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Anti-depressant producers should consider the side-effects instead of just thinking about profit

letter of the day: a bitter pill

Published 22/07/2016

Being fully informed and thus having the opportunity to give informed consent is a fundamental issue and a basic right when considering taking any kind of prescribed drug. That said, it is questionable whether those being prescribed antidepressants are being fully informed.

Recently published figures revealed that antidepressant prescribing had doubled in the past decade. But how many of those consumers were informed about the effects of antidepressants?

Considering the long list of effects associated with this class of drugs, it would appear that those taking the drugs are not making an informed choice. They may be agreeing to take the drugs, but they are making uninformed decisions.

If they knew all of the effects of antidepressants, it is unlikely they would take them.

Worldwide, there have been 99 drug regulatory agency warnings regarding antidepressants. Of those warnings, 35 concerned suicide, suicide risk, and suicide attempts.

There have also been 119 studies in 12 countries on antidepressant-induced side-effects. Of those studies, 23 of them concerned antidepressants causing suicide, suicide risks and suicide attempts. How many of the consumers of these drugs are aware of this? While we might hope for an altruistic purpose in the manufacture of these drugs, there is an inescapable factor that gives pharmaceutical companies an extra production impetus. That factor is profit.

Since 2000, £4.7bn was spent on antidepressants in England alone.

This represents commercial success for the shareholders, but a nightmare for those who have to pick up the pieces and exercise damage control when things go wrong.

BRIAN DANIELS

Citizens Commission on Human Rights

Belfast Telegraph

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