily chemical is claimed to stabilize mood, found only an unclear small effect in the most severe cases of depression and absolutely no effect in all others.

This implies that depressed people can improve without chemical treatments, as declared lead researcher Prof. Irving Kirsch.

The study highlights that the current system of reporting drug trials is a failure: pharmaceutical companies (one of the biggest business of our time) only publish the studies that favor their products. Prof. Kirsch suggested that they should be obligued by law to publish all their data, even the one that is disfavorable.

The issue of psychodrugs is particularly susceptible to manipulation and, in my opinion, probably most drugs of this kind right now in the market are problematic. While depressed people are not inhabilited and may have the choice to avoid such drugs, assuming they have all th information and are not pressed by doctors and couselors, people with severe disorders like schizophrenics are submitted to true mental strait-jacketing by the forced administration of drugs of little or no benefit. I have known too many who have taken their lives off after the psychiatric machinery and their brainwashed (and often quite problematic) families cornered them in such a cul-de-sac.

But the problem with pharmaceutic companies goes well beyond that: antibioitics are still being prescribed against the flu, when everybody (specially doctors) know that they are totally useless. Overall drugs, including useful ones, are used much more than they should and that's because there's a whole system of comercial propaganda working for the final customer: you whenerver you may have any health problem, ends up paying for it.

Meanwhile all these companies get huge benefits, part of which will be used to create more biased research in favor of some new dubious product to sell in the wealthy parts of the world, while they obviously don't spend at all in research for the many diseases that affect the tropical belt, because they are poor and hence unprofitable.

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