Thursday, October 20, 2011


It seems like this drug class is getting more popular, with 10% of Americans taking these medications. So I go to Pub Med and notice:

I take a look at the number needed to harm (see: Arroll B, Elley CR, Fishman T, Goodyear-Smith FA, Kenealy T, Blashki G, Kerse N, Macgillivray S. Antidepressants versus placebo for depression in primary care. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Jul 8;(3):CD007954.) and quickly conclude that either 10% of Americans are depressed (which is a silent and important epidemic) or else there are a lot people having unexpected adverse drug effects due to overtreatment.

I do know that my work in population cohorts suggests that 10% of people having clinically significant levels of depressive symptoms is a very high estimate.

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