Intended for healthcare professionals


Curb antidepressant prescribing to improve mental health, say campaigners

BMJ 2023; 383 doi: (Published 05 December 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;383:p2873

Linked Letter

Politicians, experts, and patient representatives call for the UK government to reverse the rate of antidepressant prescribing

  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

A group of 31 medical professionals, researchers, patients’ representatives, and politicians has called on the UK government to reverse the increase in antidepressant prescribing seen in the past decade.

In a letter published in The BMJ,1 the authors, who include members of the Beyond Pills All Party Parliamentary Group, former health minister Norman Lamb, and several psychiatry professors, argue that evidence indicates that antidepressants benefit only people with the severest depression, and yet prescribing rates are high among those with mild and moderate depression.

“Rising antidepressant prescribing is not associated with an improvement in mental health outcomes …

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