Are antidepressants safe? A new umbrella review of observational studies suggests they are, but we need more accurate data

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Andrea Cipriani and Anneka Tomlinson scrutinise a brand new umbrella review of the associations between antidepressants and adverse health outcomes, which suggests that antidepressants are safe for most people who experience mental health difficulties.

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In adults with major depression, antidepressants may increase the risk of suicide

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Douglas Badenoch explores a meta-analysis of follow-up data from clinical trials of antidepressants, which found a small but significant increase in suicide risk.

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Intranasal esketamine for treatment-resistant depression: the first clinical study

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Jodi Rintelman writes her debut elf blog on the first randomised controlled trial on the efficacy and safety of intranasal esketamine as an adjunctive treatment to antidepressants for treatment-resistant depression.

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Medication for generalised anxiety disorder: new network meta-analysis

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A group of UCL Masters Students summarise a recent network meta-analysis of drug treatment for generalised anxiety disorder, which finds that Venlafaxine, Pregabalin, Escitalopram and Duloxetine are all viable alternatives to Benzodiazepines.

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Prescribing lithium for bipolar disorder: are we too scared?

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Deenan Edward and Suhana Ahmed summarise a Scottish study of prescribing for bipolar disorder between 2009-2016, which identified a clear trend towards decreasing lithium use.

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Higher doses of antidepressants “not optimal”, according to new review

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Jonathon Tomlinson considers his options as a GP supporting people with depression and complex needs, after reading a new systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis, which suggests that higher doses of antidepressants bring maximum side effects with only marginal gains.

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Antidepressants and weight gain: long-term population impact #SUSANAsurvey

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Andrea Cipriani and Anneka Tomlinson summarise a 10-year cohort study of antidepressant use and incidence of weight gain.

They also launch their new SUSANA project: Survey for Understanding Side effects of ANtidepressants in Adults. Please take the SUSANA survey now!

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Antidepressant withdrawal: slower and lower tapering of SSRIs

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A group of UCL Masters Students summarise a recent personal view by Mark Horowitz and David Taylor about tapering of SSRI treatment to mitigate antidepressant withdrawal symptoms.

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Genetics of depression: understanding risk and improving treatment

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Douglas Levinson on a genome-wide meta-analysis of depression in 807,553 individuals, which identifies 102 independent variants relating to the genetics of depression.

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Improving antidepressant outcomes: what works for whom and why?

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Thalia Eley and Gerome Breen explore a new systematic meta-review of predictors of antidepressant treatment outcome in depression, which looks at clinical and demographic variables, but also biomarkers including both genetic and neuroimaging data.

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