Antidepressants work - but not how scientists thought they did

Most clinical trials of antidepressants were done decades ago in people with severe depression recruited from specialist mental health services. Yet most people who take these drugs have mild to moderate depression.


We wanted to know whether a common antidepressant called sertraline works for this group. We found that, indeed, it does work, but differently from how we expected.

Prescriptions for antidepressants have risen substantially in wealthy countries over the past two decades (the rate has