The drug pushers
Carl Elliott exposes the intimate ties between drug reps and doctors.
Listening to St. John's Wort
Edison Miyawaki presents a natural alternative to pharmaceutical anti-depressants.
A new study from the University of Hull says that SSRIs, the most commonly prescribed anti-depressants, do no better than sugar-pills at alleviating depression.
Don't hurl the Zoloft into the trash just yet. Though headlines trumpeted the paper as shocking news, in fact one of its authors published a study ten years ago showing the same results. The most interesting finding, in fact, is that for the seriously depressed, the drugs do have some effect. Moreover, critics have pointed to problems with the results of the study, which was really a "meta-study" that analyzed previous research, including unpublished work. Most notably, the studies it analyzed were often short (six weeks or less, which is about how long anti-depressants typically take to work).
What the study may really show is that if you aren't suffering from a chemical imbalance, pills aimed at altering your brain chemistry won't do much for you. Anti-depressants are dispensed freely by harassed primary care physicians with little psychiatric training; in most cases, they might do better to prescribe yoga or a change of scene.