, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 93-100
Date: 06 Sep 2008

Just How Effective are Antidepressant Medications? Results of a Major New Study

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Abstract

The STAR*D (Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression) project was the largest and most extensive trial of antidepressants ever conducted. The study used state of- the-art methods to treat real patients coming to a hospital or psychiatric clinic for relief from depression. Because the first antidepressant is often ineffective for most patients, a sequence of drug treatments targeting various brain neurochemicals was carefully planned. This article will review the complex treatments and the various outcomes, including the frequency of relapse during twelve months of follow-up care.