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Aster's avatar

Is this true what they said on television about anti-depressants?

Asked by Aster (19301points) June 20th, 2011

I saw a show on Prozac and Zoloft (Dr Oz) and they said any effects are strictly placebo (sugar pill.) Is that true? Or is it true that they do work for a short time then just stop working? I don’t see how they can not work if they change your brain chemicals (serotonin). And if they’re just placebo then why are their side effects so numerous and troubling?

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17 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

There sure seem to be a lot of reports to that effect going back many years.

WasCy's avatar

If that’s true, then FDA approval based on efficacy studies are a sham. Unless the FDA is just rolling over for the drug companies, in which case I continue to wonder, “What’s so special about FDA approval of new drugs?”

athenasgriffin's avatar

Generally, they take a while to work. But the way they work might not please you.

Aster's avatar

@WasCy I have read dozens of times that FDA “studies” are bought and paid for as in the approval of artificial sweeteners. FDA approval of new drugs is quite a gamble since people die from them each year but they still raid the offices of people sellling herbs and in some cases shut them down. Deaths from herbs? Miniscule. Deaths from FDA approved drugs? Look it up. Side effects from drugs? Dreadful. From herbs? You’d have to search to find them.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Aster These drugs have been around for at least 20 years now and a lot of independent research, at all sorts of institutions, by many different scientists and teams of researchers has been done on them over the years. The FDA isn’t the only one who does research into these things. Not all drugs, not all anti-depressants work for everyone who takes them in the same way. If the efficacy of these medications was due to the placebo effect that would have been discovered long ago. People can take them or not, people try a whole variety of alternative therapies but the successful results that some people get from SSRIs like Prozac and Zoloft is not the result of a placebo effect, thought that may be possible in some case.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Stop listening to Dr. Oz. There’s a reason no one in the medical field respects him.

Aster's avatar

No one respects Dr Oz? He’s a heart surgeon; how could he ‘get no respect?’
How do you go about measuring his level of respect? This is interesting.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

He’s a total sellout who cares more about ratings and the limelight than actual patient health. And he does crap like saying that SSRIs are just placebos, despite all the evidence to the contrary. He’s basically a more handsome Dr. Phil.

sinscriven's avatar

@Aster : You’re falling into the trap of Authoritative fallacy. Just because he’s a perceived authority (Doctor) does not mean he’s right.

Cardiovascular medicine =/= Psychiatric medicine.

Aster's avatar

I am 100% convinced that Oz reads off teleprompters all during his show because he is out of his field. I certainly respect him but I’m no doctor and I can relate to even general practitioners being irritated (or amused) by what he says. I wonder how his income compares to the average cardiologist with the show royalties adding to his surgery income? I suspect there’s a little jealousy there as there is for Dr Andy Weil. And I also think Oz may find himself in hot water before all is said and done. I doubt he cares. lol

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I don’t believe it. I took zoloft for a short time in the mid 90’s very reluctantly but I had great results for my panic and temper attacks.

Just recently I tried to take it again for a few months and my experience was totally different, go figure. I noticed within two months I gained about 15lbs and that was enough to make me depressed, angry and panicky all on it’s own. Farking pharmaceuticals.~

faye's avatar

There’s a shitload of anecdotal evidence that those drugs certainly do work. And another shitload about side effects. Can you give a link to him saying this or a date? Maybe he was questioning what someone else said. You don’t become a heart surgeon by being stupid. Wearing scrubs every show is dumb, though.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@faye No, but it’s a good idea to remember that not only is cardiovascular not psychiatry, but surgeons know how to cut people up and stitch them back up – outside of prescribing narcotics and anti-nausea pills for post-surgery, they tend not to do a whole lot of the “medicine” side of whatever issue they specialize in. Dr. Oz, were he in private practice, would be focusing on all the techniques for getting the most done with the longest lasting, most effective results, with as little scarring and recovery time as possible for surgery – not which drugs were best and why.

plethora's avatar

@Aster Mmmmm…..a heart surgeon would most likely not be the most knowledgable person on the efficacy of antidepressants. He may be one of the least knowledgeable in the medical field. Try listening to a physician who specializes in the effects of various antidepressants. A Neuropsychiatrist would be one.

mattbrowne's avatar

No, it’s not true. It’s cheap sensationalism.

Aster's avatar

He actually had a panel of 2 or 3 doctors on the show; one of them got this whole “placebo” stuff started. Oz is too smart to just announce that himself. He has experts backing him up or getting the ball rolling .Maybe it’s on his website.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Yeah, well, it’s really irresponsible and unethical for him to tell thousands of severely, even suicidally, depressed viewers that help isn’t actually available.

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