A Danish scientist claims that psychiatric drugs are causing over 500,000 people over the age of 65 to die every year in the western world.
Professor Peter Gøtzsche, the research director at Denmark’s Nordic Cochrane Centre, also said that the benefits of psychiatric drugs are "minimal" in a debate published by the British Medical Journal this week.
Given their lack of benefit, I estimate we could stop almost all psychotropic drugs without causing harm—by dropping all antidepressants, ADHD drugs, and dementia drugs (as the small effects are probably the result of unblinding bias) and using only a fraction of the antipsychotics and benzodiazepines we currently use.
This would lead to healthier and more long lived populations. 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.
Gøtzsche was also critical of drug trials that force participants to quit their old drugs, causing them to go through a withdrawal period, but briefly feel good when taking the new drugs, noted RT.com.
Gøtzsche also claimed that suicides from clinical trials are not fully reported "partly because the FDA only included events up to 24 hours after patients stopped taking the drug."
Gøtzsche suggested that people who took placebos or didn't take anything would do just as well as folks who took antidepressants such as venlafaxine and fluoxetine, with just a few extra days, reports The Guardian.
On the other side of the printed debate were Professor Allan Young, of King’s College London, and John Crace, a psychiatric patient who writes for The Guardian.
Young and Grace claim that research shows that psychiatric drugs can be just as helpful and effective as other types of medicines for medically complex situations. They added that psychiatric drugs are seriously needed given that mental conditions are the fifth largest cause of disabilities on the globe.