New Report on Depression and Serotonin

New Report on Depression and Serotonin

According to an April 21st article on time.com by Alexandra Sifferlin, 1 in 10 Americans are on anti-depressants or SSRIs, even though there is little understanding in the medical community about how these medications actually work.

A new paper in the BMJ published by Bangor University professor of psychiatry David Healy suggests that there is little proof regarding the connection between depression and serotonin, a key point that is often used in marketing SSRIs.

While many members of the psychiatric community continue to support SSRIs for treatment of depression, others like Dr. Victor I. Reus, professor of psychiatry at the University of California-San Francisco, agree with Healy. “He’s preaching to the choir at this point,” says Reus.

Reus goes on to explain that it is not necessarily the efficacy of these medications that is the issue.  Rather, it is their overblown marketing and the fact that industry leaders do not understand how and why these drugs work that causes concern.

Additionally, Reus goes on to explain that the drugs have been over-prescribed, especially to people with mild depression.

“You wonder what the real risk benefit ratio is in that population,” he says. “They’ve been oversold.”

Dr. Steven Lipsky

Steven J. Lipsky MD, FACEP has been a Board Certified Emergency Physician in Arizona for the last 41 years, and a resident of the Town of Paradise Valley for the last 40 years. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from New York University School of Medicine and did post-graduate training in Family Practice at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix before going into the full-time practice of Emergency Medicine in 1975. Dr. Lipsky has worked in every type of Emergency Department in Arizona – from inner city and rural, small volume and large, public and private hospitals, teaching and nonteaching hospitals. He has taught at the Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine – Division of Clinical Education, as well as in Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine Arizona. He has received the highest number of patient satisfaction letters in his group at multiple facilities and has been recognized at Paradise Valley Hospital for his outstanding performance. A past president of the Arizona College of Emergency Physicians (representing over 800 Emergency Physicians in our state) along with many other positions in the organization, Dr. Lipsky was also one of six Councillors representing Arizona to the National Council of the American College of Emergency Physicians. Dr. Lipsky built, owned, and was the Medical Director for the first 24hr free-standing Emergicenter and Advanced Life Support Ambulance Service in Jamaica. In conjunction with USAID, Cornell Medical Center’s School of Public Health, the Ministry of Health and Environmental Control of Jamaica, and the U.S. Peace Corps, he participated in a successful program to stem infant mortality in rural areas.

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