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Faster-Acting Experimental Antidepressants Show Promise

Posted: April 8, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Antidepressants restore well-being to many people, but sometimes at the cost of such side effects as weight gain or loss of interest in sex. And these side effects can be just part of the frustration. As Robin Marantz Henig wrote in " Lifting the Black Cloud ," in the March issue of Scientific American , the drugs that have long dominated the market--the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and the serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)--"do not help everyone and eventually fail in more than a third of users. A pill that seems to be working today might well stop helping tomorrow. And the drugs can take several weeks to start having a marked effect." Equally disturbing, some major pharmaceutical houses, such as GlaxoSmithKline , are pulling back from developing psychiatric medicines.


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