'Final answer to controversy on anti-depressants'

The most commonly prescribed drugs to treat depression do work and help to reduce symptoms in the short term, according to a large study of data from more than 500 trials.

Prof Andrea Cipriani, who led the study and is a psychiatrist from the University of Oxford, said the findings were good news for patients and doctors because there had previously been debate about whether they were more effective than dummy pills.

The study looked at the average effect of anti-depressants rather than how they worked for individuals, and the researchers said the findings might not apply to use of the drugs over the longer term.

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