Antidepressants, this is the conclusion reached by a team of Saudi researchers after reviewing data from the United States’ Medical Expenditures Panel Survey collected between 2005 and 2015.This survey tracks the health services that Americans use, and during that time period, 17.5 million adults were diagnosed with depression on average.
The American survey followed these people for up to two years after their initial diagnoses to track their health.However, when the Saudi Arabian team looked into it, they discovered that while the drugs did result in a small degree of improvement, the effects were not significantly greater in the long run than for those who did not take them.
‘Despite the literature demonstrating the efficacy of antidepressant medications for the treatment of depression disorder, the effect of these medications on patients’ overall wellbeing and health-related quality of life remains controversial,’ said Dr. Omar Almohammed, the study’s lead author.’
The use of antidepressant medications does not improve patients’ health-related quality of life over time,’ he claims. Of course, this conclusion raises a slew of questions: what antidepressants were they taking?
What other aspects of your life were involved? Were there any health factors that played a role?The study admits that it was unable to analyse any subtypes or varying degrees of depression separately.And the experts themselves agree that more research is needed.
‘Future studies should investigate the long-term impact of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions on these patients’ health-related quality of life,’ Dr. Almohammed said.’
While we still need our depressed patients to continue taking their antidepressant medications, long-term studies evaluating the actual impact of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions on these patients’ quality of life are required.’