Antidepressants: a solution or a problem?

Contributing to the ongoing controversy about whether antidepressants may do more harm than good, a recent meta-analysis has found that patients who use antidepressant medication for major depression may have a greater risk of relapse than those who do not use medication at all. 

The research, which was conducted at McMaster University, Canada, involved the analysis of 46 previously published papers including a total of 3454 patients. It concluded that those who had used antidepressants, and had gone off them, had a 42% increased risk of relapse, compared with a 25% risk among patients who had never taken them.

According to the researchers, antidepressants work by interfering with the brain’s natural self-regulation of serotonin and other neurotransmitters, but once they are suspended, the brain may over-correct this effect, triggering new depression. Although there are different classes of antidepressants, they all work to disturb the brain’s