One of the worlds leading scientists has claimed that most antidepressant drugs are responsible for over half a million deaths every year.
Danish medical researcher, Peter Gotzche, told the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that long-term use of psychotropic drugs are “immensely harmful”, and suggested that people would be better off dropping all antidepressants, ADHD drugs, and dementia drugs altogether.
He claims that the negative effects of such drugs far outweight any positives the drugs claim to provide patients.
Gotzsche analysed Danish perscription statistics for three types of psychiatric drugs: antipsychotics, benzodiazepines and antidepressants.
He says that he included people only aged 65 years or older and measured the death rates of those using the drugs. The number he arrived at was 3,693 which – when scaled up – leads to 539,000 in the USA and European Union combined.
Nearly 1.5 million people in the UK are now estimated to be addicted to drugs such as benzodiazepine – known as Valium.
“Because psychotropic drugs are immensely harmful when used long term, they should almost exclusively be used in acute situations and always with a firm plan for tapering off, which can be difficult for many patients.”
Gotzsche’s argument was part of a debate in the BMJ that also featured a counter-argument from Allan Young – a professor of mood disorders at King’s College.
“Psychiatric drugs are as beneficial as other treatments used for common, complex medical conditions,” wrote Young.
“Psychiatric drugs are rigorously examined for efficacy and safety, before and after regulatory approval,” he concluded.