Antidepressants and Online Misinformation


From Psychology Today: “Leading researchers Maryanne Demasi (Nordic Cochrane Centre, Copenhagen) and Peter C. Gøtzsche (Institute for Scientific Freedom, Copenhagen) applied a checklist of 14 predefined criteria to prominent websites from 10 different countries in which antidepressants are widely prescribed. They developed a cross-sectional study of the presented benefits and harms on websites based in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, the UK, and the US.

They found a pattern both consistent and global, especially concerning antidepressant withdrawal, suicidality, and sexual and other side effects. Due in part to drug company sponsorship and related commercial pressures, the websites’ listing of the benefits and harms of antidepressants was found repeatedly to ‘conflict with the scientific evidence.'”