Curb on the happy pills

It seems that the tide of opinion is beginning to turn against SSRI anti-depressants, the most well-known of which are Prozac and Seroxat. The UK Government announced today that doctors should, in most cases, prescribe them at their lowest doses.

This is one of the first official steps back that the government has been prepared to make on this difficult issue. Many argue that this is not enough, especially in the case of children where the evidence is questioning their suitability. Indeed, the prescription of all SSRI anti-depressants except Prozac to those under eighteen has already been banned.

The real cause of these problems is the number of people presenting at their GPs complaining of depression. Psychological interventions have been shown to be just as effective as anti-depressants, but without the side-effects. Unfortunately their cost has so far been prohibitive.

> From The Guardian

> USA Today reports that the latest American research indicates that even (the relatively safe) Prozac increases suicidal thoughts in some children.


> The New York Times picks up the new UK recommendations, noting that US health authorities have previously followed British guidelines.

About the author


Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and the author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick". You can follow PsyBlog by email, by RSS feed, on Twitter and Google+.

Published: 6 December 2004

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