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Americans Prefer Pills Over Talk For Depression

June 1, 2010

Consumer Reports said on Tuesday that Americans prefer drugs to talk therapy for depression, with about 80 percent taking a pill for the condition.

The group found that the most popular class of drugs remains the so-called SSRIs like Prozac.  People found that newer and pricier antidepressants were less desirable because of the side effects.

The consumer group found that patients benefited just as much from therapy.

The surveyed said they improved just as much after seven or more sessions of talk therapy as if they took drugs and it did not matter if the therapist was a psychiatrist, psychologist or social worker.

About 80 percent of the 1,5000 readers surveyed had been diagnosed with depression or anxiety and were prescribed antidepressants.

Patients were reporting to be the happiest with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs, a class that includes Eli Lilly and Co’s Prozac or its generic equivalent fluoxetine;, Pfizer Inc’s Zoloft or sertraline, and Celexa or citalopram and Lexapro or escitalopram from Forest Laboratories Inc.

The survey found that people complained of more side effects from serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors or SNRIs, a newer, often more expensive class of antidepressants.

These include venlafaxine, made by Pfizer-owned Wyeth under the Effexor brand name and Lilly’s duloxetine, sold as Cymbalta.

The consumer group said that those surveyed reported a wide range of side effects, but the most common one was the loss of sexual interest or ability.

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