The Rise of Effective Treatments

  • Tullio GiraldiEmail author


This chapter discusses the serendipitous discovery of antidepressants . While developing new antipsychotics , the treatment of a small number of patients suffering from severe endogenous depression with new experimental tricyclic derivatives provided striking results. A similar remarkable action was observed after the administration of a new antituberculosis drug, capable of inhibiting the enzyme monoamine oxidase in the brain. At the beginning these drugs received limited attention by the pharmaceutical industry but were soon developed and accepted as effective treatments of severe mood disorders . At the same time, the need appeared for clinical trials capable of objectively evaluating the efficacy and safety of new drugs, clarifying the contribution provided by the placebo effect : the randomised controlled trial became the “gold standard”, opening the way to newer and safer medicines and antidepressants


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TriesteTriesteItaly

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