Two Recent Drug Studies Show Contradictory Results

Two recently-published, identically-designed studies treatingcompulsive buying with antidepressants showed contradictory results. In one, the majority of patients using the medication reported a loss of interest in shopping and rated themselves “improved” or “very much improved.” When the positive respondents were then randomly assigned to either continue the medication or go on placebo, none of the seven who continued themedication relapsed, while five of the eight on placebo resumed overbuying. In the other study, however, when positive responders were randomly assigned to medication and placebo groups, relapse rates were the same for both groups. These studies were small. Clearly, a larger test is needed if we’re to gain clarity on this question.

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