Thursday, August 11, 2005

SSRI's Don't Work Says Psych

Joanna Moncrieff, a senior lecturer in psychiatry at University College London, argues that clinical evidence does not justify the use of antidepressants -- particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) -- as the treatment of choice for moderate to severe depression.

SSRIs are the most widely prescribed class of antidepressants and include:Celexa, Luvox, Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft.

"The bottom line is that we really don't have any good evidence that these drugs work, I think we have to be highly skeptical. We have been treating all comers with antidepressants for years now, and we have seen an increase rather than a decrease in depression at the community level."

In the newly published essay, Moncrieff and psychology professor Irving Kirsch, PhD, call on public health officials in Britain to reconsider their policy of recommending antidepressants as the first treatment for moderate to severe depression.

SOURCES: Moncrieff, J. and Kirsch, I. British Medical Journal, July 16, 2005; vol 331: pp 135-137. Joanna Moncrieff, MD, senior lecturer in community psychiatry, University College London, England. .


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