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By William Dudley

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Facts and Illustrations • It is recommended that people helped by antidepressants should continue taking them at least six months after their depression recedes. • According to a 2000 investigation by the Indianapolis Star newspaper, Eli Lilly paid more than $50 million to quietly settle more than 30 lawsuits alleging that Prozac created suicidal or violent behavior. • Beginning in 2005 the FDA has issued several public advisories warning pregnant women not to take Paxil and other SSRI antidepressants because of possible harm to the baby.

Non-pharmacologic treatments. ” —Donald Marks, testimony before an FDA advisory panel on antidepressants, February 3, 2004. Marks is a physician who previously worked as director of clinical research for two multinational pharmaceutical companies. “ In practice, in the treatment of major depression, I almost always combine medicine with psychotherapy. I imagine that . . the antidepressants allow for the learning that psychotherapy guides. ” —Peter D. Kramer, Against Depression. New York: Viking, 2005.

Are Antidepressants Overprescribed? “ How does the effectiveness of the medication compare with entering a new career, joining a gym, going to religious confession, or returning to school? . Would people who suffer from distressing romantic relationships gain more from entering new relationships than from taking an anti-depressant? ” Between 1995 and 2002 . . the use of these [antidepressant] drugs rose 48 percent. . Many psychiatrists see this statistic as good news—a sign that finally Americans feel comfortable asking for help with psychiatric problems.

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