Click here for an interview on WYPR Maryland Morning of Dr. J. Raymond DePaulo, Jr., Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins Medicine on the topic of “Prozac and Placebo” by radio host Sheilah Kast.
And go to the WYPR’s website by clicking here to find a variety of interesting interviews on mental health.
From the interview:
Sheilah Kast: Now, Dr. DePaulo, what are the implications of this study for people who take this kind of antidepressant?
Dr. DePaulo: Well, the implications are that people who are reading the newspaper coverage of this will get, I believe, a wrong impression. The fundamental observation of the data is correct; that is, the more severe depression, the greater the relative benefit is for using a medication compared to placebo. But it would be incorrect to say that these drugs are ineffective or that they are no better than placebo.
Sheilah Kast: Why is that incorrect?
Dr. DePaulo: It’s incorrect because, as the researchers point out, in severe depressions there is a substantial difference between the drug response and the placebo response. And I just think that that makes all the difference. In fact, most patients who are included in these clinical trials are milder and milder cases–the kind of cases that probably Dr. Dubin and I may not even prescribe antidepressants but rather treat either with psychotherapy or with psychotherapy and medications, but without a whole lot of urgency about whether to start the antidepressant immediately or not.