Bright-light therapy is almost twice as effective as Prozac (fluoxetine) in treating major depression.
People who used a light box for 30 minutes every morning for eight weeks saw a reduction in their depression that was almost twice as great as that achieved by taking Prozac alone, a new study has found.
In the study, 120 people diagnosed with major depression were either given light therapy which uses a 10,000-lux fluorescent white light a placebo, or Prozac.
By the end of the eight-week trial, those who had light therapy only reported a 13.4-point reduction in their depression compared to an 8.8-point reduction with Prozac on a 60-point depression score.
Although the light-therapy was effective, none of the patients was suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), where depression is linked to shorter daylight hours in the northern hemisphere.
(Source: JAMA Psychiatry, 2015; doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.2235)