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Rottenstein Law Group Acknowledges Research Showing Many Antidepressants are No More Effective Than Placebo


(New York, NY, February 29, 2012) The Rottenstein Law Group, which represents clients with claims stemming from side effects caused by the antidepressant Zoloft, has learned that several prominent scientists are claiming, based on their review of both published and unpublished studies, that antidepressants are no more effective for the treatment of depression than a placebo for the vast majority of people dealing with the condition.
One of the scientists who maintains this view is Irving Kirsch, associate director of the Placebo Studies Program at Harvard Medical School. Kirsch’s antidepressant/placebo research was recently featured on a “60 Minutes” episode titled, “Treating Depression,” which aired on February 19.
During the episode, Kirsch and other scientists explained that in order to approve any drug, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) merely requires a company to show that its pill is more effective than a placebo in two clinical trials, even if many other drugs fail to demonstrate the product’s efficacy. As a result, there can be many trials showing that a drug is more successful than a placebo, even if that drug is FDA approved.
When Kirsch examined the published studies that have served as the basis for the FDA’s approval of antidepressants, along with the clinical trials that have been submitted to the FDA but not published (they were made available to Kirsch through the Freedom of Information Act), Kirsch found that in patients with mild to moderate depression, “you don’t see any real difference [between those treated with an antidepressant and those treated with a placebo] at all,” he said. “The only place where you get a clinically meaningful difference is at these very extreme levels of depression.”
Dr. Walter Brown, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Brown University Medical School, was also featured on the “60 Minutes” episode. He has co-authored two studies that largely corroborate Kirsch’s findings, and questions the widely held theory that depression is caused by a deficiency in the brain chemical called serotonin, which many antidepressants, including Zoloft, target.
“The experts in the field now believe that that theory is a gross oversimplification and probably is not correct,” Brown said.
The Rottenstein Law Group’s  Zoloft Lawsuit Information Center contains social media features that allow for easy sharing on sites like Facebook and Twitter, which enables visitors to spread the word about the potential dangers associated with Zoloft. The firm encourages visitors to link to its sites from their own blogs and Web sites to spread information about dangerous drugs and defective medical devices.
About the Rottenstein Law Group
The Rottenstein Law Group is a New York-based law firm that represents clients in mass tort actions. The firm was founded by Rochelle Rottenstein, a lawyer with over two decades of experience in compassionate representation of clients in consumer product injury, mass tort, and class action law suits. For more information, please visit their Web site, or call (888) 9-ROT-LAW.


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