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Tuesday 11 June 2024

Antidepressant Drugs. Record Prescriptions, but only 1 in 6 will have withdrawal symptoms!

The Lancet Psychiatry journal published a study on 5th June 2024. It found that only one in six people who stop taking antidepressants will experience withdrawal symptoms. The GP magazine, Pulse, thought that this was a good outcome.

            "This is a much lower proportion than other studies have suggested, with previous estimates that over half of patients experience symptoms".

The research found that one in three patients reported at least one withdrawal symptom such as dizziness, headache or nausea. But as 1 in 6 patients experienced the same when they stopped taking a placebo drug, it suggested that ‘approximately half of all symptoms experienced … might be due to negative expectations (the "nocebo effect”) or non-specific symptoms which may occur at any time in the general population’.

So the report concluded that about 15%, of patients experienced one or more withdrawal symptoms as a direct result of stopping antidepressants, with around 3% experiencing ‘severe symptoms’.

Pulse said that this was the first ‘meta-analysis’ on the incidence of antidepressant discontinuation symptoms, analysing 79 randomised trials, which included data from over 21,000 patients, of which 72% were women. 

So, conventional medicine now believes that the 'withdrawal symptoms' were not as bad as was previously thought, certainly after the 'nocebo effect' was used to eliminate about 50% of reported symptoms. But never mind, let's accept this, and apply it to the number of people who are taking antidepressant drugs.

According to the BMJ in 2019, the NHS prescribed a record number of antidepressants in 2018, and that the number of prescriptions for antidepressants in England had almost doubled during the previous decade.

            "Data from NHS Digital show that 70.9 million prescriptions for antidepressants were given out in 2018, compared with 36 million in 2008".

  • Therefore, in 2008, 6 million people in England alone suffered from antidepressant withdrawal symptoms; and over 1 million experienced 'severe symptoms'.
  • In 2018, nearly 12 million (11,816,333) people suffered from antidepressant withdrawal symptoms, with over 2 million experiencing 'severe symptoms'.

So this is presumably acceptable then? At least it seems to be acceptable to the Conventional Medical Establishment which seems quite willing to continue prescribing an ever-increasing numbers of these drugs.

The Pulse article also told us that the number of people suffering withdrawal symptoms was steadily increasing, year-on-year; and since then we have been told that as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic the number of people who are taking antidepressant drugs (around the world) has risen even more rapidly,  by 25%.

Perhaps I should calculate a new more up-to-date figure, but these numbers are almost meaningless once we realise that each single person within that total number are individuals, someone who is suffering as a direct result of taking pharmaceutical drugs. If the medical fraternity is pleased about this we can rest assured that the 12 million +++ patients are certainly not pleased.

There is a solution at hand, but it is a solution that will likely be ignored. In 2010 Dana Ullman (a leading homeopath) published article in Huffington Post, "Homeopathy. A Healthier Way to Treat Depression" in which he compared the safety and effectiveness of homeopathy alongside the dangers of pharmaceutical drug treatment. It surely is a must read for anyone with mental health problems!

In this same article Ullmann refers to a study that showed antidepressant drugs were ineffective, essentially useless. This is a direct quote from that article.

            "In early 2010, major media reported on a significant review of research testing antidepressant medications. What is unique about this review of research is that the researchers evaluated studies that were submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), though the researchers discovered that many studies submitted to the FDA were unpublished (they found that the unpublished research consistently showed negative results of antidepressants)".

            "This meta-analysis of antidepressant medications found only modest benefits over placebo treatment in published research, but when unpublished trial data is included, the benefit falls below accepted criteria for clinical significance".

So the 12 million +++ have suffered the serious side effects of antidepressant drugs, including links to suicide and violence, plus the (now discounted) withdrawal symptoms that result - all for nothing!

This is exactly what patients get from conventional medicine: a lot of problems, adverse reactions: but not many positive outcomes!