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Antidepressants get overly positive spin

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2:38pm, January 22, 2008

Here's some depressing news about antidepressant drugs. Studies that find beneficial effects of antidepressants for depressed patients get published far more readily than do studies that report no such gains, say psychiatrist Erick H. Turner of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Portland, Ore., and his colleagues.

Moreover, published versions of studies that failed to show antidepressant advantages over placebo pills often cast the results in an unduly positive way, Turner's team reports in the Jan. 17 New England Journal of Medicine.

The scientists obtained reviews conducted at the Food and Drug Administration for 74 clinical trials, covering a total of 12,564 depressed patients who received any of 12 antidepressant drugs.

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