Psychedelics – the new psychiatric craze!

Psychedelics are an increasingly fashionable medical treatment, but are they anything other than a powerful form of snake oil, or a recreational experience? Do they have any objective health benefits? Can we be confident they are safe? These questions need answering urgently as the number of people being enticed or persuaded to have these drugs is increasing. Here I draw attention to some of the issues raised by the current popularity of these drugs.

Persistent withdrawal and lasting damage from prescribed drugs

  The recent furore caused by publication of evidence about the serious nature of antidepressant withdrawal made me reflect on the lasting damage that can sometime be done by prescription drugs, and how it has often taken concerted efforts by users of these drugs to bring these effects to public attention. Historically, the medical community…

Commentary on the Finnish analysis of first episode schizophrenia outcomes

A recent study by a Finnish group declares that discontinuing antipsychotics following a first episode of schizophrenia causes higher risk of death or rehospitalisation. The study is based on an observational analysis of routinely collected data, and these analyses can be seriously misleading. It also prioritises short-term outcomes. The study highlights the need for randomised…

Challenging the new hype about antidepressants

The extraordinary media hype over the latest meta-analysis of antidepressants puts the discussion of these drugs back years. Despite the fact that 9% of the UK population are taking antidepressants (1), and rates of prescribing have doubled over the last decade (2), the authors of the analysis are calling for yet more prescribing. John Geddes…