Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Editorials

Judging the benefits and harms of medicines

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j3129 (Published 30 June 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j3129

Rapid Response:

Reply to Pauline C Dove

Dear Madam,
I compliment you, and your patient group, on the efforts for informing about SSRIs harms, and urge you to lobby against SSRI over-prescriptions.
Suicides and self-harm traumatisms are the sixth leading cause of death, but GPs could not reduce them [1], probably because recent evidence reveals that administered antidepressants actually increase suicide risks by 2-5 times. [2][3][4][5][6]
A recent meta-analysis, level I evidence, clearly demonstrated that SSRIs double the risk of suicide and violence in adults. [4]
All pharmaceutical Companies must be obbliged to incude this warning in every antidepressant preparation sold.
Another meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Psychiatry has found that even patients with the most severe depression can expect to get as much benefit from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as those with less severe symptoms. [7]
Even Behavioural Activation effectively decreases depressive symptoms. [8]
References
[1] http://www.bmj.com/content/355/bmj.i6761
[2] http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0141076816666805
[3] http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g3510
[4] http://www.bmj.com/content/352/bmj.i65
[5] http://nordic.cochrane.org/sites/nordic.cochrane.org/files/public/upload...
[6] http://www.bmj.com/content/355/bmj.i6103
[7] http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/210/3/190.long
[8] http://www.bmj.com/content/356/bmj.j914

Competing interests: No competing interests

11 July 2017
Stavros Saripanidis
Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Kalamaria, Thessaloniki, Greece