Role of health authorities in denying the withdrawal problem with depression drugs

By Peter C Gøtzsche
Institute for Scientific Freedom

5 Dec 2023


Official guidelines and statements from the authorities and psychiatrists have denied for decades that depression drugs can cause dependence, and this denial is still seen today. They also underestimate substantially the severity and duration of the withdrawal symptoms. They provide dangerous advice about tapering procedures that are far too quick and does not respect the hyperbolic binding curves of the drugs to brain receptors, or they provide no tapering advice at all apart from useless statements about gradually reducing the dose, which is seen in package inserts. The massive use of depression drugs is not evidence-based but marketing-driven. These drugs do not have clinically relevant effects on depression; they double the risk of suicide; and have many other important harms. In clinical trials, the patients prefer a placebo for an active drug.The main focus in the coming years should be on avoiding prescribing depression drugs and on helping those who are on them to come off them as safely as possible. Read the article