Can Antidepressant Worsen Depression in Some Sufferers?
The study involves analysis of data from seven research studies about the drug Cymbalta, known generically as Duloxetine, made by the controversy-embroiled company Eli Lilly. The combined participants for the studies numbered to about 2,500 participants with active depression at that time.
Analysis yielded that those participants assigned to take placebo tend to report small and gradual improvements. But those assigned to take Cymbalta tend to either end in steeper yet steady improvement while a lot seem not to feel any better at all. In addition, those who don’t feel any improvement at all only suffered from side effects of the drug like nausea, generalized itching, jaundice, feelings of syncope and susceptibility to bleeding. The most serious side effect is swelling of the face and tongue, pain followed by appearance of purple skin rash that leads to blistering peeling.
In the analysis of the studies, about 84% of patient with depression got better after using Cymbalta. Those who don’t respond well to the drug actually suffered more from the side effects.
The researchers state that the study is the reality when it comes to antidepressant treatment. No single antidepressant works for everyone, and each case of depression might need a specific antidepressant as a solution. Genetics and specific depression symptoms sometimes make picking the right antidepressant for someone very tricky, and therefore not all depressed individuals fare the treatment.
However, the finding does not warrant people to abruptly discontinue their antidepressant treatment which can be dangerous to the patient. For those who don’t feel any good response to a particular antidepressant, the best thing to do is to talk to your psychiatrist about a change in dosage or medication. There are several classes and kinds of antidepressants in the market today.
Experts agree that further research on how to identify patients that will respond to a particular medication can help greatly boost the effectiveness of antidepressant therapy and reduce incidence of unwanted side effects.
The studies about Cymbalta’s effectiveness are in doubt as well. It is good to note that one of the authors of the studies is an employee of Eli Lilly and another author serves in the company’s scientific advisory board.
The maker of Cymbalta, Eli Lilly, is long haunted by controversies due to accusations that it pushes novel drugs in the market without good and exhaustive research. Litigations against the company are often related to false advertising and withholding research information to the general public.
The findings are available in the Archives of General Psychiatry.
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