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Psychiatric drugs are not inferior to other drugs, review concludes

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e856 (Published 03 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e856
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

A review of meta-analyses has concluded that psychiatric drugs are, in general, as effective as drugs used in other medical specialties.

Researchers from the Technische Universität München in Germany said they carried out the review because there is a deep mistrust of psychiatry fostered by reports indicating that psychotropic drug efficacy is small.

The study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry (2012;200:97-106), included 94 meta-analyses of 48 drugs in 20 medical diseases and 33 meta-analyses of 16 drugs in eight psychiatric disorders. The researchers chose reviews of classes of drugs rather than single drugs and excluded meta-analyses of subgroups such as older people. They also chose the most recent reviews.

For each meta-analysis the researchers looked at the absolute risk …

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