Jump to content

Antidepressants prescribed 'too easily' says GP


Gem
 Share

Recommended Posts

Antidepressants prescribed 'too easily' says GP

 

Doctors are prescribing antidepressants “too easily” according to a GP who says the current medical definition of depression is “too loose and is causing widespread medicalisation”.

 

 

By Stephen Adams, Medical Correspondent

6:30AM GMT 23 Jan 2013

 

 

Dr Des Spence, who practises in Glasgow, said a recent review of studies “suggests that only one in seven people actually benefits” from antidepressants. “Millions of people are enduring at least six months of ineffective treatment” with the drugs, he argued in an opinion piece published in the online edition of the British Medical Journal. He said the updated version of a widely used psychiatrists’ handbook, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, “suggests defining two weeks of low mood as ‘clinical depression’, irrespective of circumstance”. He continued: “It even proposes that being low two weeks after bereavement should be considered depression.” He claimed that 75 per cent of those who wrote such definitions had “links to drug companies” and argued: “Mental illness is the drug industry’s golden goose: incurable, common, long term, and involving multiple medications."

 

But Ian Reid, professor of psychiatry at Aberdeen University, defended antidepressant use in a response on bmj.com. He said studies claiming to show that antidepressants were no better than sugar pills for mild and moderate depression were riddled with “methodological flaws and selective reporting” of data. He wrote: “Antidepressants are but one element available in the treatment of depression, not a panacea. “Like 'talking treatments' (with which antidepressants are entirely compatible), they can have harmful side effects, and they certainly don’t help everyone with the disorder. But they are not overprescribed. “Careless reportage has demonised them in the public eye, adding to the stigmatisation of mental illness, and erecting unnecessary barriers to effective care.”

 

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9819074/Antidepressants-prescribed-too-easily-says-GP.html

 

 

I came off Seroxat in August 2005 after a 4 month taper. I was initially prescibed a benzo for several months and then Prozac for 5 years and after that, Seroxat for 3 years and 9 months.

 

"It's like in the great stories Mr.Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it's only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it'll shine out the clearer."  Samwise Gamgee, Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also found this article:

 

 

Physicians Go Head to Head in Antidepressant Overuse Debate

 

Caroline Cassels

Jan 22, 2013

 

 

Antidepressants are prescribed too easily, for too long, and have few, if any, beneficial effects.

 

That's one side of a head-to-head debate over rising prescription rates for antidepressants put forward by general practitioner Des Spence, MB, ChB, and published online January 22 in BMJ.

 

On the other side of the argument, psychiatrist Ian Reid, PhD, professor of psychiatry, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, maintains that the claim that antidepressants are overprescribed requires "careful consideration," asserting that the increase in prescriptions is due to small, but appropriate, increases in duration of treatment rather than more patients being treated.

 

For his part, Dr. Spence points out that the current definition of clinical depression, defined in both the fourth and the upcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as 2 weeks of low mood, is "too loose and is causing widespread medicalization."

 

He also claims that 75% of those who write the definitions have links to drug companies.

 

"Mental illness is the drug industry's golden goose: incurable, common, long term, and involving multiple medications. This relation with industry has engrained a therapeutic drug mindset to treat mental illness," he writes.

 

Dr. Spence notes that guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence do not support the use of antidepressants for mild depression or necessarily for moderate depression, favoring instead psychological talk-based therapies.

 

"But even if we accept that antidepressants are effective, a Cochrane review suggests that only 1 in 7 people actually benefits," Dr. Spence writes.

 

Dr. Spence believes there is a lack of evidence to show that depression is undertreated and that antidepressant medications are used appropriately.

 

The only explanation for the rise in antidepressant prescriptions, which increased by almost 10% in 2011, is "that we are prescribing more antidepressants to even more people."

 

Lack of Evidence

 

But Dr. Reid disagrees. The idea, he writes, that GPs are handing out antidepressants "like sweeties" is not borne out by research.

 

He notes that a study conducted by his team that screened 1000 general practice patients for depression and that examined antidepressant prescription decisions of 33 GPs showed that physicians were "cautious and conservative In their prescribing for those that they did diagnose. We found only 3 patients for whom the indication was unclear."

 

He noted that the study's finding was instrumental in persuading the Scottish government to withdraw a target to reduce prescribing by 10%.

 

He notes that talk therapies are "at best" as effective as antidepressant medications but are not superior to them, adding that "effect sizes for psychological therapies may be smaller."

 

"Antidepressants are but one element available in the treatment of depression, not a panacea. Like 'talking treatments' (with which antidepressants are entirely compatible), they can have harmful side effects, and they certainly don't help everyone with the disorder. But they are not overprescribed," Dr. Reid writes.

 

Dr. Spence has disclosed no relevant financial relationships. Dr. Reid reports that he has received payment to deliver presentations at meetings organized by AstraZeneca and from Sanofi to attend an advisory board.

 

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/777954

 

 

I came off Seroxat in August 2005 after a 4 month taper. I was initially prescibed a benzo for several months and then Prozac for 5 years and after that, Seroxat for 3 years and 9 months.

 

"It's like in the great stories Mr.Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it's only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it'll shine out the clearer."  Samwise Gamgee, Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrator

Could someone contact Dr. Spence and see if he is knowledgeable about tapering? Perhaps we could add him to our list.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Alto,

 

I have emailed Dr. Spence and am awaiting a reply.

 

 

I came off Seroxat in August 2005 after a 4 month taper. I was initially prescibed a benzo for several months and then Prozac for 5 years and after that, Seroxat for 3 years and 9 months.

 

"It's like in the great stories Mr.Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it's only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it'll shine out the clearer."  Samwise Gamgee, Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

No reply from Dr. Spence yet.

 

 

I came off Seroxat in August 2005 after a 4 month taper. I was initially prescibed a benzo for several months and then Prozac for 5 years and after that, Seroxat for 3 years and 9 months.

 

"It's like in the great stories Mr.Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it's only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it'll shine out the clearer."  Samwise Gamgee, Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy