A new drug could offer hope to sufferers of depression after research revealed it is more effective than Prozac in treating the condition.
Patients from the UK have taken part in the study which found that agomelatine (Valdoxan) helped 77.7% of people with severe depression, compared with 68.8% on Prozac - one of the most common anti-depressants.
There are also thought to be fewer side-effects from agomelatine, which can include weight gain, sexual problems and difficulty sleeping.
Previous research has shown that, in the first week of treatment, agomelatine, which costs £30 a month to prescribe, works in twice as many people compared to another antidepressant, venlafaxine (Efexor).
The latest was carried out on 515 patients with an average age of 42, who were followed for eight weeks, the European Congress of Neuropsychopharmacology in Istanbul heard.
Lead researcher Professor Tony Hale, head of division of psychiatry at the University of Kent, said the results ‘add to the growing wealth of evidence supporting agomelatine as a new and important alternative for the treatment of depression’.