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Are antidepressants overprescribed? No

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 22 January 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f190

Re: Are antidepressants overprescribed? No

Reid quotes the study by Fountoulakis & Möller (2011) that provided a re-analysis and re-interpretation of the Kirsch data and concludes, "Sadly, demonstrations of methodological flaws and selective reporting suggest that the conclusions [of Kirsch] were 'unjustified.'" However, he failed to cite the response by Kirsch et al (2012) [1] which shows that the original calculations were in fact correct. The discrepancy comes from Fountoulakis & Möller treating individual studies as though they are equivalently powered. This is contrary to the standard meta-analytic technique of weighting studies with a large sample size more than the ones with a small sample size. See

[1] Huedo-Medina T.B. (2012) Kirsch et al's (2008) calculations are correct. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 15: 1193-8

Competing interests: No competing interests

28 January 2013
D B Double
Consultant Psychiatrist
Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
Victoria House, 28 Alexandra Rd, Lowestoft NR32 1PL