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…

Continuing the antidepressant debate: the clinical (ir)relevance of drug-placebo differences

German psychiatrist, Stefan Leucht and colleagues, have produced another really important paper (1). The results indicate that the small differences usually found between antidepressants and placebo are far below the sort of differences that would be clinically detectable or meaningful. Leucht et al have conducted the first thorough, systematic attempt to provide some empirical evidence…

Why there’s no such thing as an ‘antidepressant’

Antidepressants have been in the news recently. The general feeling seems to be that although they are being overused and may have some unpleasant side effects, they certainly ‘work,’ at least in some people (1). So what is the evidence that antidepressants ‘work’? If you compare them with a dummy tablet or placebo in a…