A new study suggests that doctors should be more aware of how patients react to antidepressants and more willing to take them off drugs at the first signs of problems or patient complaints, according to a report at PsychCentral.com.
The study by Yale University, which examined data produced from seven previous drug research trials involving 2,515 participants, found that about 20 percent of them felt worse after being treated by the trial drugs than they would have had they been treated with placebos, or so-called “sugar pills.”
The study, however, did note that most of those participating – about 76.3 percent – did respond positively to treatment over time regardless of whether they were on a drug or placebo. Researchers also found that most who were on antidepressants improved faster than those in the placebo groups, most of whom reported more gradual improvements in their depression.
“Most patients treated with serotonergic antidepressants showed a clinical trajectory over time that is superior to that of placebo-treated patients. However, some patients receiving these medications did more poorly than patients receiving placebo,” the study researchers wrote in the Archives of General Psychiatry.
The researchers stressed in their article “the importance of ongoing monitoring of medication risks,” suggesting that doctors and caregivers should be more willing to try different drugs sooner or to take patients off drugs altogether rather than waiting to see if a particular treatment will work.