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Major milestone: Royal College releases new guidance on stopping antidepressants

Today I welcome the new patient information leaflet, entitled ‘Stopping Antidepressants’, published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.  The leaflet distills many years of work by researchers, campaigners and the prescribed harm community, which has jointly challenged previous understandings of antidepressant withdrawal as being a relatively benign experience for most people.  Instead, the leaflet now […]

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Guest blog: Call for an independent review into the practice of ECT

By Lucy Johnstone and Sue Cunliffe Electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT, is still given to about 2,100 -2,700 people a year in England, about half of whom have not consented to it. This blog reports on a campaign for an independent review of this highly controversial procedure, and provides links to relevant articles. There will be […]

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Guest blog by Richard P. Bentall: ECT is a classic failure of evidence-based medicine

A commentary on Read, J., Kirsch, I., & McGrath, L. (2020). Electroconvulsive therapy for depression: A review of the quality of ECT versus sham ECT trials and meta-analyses. Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, 21, 64-103.  Richard P. Bentall, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Sheffield In a discipline to which controversy is no stranger, there are […]

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Update: APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence

The Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry, secretariat of the APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence until the end of the last parliament, wanted to provide a short update on the recent activities of the APPG.   Following the publication of the PHE Prescribed Medicines Review in September last year, the APPG worked hard to secure a commitment from the […]

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Guest blog: NICE depression guideline – cautious optimism?

NICE depression guideline: cautious optimism? Susan McPherson, University of Essex This commentary is a revised and updated version of a Rapid Response letter to the BMJ in September 2019 posted prior to NICE’s decision letter of December 2019: https://www.bmj.com/content/365/bmj.l2356/rr-0 In a joint stakeholder position statement concerning the NICE 2018 draft depression guideline, six methodological issues were […]

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Blog: Are our regulatory bodies prioritising drug company interests over public safety?

The Disturbing Case of the Street Drug Ketamine The UK’s Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is refusing to respond to the concerns of psychiatrists, parliamentarians, patients and other experts about the impending licensing of the street drug ketamine as a treatment for depression. In March this year, the USA’s Food and Drug Administration […]

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BBC is looking for people willing to appear in documentary on antidepressant withdrawal

The BBC is producing a documentary about the long-term side effects and withdrawal effects of antidepressant medication. They are looking to speak to individuals who have decided to come off their medication and would be open to allowing us to follow their journey throughout this process, alongside the reporter of the film who will be […]

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CEP welcomes trailblazing report by Public Health England on withdrawal and dependence on psychoactive drugs

CEP today welcomes the publication of a report by Public Health England which recognises for the first time the scale of prescribing of drugs that can cause dependence and withdrawal.  The report shows that one in four adults in England has been prescribed a benzodiazepine, z-drug, gabapentinoid, opioid or antidepressant in the past twelve months, with up to […]

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Hengartner and Plöderl respond to Hayes et al’s commentary on their article on suicide risk with antidepressants

In our recent study published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, we showed that adults who start antidepressants for depression are 2.5 times more likely to attempt suicide when compared to those starting placebo. This equates to 1 in every 200 people attempting suicide as a direct effect of taking the antidepressant. This number is […]

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Guest blog: Are you coming to the drug lunch?

This is the question raised at least every 2 months in our NHS psychosis team. Most of us will go without a second thought (I have to admit, I usually do. There are free M&S sandwiches, fruit, biscuits and pastries; “That’s all the moral compass I need”, I like to joke). We have the usual […]

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