Tuesday, November 13, 2018

New Study Explores Approaches to Discontinuing Antidepressants

Psychiatrist and psychologist outline pharmacological and psychotherapeutic strategies for discontinuing antidepressants.
Allen Frances

Allen Frances and the Increasing Use of Antidepressants

Much of what Allen Frances says is sensible, but it would be more convincing if he would lay the responsibility for the present state of affairs squarely where it belongs: on psychiatry. I suggest, in all sincerity, that Dr. Frances abandon his attempt to absolve psychiatry from blame, and that he join the anti-psychiatry movement.

Pooling Data May Hide Negative Outcomes for Antidepressants

A new study, published in Psychological Medicine, found evidence for a specific type of publication bias distorting the evidence about antidepressant efficacy.

SNRIs Added to the List of Drugs with Potential Withdrawal Symptoms

New research suggests that clinicians should exercise caution prescribing SNRIs as first-line treatment for mood and anxiety disorders.

Systematic Review Finds Antidepressant Withdrawal Common and Potentially Long-lasting

Prominent researchers conduct a review of antidepressant withdrawal incidence, duration, and severity. Results lead to call for new clinical guidelines.

Reanalysis of STAR*D Study Suggests Overestimation of Antidepressant Efficacy

Reanalysis of the original primary outcome measure in the STAR*D study suggests STAR*D findings inflate improvement on antidepressant medication and exclusion criteria in conventional clinical trials results in overestimation of antidepressant efficacy.

Antidepressant Use Climbs as Patients Find it Difficult to Discontinue

Findings point to the role of withdrawal symptoms and prescriber practices in long-term antidepressant use.

Are Drug Side Effects Driving Depression Rates?

A new study finds that more than a third of Americans are taking prescription drugs that can cause depressive symptoms as a side-effect.

Researcher Challenges Clinical Effectiveness of Antidepressants

A new article in BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine addresses common misinterpretations of the efficacy research on antidepressants.

Adolescent Suicide and The Black Box Warning: STAT Gets It All Wrong

STAT recently published an opinion piece arguing that the black box warning on antidepressants has led to an increase in adolescent suicide. It is easily debunked, and reveals once again how our society is regularly misled about research findings related to psychiatric drugs. STAT has lent its good name to a false story that, unfortunately, will resonate loudly with the public.

SSRI Exposure in Pregnancy Alters Fetal Neurodevelopment

Alterations in gray matter and white matter development found in infants of mothers taking SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy.

Publication Bias Inflates Perceived Efficacy of Depression Treatments, Study Finds

Researchers report the cumulative effects of major biases on the apparent efficacy of antidepressant and psychotherapy treatments.
prescriptions and suicide

Suicides Are Increasing – And So Are Antidepressant Prescriptions

Disturbingly, our study and others reveal that the black box warning is now ignored in many countries, since antidepressant prescriptions for children are on the rise again. Despite increasing certainty that antidepressants are ineffective and likely cause suicidal behavior in young people, psychiatry continues to claim that they reduce suicide risk.

Can Education Level Predict Prescription Drug Misuse in Young Adults?

A new study examines the extent to which patterns in prescription drug misuse and substance use disorder symptoms can be predicted by education level

Suicide in the Age of Prozac

During the past twenty years, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and American psychiatry have adopted a "medicalized" approach to preventing suicide, claiming that antidepressants are protective against suicide. Yet, the suicide rate in the United States has increased 30% since 2000, a time of rising usage of antidepressants. A review of studies of the effects of mental health treatment and antidepressants on suicide reveals why this medicalized approach has not only failed, but pushed suicide rates higher.

Citizens Petition Calls for Sexual Side Effect Warnings

Researchers take action after study exposes enduring sexual dysfunction as a potential side effect of serotonin reuptake inhibiting antidepressants, 5α-reductase inhibitors, and isotretinoin.

Researcher Critiques Misleading Media Coverage of Lancet Antidepressant Meta-Analysis

The BMJ’s clinical editor takes issue with uncritical media coverage of antidepressant network meta-analysis, outlining reporting missteps.
risk versus reward

Randomized Controlled Trials of Psychiatric Drugs Tell of Harm Done

The most important data in an RCT is not whether the drug provides a statistically significant benefit over placebo. The most important data is the “number needed to treat” calculation (NNT). For the person considering taking an antidepressant or an antipsychotic, the NNT data provides the “math” needed to weigh the potential benefit of taking the drug against the potential harm of doing so.

Antidepressants Are Not More Effective for Severe Depression, Study Finds

A new study, published in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, found that antidepressant efficacy was not dependent on severity.

Study of Online Antidepressant Forums Reveals Long Lasting Withdrawal Effects

Effects of discontinuing SSRIs and SNRIs reported on an online forum indicate significant and long-lasting withdrawal symptoms.

Review of Pediatric Antidepressant Studies Finds Evidence of Benefit Lacking

Review of pediatric antidepressant studies finds the vast majority are negative on primary outcomes and an increased risk for suicidality.

Review Finds Lack of Evidence for Antidepressants in Treatment of Insomnia

Results from a Cochrane meta-analysis find that the common practice of prescribing antidepressants to treat insomnia is not supported by current evidence.

Antidepressant Use Linked to Higher Risk of Premature Death

From CTV News: A new study found that the risk of premature death increased by 33 percent in people who use antidepressants. Article →

QuarterWatch Reports: Perspectives on Emerging Drug Risks

A new issue of QuarterWatch critiques the recent Ciprani meta-analysis on antidepressants and reports on the adverse effects of the newest antidepressant, vortioxetine. Report →

Tapering Strips Help People Discontinue Antidepressants

A new study by Peter Groot and Jim van Os has found that tapering strips help people successfully discontinue antidepressant medications.

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