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February 16, 1970

The Drug Treatment of Depression

Author Affiliations

San Francisco

JAMA. 1970;211(7):1188. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170070058019

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To the Editor.—  As practicing psychiatrists, investigators, and teachers of psychiatry, we found Motto's evaluations and recommendations concerning the drug treatment of depression shockingly misinforming (210:1229, 1969).Motto says that he is "unimpressed by what are called antidepressant drugs"; he adds that he fail[s] to find even reasonable (not to say convincing) evidence of antidepressive effects" of these agents in his own patients, and he writes he has "yet to see a well-designed and executed clinical investigation that demonstrates more than a mild tranquilizing benefit" from the tricyclic antidepressants. He then recommends that the reader "not hesitate to use dextroamphetamine sulfate as an "antidepressive and energizing agent" because, Motto states, it can be given for prolonged periods with very rare complications if carefully supervised.We are in sharp disagreement with Dr. Motto's view that there has been no demonstration of the efficacy of antidepressants; actually, the evidence is plentiful