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What Does the ‘Best Evidence’ Say About Antidepressants?

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

side effects of antidepressants

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  • 17.3 million American adults (7.1 percent of the adult U.S. population) and 3.2 million adolescents (13.3 percent of U.S. population aged 12 to 17) suffered at least one major depressive episode in 2017
  • Antidepressant drugs — the most widely used therapy for depression — are also among the least effective, and often make the situation worse, especially in the long term
  • Studies have repeatedly shown antidepressants work no better than placebo for mild to moderate depression
  • A 2017 systematic review of 131 placebo-controlled studies found that “all trials were at high risk of bias” and that clinical significance was questionable
  • Antidepressants are neurotoxic and possible side effects include worsening depression, self-harm, violence and suicide, increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, heart attack, stroke and dementia, and depletion of various nutrients (depending on the type of drug you take)

According to the latest statistics, 17.3 million American adults (7.1 percent of the adult U.S. population) and 3.2 million adolescents (13.3 percent of U.S. population aged 12 to 17) suffered at least one major depressive episode in 2017.

Depression can interfere with personal and work relationships, reduce work or academic performance and affect physical health by impairing your ability to properly care for yourself and make good health decisions, including decisions about nutrition and sleep. Imbalances in nutrition, weight fluctuations and poor sleep habits may in turn compromise your immune function.


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