Last updated on 1st November 2008
"The truth is rarely pure, and never simple" Oscar Wilde
There has been a lot of media publicity about the article on the value of antidepressants by Irving Kirsch and colleagues which was published in PLoS Medicine last month (Kirsch, Deacon et al. 2008). The authors wrote "We obtained data on all clinical trials submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the licensing of the four new-generation antidepressants for which full datasets were available. We then used meta-analytic techniques to assess ... effects of initial severity on improvement scores for drug and placebo groups and on drug-placebo difference scores." The four antidepressants studied were fluoxetine, paroxetine, nefazodone and venlafaxine.