9 doctors weighed in:
Why are ssri meds used so often when studies show them to be no more effective than placebos?
9 doctors weighed in

Dr. Steven Reidbord
Psychiatry
4 doctors agree
In brief: It's controversial
Whether ssris work better than placebo for depression is controversial, hotly debated among authors & mental health professionals.
Partly it depends on how you interpret the studies. Probably the most honest answer is that doctors want to be helpful, and ssris clearly do relieve suffering. (placebo might too.) i wrote more about it here: http://blog.Stevenreidbordmd.Com/?P=449.

In brief: It's controversial
Whether ssris work better than placebo for depression is controversial, hotly debated among authors & mental health professionals.
Partly it depends on how you interpret the studies. Probably the most honest answer is that doctors want to be helpful, and ssris clearly do relieve suffering. (placebo might too.) i wrote more about it here: http://blog.Stevenreidbordmd.Com/?P=449.
Dr. Steven Reidbord
Dr. Steven Reidbord
Thank
2 comments
Dr. Steven Reidbord
Good to remember that your personal experience, good or bad, doesn't bear on the question you asked, which refers to statistical findings in groups of subjects. Even if SSRIs have been ineffective for you, they still could be more effective than placebo; conversely, even if they worked for you, it could have been placebo effect.
Dr. Cynthia Archer
What Dr. Reidbord refers to above is very important. Bias is a problem in science and there are many forms of bias. The most common biases encountered in the clinical setting are confirmation bias (meaning a deeply held belief that one looks specifically for only things that reinforces that belief) and placebo effect which is a similar bias, you believe it will work so it does.
Dr. Cynthia Archer
Internal Medicine
3 doctors agree
In brief: Suicide Is Serious
And should be prevented.
Sometimes one must use the tools available. There are many other drug classes effective for depression, and if SSRIs don't work for one patient that does not preclude efficacy of another class of antidepressant. There are standards of care with respect to prescribing such medications, and if one hasn't worked after a specified period of time & dose, another will be tried.

In brief: Suicide Is Serious
And should be prevented.
Sometimes one must use the tools available. There are many other drug classes effective for depression, and if SSRIs don't work for one patient that does not preclude efficacy of another class of antidepressant. There are standards of care with respect to prescribing such medications, and if one hasn't worked after a specified period of time & dose, another will be tried.
Dr. Cynthia Archer
Dr. Cynthia Archer
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Cynthia Archer
Keep in mind SSRIs are efficacous for a number of uses. For example, they are highly effective for premature ejaculation. So it would be meaningful to have the problem for which the class of drugs is being prescribed plainly stated. One must speak in specifics to get the best answer, and medical science is all about the details.
Dr. Edmund Cavazos
Psychiatry
3 doctors agree
In brief: Which studies?
Who are doing the studies you are reviewing.

In brief: Which studies?
Who are doing the studies you are reviewing.
Dr. Edmund Cavazos
Dr. Edmund Cavazos
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Cynthia Archer
Not only who, but what methodology, in what patient population, in what clinical setting and in what kind of sample size? Is the science robust? Is the samle skewed toward higher risk, and what other variables are present? How long of a time period is measured. Is the science done with positive and negative controls and is it double-blinded? The list of questions goes on.
Dr. Alan Ali
Psychiatry
2 doctors agree
In brief: SSRIs placebo?
Not sure where the Placebo information came from, but my experience has been that they are very effective when used for diagnosed cases and closely monitored.

In brief: SSRIs placebo?
Not sure where the Placebo information came from, but my experience has been that they are very effective when used for diagnosed cases and closely monitored.
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Ali
Thank
Dr. David Wyatt
Family Medicine
2 doctors agree
In brief: Agree w Dr Cacazos
Would wonder about source of that information....

In brief: Agree w Dr Cacazos
Would wonder about source of that information....
Dr. David Wyatt
Dr. David Wyatt
Thank
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