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Friday, September 16, 2016

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Statin benefits have been ‘grossly exaggerated’ says Dr. Kailash Chand of the British Medical Assoc.

Dr. Kailash Chand, deputy chairman of the British Medical Association, believes that statin benefits have been “grossly exaggerated” and that there is a lack of transparency over the statins’ side effects,’ as he was quoted as saying in a Dec 2015 article published on the Daily Mail Online as saying.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Fri, Sep 16, 2016 12:35 pm | [0] comments

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Study claiming negative news stories about statins caused deaths is very misleading says Dr. Chand

Regarding a paper claiming that news stories about statin side effects caused people to die from heart attacks because they had stopped their statins [which I think is complete nonsense], Dr. Kailash Chand, deputy chairman of the British Medical Association, who is an outspoken critic of what he regards as industry-driven hype surrounding statins, “argued that in his view the conclusions of the study were ‘very misleading’ and detracted from the real issues surrounding statins - lack of transparency over the drugs’ side effects and the fact that their benefits have been ‘grossly exaggerated’” according to an article from Dec 2015 article published on the Daily Mail Online.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Fri, Sep 16, 2016 12:30 pm | [0] comments

Sunday, August 14, 2016

ANTIDEPRESSANTS

Antidepressants’ benefit is clinically meaningless compared to a placebo says Harvard researcher

The supposed benefit of prescription antidepressants is clinically meaningless when compared to a placebo notes Irving Kirsch, PhD from Harvard Medical School.

When analyzing data from both published and unpublished studies of prescription antidepressants, Irving Kirsch found a difference between antidepressants and a placebo were only 1.8 points on the Hamilton Depression Scale.

“The [Hamilton Depression Scale] is a 17-item scale on which people can score from 0 to 53 points, depending on how depressed they are,” Kirsh writes.

“A six-point [6-point] difference can be obtained just by changes in sleep patterns, with no change in any other symptom of depression.”

“The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which drafts treatment guidelines for the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, has established a three-point difference [3-point difference] between drug and placebo on the [Hamilton Depression Scale] as a criterion of clinical significance.

“Thus, when published and unpublished data are combined, they fail to show a clinically significant advantage for antidepressant medication over inert placebo.”

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sun, Aug 14, 2016 11:01 am | [0] comments

ANTIDEPRESSANTS

Antidepressants benefits due to the placebo effect mostly, if not entirely, says Harvard researcher

    “Antidepressants are supposed to work by fixing a chemical imbalance, specifically, a lack of serotonin in the brain,” writes Irving Kirsch, PhD from Harvard Medical School.

    “Indeed, their supposed effectiveness is the primary evidence for the chemical imbalance theory.

    “But analyses of the published data and the unpublished data that were hidden by drug companies reveals that most (if not all) of the benefits are due to the placebo effect.

    “Some antidepressants increase serotonin levels, some decrease it, and some have no effect at all on serotonin.

    “Nevertheless, they all show the same therapeutic benefit.

    “Even the small statistical difference between antidepressants and placebos may be an enhanced placebo effect, due to the fact that most patients and doctors in clinical trials successfully break blind [and figure out who is taking the drug, and who is taking the placebo, biasing the results].

    “The serotonin theory is as close as any theory in the history of science to having been proved wrong.

    “Instead of curing depression, popular antidepressants may induce a biological vulnerability making people more likely to become depressed in the future.”

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sun, Aug 14, 2016 10:50 am | [0] comments

ANTIDEPRESSANTS

For mild to moderate depression, antidepressants are no better than a placebo, Irving Kirsch, PhD

For mild to moderate depression, antidepressants are no better than a placebo, Dr. Irving Kirsch, a psychologist from Harvard University who has been studying placebos for 36 years, said in an interview on Sunday, February 19, 2012 on the television show "60 Minutes".

"The difference between the effect of a placebo and the effect of an antidepressant is minimal for most people", Dr. Kirsch said.

"Whatever difference there would be, would be clinically insignificant."

"If they were mildly or moderately depressed, you don't see any real difference at all," Dr. Kirsch notes 4.5-miuntes into the video.

"The only place you get a real difference is at the extreme levels of depression." (4.5-minutes into the video). Read the entire article | Email this article
Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sun, Aug 14, 2016 10:45 am | [0] comments

ANTIDEPRESSANTS

Half of antidepressant studies show NO difference between drug and placebo, Irving Kirsch, PhD

"The difference between drug [antidepressants] and placebo is very, very small, and in half the studies, [the difference] is nonexistent" said Dr. Irving Kirsch, a psychologist from Harvard University who has been studying placebos for 36 years, in an interview on the television show "60 MInutes" on Sunday, February 19, 2012 (5-minutes into the video). Read the entire article | Email this article
Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sun, Aug 14, 2016 10:42 am | [0] comments

ANTIDEPRESSANTS

Antidepressants increase the risk of relapse into depression says Harvard researcher

    “Among the side effects of antidepressants are sexual dysfunction (which affects 70–80% of patients on SSRIs), long-term weight gain, insomnia, nausea, and diarrhea,” writes Irving Kirsch, PhD from Harvard Medical School.

    “Approximately 20% of people attempted to quit taking antidepressants show withdrawal symptoms.

    “Antidepressants have been linked to increases in suicidal ideation among children and young adults.

    “Older adults have increased risks of stroke and death from all causes.

    “Pregnant women using antidepressants are at increased risk of miscarriage, and if they don’t miscarry, their offspring are more likely to be born with autism, birth malformations, persistent pulmonary hypertension, and newborn behavioral syndrome.

    “Furthermore, some of these risks have been linked to antidepressant use during the first trimester of pregnancy, when women may not be aware that they are pregnant.

    “Perhaps the most surprising health consequence of antidepressant use is one that affects people of all ages.

    “Antidepressants increase the risk of relapse after one has recovered.

    “People are more likely to become depressed again after treatment by antidepressants than after treatment by other means – including placebo treatment.

    “Furthermore, the degree to which the risk of relapse increases depends on the degree to which the particular antidepressant used changes neurotransmission in the brain.

    “Given these health risks, antidepressants should not be used as a first-line treatment for depression.”


—Kirsch, 2014, Bottom of page 132, column 1

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sun, Aug 14, 2016 10:40 am | [0] comments

ANTIDEPRESSANTS

You can get the same benefit without drugs if you are mildly or moderately depressed, Irving Kirsch

"You can get the same benefit without drugs [if you are mildly or moderately depressed]," said Dr. Irving Kirsch on the television show "60 MInutes" on Sunday, February 19, 2012 (13-minutes into the video).

Dr. Kirsch is a psychologist from Harvard University who has been studying placebos for 36 years, who says that for mild to moderate depression, antidepressants are no better than placebo. Read the entire article | Email this article
Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sun, Aug 14, 2016 10:20 am | [0] comments
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