According to a study, doctors shouldn’t be prescribing antidepressants.

  • Concerns arise because of the fact that one-in-six British adults takes antidepressant pills.
  • The study found that tablets can be over-used, which could lead to withdrawal symptoms. 
  • University College London experts state that there’s still “considerable uncertainty”
  • The patients urged physicians to prescribe drugs to “fewer patients, for longer periods of time”. 

Study has shown that there is not enough clinical evidence for antidepressants to be prescribed by doctors.

One in six British adults uses the tablet, however there are growing concerns about overuse of the pills and withdrawal symptoms.

Experts at University College London reviewed all existing evidence on common antidepressants and concluded there remains ‘considerable uncertainty about the benefits’.

They urged doctors to give the drugs ‘to fewer patients, for shorter periods of time’ because so many struggle when they stop taking them.

Doctors should stop prescribing antidepressants because there is no decent clinical evidence that they work better than a placebo, a study has found (stock image)

Antidepressants should not be prescribed by doctors. There isn’t any clinical evidence to support their effectiveness.

The study found that much of the evidence came from trials lasting just six to 12 weeks and the ‘results don’t meet the threshold for a clinically important difference’ between antidepressants and placebo pills.

After the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), which ruled last month that NHS patients should receive group therapy instead of pills, the study has been published in Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin. 

Lead author Dr Mark Harowitz said: ‘The prevalence of side effects may be even higher among those taking antidepressants for more than three years, and can include emotional numbness and mental “fogginess”.

‘Patients trying to come off their treatment often experience withdrawal symptoms: these can include anxiety, insomnia, depression, agitation and appetite changes, and can interfere with social functioning and professional life, particularly if treatment is stopped abruptly.’

About one in six British adults take the tablets, but there is rising concern about their overuse and the risk of withdrawal symptoms and side-effects (stock image of Seroxat tablets)

One in six British adults uses the tablets. However, there are increasing concerns about overuse of the tablets and withdrawal symptoms. (stock photo of Seroxat tablets).

Dr Harowitz found that the findings in teenagers and children were ‘even less convincing’ despite the number of 12 to 17-year-olds on antidepressants more than doubling since 2005.

The study said antidepressants may work for severe depression, but added: ‘The cons may outweigh the pros in those with mild to moderate depression or in those whose symptoms don’t yet qualify as depression.’

Its authors concluded: ‘In light of this uncertain balance of benefits and harms, we should re-visit the wide- spread and growing prescription of antidepressants.’

Recent data suggests that around 7.8 million adults in England use antidepressants.

Most common are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as sertraline.

For women, prescriptions cost 50 percent higher.