Antidepressants do more harm than good, research says

Chris Smyth reports April 30th in The Times: Antidepressants do more harm than good, research says This is old news, revisited because Chris Smyth knows we need to ration the resources spent on psychiatric care. We cannot replace the drugs with talking therapies without planning, and being overt. Any change for this one area would imply that the system could be changed throughout.. The fear of being honest by managers, commissioners  and politicians is leading to overuse of drugs, underuse of people, and bad medicine..

Drugs given to millions of people to treat depression do more harm than good and must not be seen as a “quick fix” for psychological problems, a group of researchers will say today.

People with mild depression get little help from drugs such as Prozac and Seroxat but risk sexual problems, thoughts of suicide and debilitating withdrawal symptoms, says one of the world’s leading experts on medical evidence.

Professor Peter Gøtzsche, co-founder of The Cochrane Collaboration, says that “doctors treat patients much too loosely” and many would be better off with talking therapies or exercise. He will today launch an organisation, the Council for Evidence-Based Psychiatry that aims to “start a national debate about the use of psychiatric drugs and treatments, given the mounting evidence of ineffectiveness and harm”.

Other experts conceded there were legitimate questions to be asked about when doctors used antidepressants and whether talking therapies should be more widely available, but insisted drugs should not be demonised…..

This entry was posted in A Personal View, Commissioning, Rationing, Stories in the Media, Trust Board Directors on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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