Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Light Therapy Edges Out Prozac In Head-To-Head Comparison

In a head-to-head comparison between the antidepressant Prozac (fluoxetine) and light therapy, the light therapy came out on top. Both therapies were equally effective at alleviating depression, but the light therapy kicked in sooner and had fewer side effects (agitation, sleep disturbance, palpitations):

The Can-Sad Study: A Randomized Controlled Trial Of The Effectiveness Of Light Therapy And Fluoxetine In Patients With Winter Seasonal Affective Disorder, The American Journal of Psychiatry, 2006

The light treatment group received 10,000-lux light and a placebo capsule. The drug group received 100-lux light (placebo light) and fluoxetine, 20 mg/day. Light treatment was applied for 30 minutes/day in the morning with a fluorescent white-light box.

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