Among people with depression, those using antidepressants over the long term had no better physical or mental health. Over time, using antidepressants is not associated with significantly better health-related quality of life, compared to people with depression who do not take the drugs. These are the findings of a new study published this week in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Omar Almohammed of King Saud University, Saudi Arabia, and colleagues.
It is generally well known that depression disorder has a significant impact on the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of patients. While studies have shown the efficacy of antidepressant medications for treatment of depression disorder, these medications’ effect on patients’ overall well-being and HRQoL remains controversial.
In the new study, the researchers used data from the 2005-2015 United States’ Medical Expenditures Panel Survey (MEPS), a large longitudinal study that tracks the health services that Americans use. Any person with a diagnosis of depression disorder was identified in the MEPS files. Over the duration of the study, on average there were 17.47 million adult patients diagnosed with depression each year with two years of follow-up, and 57.6% of these received treatment with antidepressant medications.
Release date: 20 April 2022