According to a new study that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, most of the antidepressant drugs on the market — including Paxil — that contain paroxetine and imipramine do not provide patients with any benefits that a placebo doesn’t when it comes to actually helping patients with mild to moderate or even extreme depression.
According to Robert DeRubeis, who is a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania and was part of the team that performed the meta-analysis, patients that were taking Paxil would have fared just as well had they not taken antidepressants at all. The meta-analysis was drawn from six studies with more than 800 patients participating.
During the study, the patients each had an initial depression score of 23 or lower and that number dropped an average of 8 points after they were given Paxil. However, the study also showed that there was a 7-point drop in people that were given a placebo. DeRubeis says he hopes that this information encourages doctors and their patients to take a moment to see what else can be done to combat depression before they rush in to prescribe Paxil and other drugs in the same class. He also says that patients can choose things like exercise and psychotherapy instead of taking antidepressants at all.
Paxil, made by GlaxoSmithKline, is one of the most popular SSRI drugs on the market. However, with so many risks involved in taking Paxil, this new information could add to the many woes the company is going through. There have been a lot of claims that Paxil increases suicide risk, heart attacks and strokes — even that it can cause death.
Glaxo has been investigated frequently of late for shady dealings in the making and marketing of other drugs. This report may add even more backlash against the company and even question the validity of Paxil and other drugs. That is something to think about for patients with depression.