The antidepressant controversy

Date: Tuesday 18 June
Time: 12.25pm - 1.40pm
Stream: Psychopharmacology


Antidepressant prescription has risen dramatically over the past 30 years in the UK and in other rich countries. This has provoked a concern that they are over prescribed and that many are not receiving any benefit. The evidence for the effectiveness of antidepressants has been systematically reviewed and more recent studies in the UK have also examined their effectiveness. Despite this evidence though there are arguments for suggesting that the treatment effect for antidepressants is small and not clinically important. Withdrawal symptoms from stopping maintenance antidepressants might also mimic relapses and give an impression that antidepressants are still effective in long term maintenance treatment. This session will put both sides of the argument and will allow this debate to be discussed in a non-polarising and respectful manner and contributing constructively to the debate.

This session aims to:

  • Understanding the evidence underlying the current controversy surrounding antidepressant effectiveness
  • The best way of communicating the benefits and risks to patients


Chair: Professor Sir Simon Wessely, King's College London, London

Professor Joanna Moncrieff, King's College London, London

Professor David Taylor, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, London

Professor Glyn Lewis, University College London, London

Please email or call 020 8618 4120 with any enquiries.