The Lancet Psychiatry: Effectiveness of sertraline for depression
Effectiveness of sertraline for depression: By 2030 it is predicted that depression will be the leading cause of disability in high-income countries. Also, surveys by The Mind Charity in the UK show that 3.3 in 100 people suffer from depression in the UK alone.
The report published by The Lancet Psychiatry, with 29 contributors mentions that. “People with depression are usually managed in primary care and SSRI antidepressants are often the first-line treatment. In addition, prescriptions for antidepressants have risen dramatically in high-income countries over the past decade”.
As a result, the report from the Lancet Psychiatry has published data questioning the overuse of Sertraline for depression in primary care.
Patients were eligible for the study if they were to be between the ages of 18 to 74. Also, there was uncertainty about the potential advantages of antidepressants.
Method of study
The study gathered data from 179 surgeries across London, Liverpool, Bristol and York.
653 patients enrolled for the study with half given 50mg Sertraline and the other half placebo tablets. Therefore, Patients were given one capsule daily for one week then two capsules daily for up to 11 weeks.
The report explains that “we did not find convincing evidence that sertraline led to a greater reduction in depressive symptoms compared with placebo within 6 weeks”. However, in the secondary analysis there was week evidence to show that sertraline reduced depressive symptoms after 12 weeks compared to placebo. Nonetheless, the report goes on to explain that after 12 weeks sertraline reduced symptoms of generalised anxiety disorder compared to placebo.
“In conclusion, our finding that sertraline affects anxiety more quickly than depressive symptoms has potential implications for understanding the mechanisms of antidepressant treatment. Depressive symptoms could take longer to reduce than anxiety symptoms.” The Lancet Psychiatry
An alternative to medication – TMS
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) treatment is a brain stimulation technique that stimulates specific parts of the brain. TMS creates small electric currents in specific regions of the brain. Although they are small, these induced electric currents in the brain cause the neurons to become more active. As a result, triggering neuroplasticity within the brain circuits responsible for depression.
Treatments offered at The rTMS Centre (Sheffield) include depression, anxiety, and OCD.