Two thirds of anti-depressant prescriptions are ‘off label’

Two thirds of all antidepressant prescriptions are ‘off label’, given for conditions that have no licence, nor good evidence, to treat conditions such as pain, headaches and insomnia.

A Canadian study of 101,759 antidepressant prescriptions written by 158 physicians for 19,734 patients, showed that only 55 percent of antidepressant prescriptions were indicated for depression.

Despite increasing evidence of the ineffectiveness of antidepressants, coupled with their frequent and sometimes horrendous withdrawal effects, antidepressant prescriptions are on the increase across the world, including the UK, EU and the US.

Much of this increase may be due to ‘off-label’ prescriptions. The encouragement to do so by pharmaceutical company representatives, and the non-disclosure of adverse effects, has triggered substantial fines.

The illusion that this new study exposes is that conventional psychiatric medicine is ‘evidence-based’. If it were doctors would prescribe omega-3 fish oils, which has proven highly effective for both major and minor depression and not only has no side-effects but has many side-benefits including a reduction in heart disease risk, positive effects on insulin resistance and a general anti-inflammatory effect.

I wrote about the ten proven natural remedies that help improve mood in my book The Feel Good Factor. While the evidence for these has strengthened, these ten factors remain the cornerstone of a natural approach to restoring a healthy mood, coupled with good psychotherapy, the use of which would largely make the need for antidepressants unnecessary.