Intended for healthcare professionals


Efficacy of antidepressants

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 06 March 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:516

Use/misuse/abuse of antidepressants--a matter of serious concern

Tanu Pramanik.BSc.MA(Sociology)Medical Sociologist and Prof(Dr)Jogenananda pramanik.MD faculty of Medicine,St.Martinus University,Ottrobanda, Curacao,Netherlands Antilles.

Use/misuse/abuse of antidepressants is a matter of serious concern in current medical practice.We read this insightful editorial with interest and applaude the editors view point(1).Hypothetically, if antidepressants are not worth taking, then what should doctors and patients do? Kirsch and colleagues recommend that if antidepressants are to be used at all they should be used only when alternative treatments have failed to provide a benefit(2).Current clinical recommendation is that when considering the potential benefits of treatment with antidepressants, be circumspect but not dismissive. Large number of antidepressant medicines are available in the market with uncertain efficacy.Therefore a stringent mechanism is urgently required to screen those products.On the otherhand,we need to advocate for alternative methodologis to alliviate depression before prescribing antidepressants.Habit forming antidepressants are causing more harm to our society than others.There are several sub-clinical cases of depression patients in our modern society (3)who lead their life without antidepreesant medicines.There are several methods available to handle depression.Our medical professionals need to be properly oriented and respectful to depression patients.During our teaching and training in medical Universities,we need to emphasize the importance of indifying depression patients at the early stages and take care of them.Medical students need necessary exposure to this area and develop clinical acumen to diagnose the vicious cycle of depressive factors working on potetially vulnerrable groups of people in our society (4). This editorial may be an eye-opener for the govermental and other regulatory agencies operating in different countries to intensify their vigil. References: 1.Editorial:Efficacy of antidepressants BMJ 2008;336:516-517 (8 March), doi:10.1136/bmj.39510.531597.80 (published 4 March 2008) 2.Kirsch I, Deacon BJ, Huedo-Medina TB, Scoboria A, Moore TJ, Johnson BT. Initial severity and antidepressant benefits: a meta-analysis of data submitted to the Food and Drug Administration. PLoS Med 2008;5:e45. 3.News:Depression affects elderly people's lives more than physical illnesses;Janice Hopkins Tanne BMJ 2004;329:1307 (4 December), doi:10.1136/bmj.329.7478.1307-c 4.Medical students knowledge and attitudes toward senior citizens and aged patients:Prof (Dr)Jogenananda Pramanik.MD,Professor,Dept of Pathology St James School of Medicine,4 Krelendijk,Bonaire Netherlands Antilles.,Tanu Pramanik,BSc,MA.Medical Sociologist. -----------------------------------------------------------

Competing interests: Authors worked in elderly homes in India,Nepal,China and caribbean Islands.

Competing interests: No competing interests

19 March 2008
Tanu Pramanik.BSc,MA.(Sociology)
Medical Sociologist
Prof(Dr)Jogenananda PramanikMDFaculty of Medicine,Saint Martinus University,Ottrobanda,Curacao,Netherlands Antilles.
Curacao,Netherlands Antilles