Prescribed Harms and Vaccine Hesitancy

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October 18, 2021 | 48 Comments


  1. NICE!

    Great read Laurie O, and OH, how good to hear the specifics you have drawn out with such clarity –

    In the UK here, we had a seismic moment and Miranda Levy had a go – I would add that Miranda is currently the only real swinger with her foot on the pedal –

    Here we have it –

    1. How weird to attack a doctor giving NICE backed medical advice

    Read this Thread for ‘Cheap Shots’ –

    And the tropes of anti psychiatry ideology aren’t?

    Miranda Levy

    Replying to @Dr_Ellieand @FayRipley

    Who is ‘anti-psychiatry’? Am not. But I think there should be caution about the prescription of certain psychotropic drugs, and the real, life-changing effects of withdrawal amongst certain people (not all). I’ve written a lot on this (including a book) also in your own newspaper

    NICE backed medical advice – always a winner in the minds of Doctors – we know it is junk –

    It was quite a pivotal moment when Holly and Philip on This Morning invited a Doctor, the interviewers who know nothing about antidepressants and the Doctor who knows nothing about antidepressants.

    This caused a hue and cry from the Prescribed Harm Community feeling that we have regressed and gone back decades with the sheer ignorance emanating –

    How could this happen?

    It seems to only reinforce that if Philip or Holly went to their Doctor this is the sort of advice they would receive. Philip and Holly seemed compliant.

    I listen to tons of stuff on Radio 4. Feedback is having Jim Al-Khalili on next Sunday and it is so tempting to send in a query as to why The Life Scientific made a huge splash about The Patrick Vallance Interview. I would query everyone who puts this man centre-stage when GSK, his previous employers, paid-up a $3 BILLION fine for Paxil in the USA. I would query how Patrick Valance played down Paroxetine withdrawal in The Life Scientific during his time at GSK. I know this would be a pointless exercise because Jim runs a great programme usually featuring great scientists. It was an off-moment to have Simon Wessely, who is neither a scientist nor an expert on chosen specialities on The Life Scientific.

    People are making mistakes; Jim Al-Khalili and Patrick Vallance, Evan Davis interviewing Andrew Witty at Chatham House and totally ignoring Seroxat, Matthew Herper, Ex-Forbes, now STAT surprisingly sycophantic about GSK and transparency,, Philip and Holly, apparently have loads of followers ‘out-of-nowhere’ introducing a hit-doctor and as happens so regularly on ‘R4Today’ only having ‘Clare and Simon’ as the Go-To on everything from vaccines to psychotropic drugs.

    Miranda Levy
    Replying to @Dr_Ellieand @FayRipley

    Do you really find that comment funny? I was hoping for some civilised debate on this subject, but now I feel dismayed. If you still see patients, I really hope you don’t laugh at their emotional distress.

    Mark Horowitz

    It is telling that a GP has complained the stopping antidepressants over 2 months is much too quick for people on ADs>2 years and the problem of withdrawal being mistaken for relapse. I look forward to clarification from the ANTLER authors

    Quite…bring on the horns…

    Really appreciate the ballsy ladies on the case…and Laurie you have nailed it…

  2. YOUTube
    YouTube has reversed its decision to remove a video of David Davis arguing against Covid passports, following criticism from the ex-minister.
    According to Big Brother Watch, the platform said Mr Davis’s speech at the Conservative Party conference violated its policy on “medical information”.
    Mr Davis said his remarks were “wholly accurate” and YouTube’s actions were “an outrageous attack on free speech”.
    YouTube said the video was “immediately reinstated following a review”.
    A spokeswoman for the company said: “We quickly remove flagged content that violates our community guidelines, including Covid-19 content that explicitly contradicts expert consensus from local health authorities or the World Health Organization.
    In his speech last week, at a conference fringe meeting in Manchester, Mr Davis said he was “a strong believer in vaccination” and that he himself had received both doses.
    However, the veteran civil liberties campaigner strongly attacked proposals to introduce vaccine certificates arguing that it “smacked of illiberal government”.
    ‘Worrying trend’
    He also argued that vaccine passports gave people a “false sense of security” pointing out that vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant could still spread the virus to others.
    Campaign group Big Brother Watch uploaded the clip of Mr Davis talking but later received a notification email from YouTube explaining that the video had been removed from the side.
    In an email to the organisation, YouTube said it “doesn’t allow claims about Covid-19 vaccinations that contradict expert consensus from local health authorities or the World Health Organization (WHO)”.
    Mr Davis said: “Throughout the pandemic, we have seen blatant attempts by Big Tech to silence opposition voices challenging the conventional wisdom.
    “This episode serves as a further example of the worrying trend of strangling free speech.
    “If YouTube is happy to attempt to silence elected members of Parliament, then they are also happy to censor anyone uploading content to their services.”
    He urged the government to stop “the erosion of free speech” by reviewing proposals in its Online Safety Bill.

    In Wales the government has passed a mandate for covid passports to become compulsory for certain events with view to it being extended This has been one of the most farcical breaches of democracy and trust . The Bill was passed by one vote 26-27 due to 1 member being unable to vote ,due to we are told ,a tech failure. In Italy there are massive protests about the imposition of compulsory vaccinations on all workers. For various reasons Many have no option but to trust those who ‘treat’ them To blackmail those who have been actually hands on ‘caring’ for them all through the pandemic without any protection is contemptible especially when tests as reliable or not as the vaccines are available. Already the population is being told that yet another booster vaccine is necessary making three vaccines in just one year.

  3. Another valuable read by Laurie O. Rape Is Not A Metaphor: A Framework For Understanding Everyday Pharmaceutical Harms Paperback – 13 May 2016
    by Laurie Oakley (Author)

  4. Just to thank Laurie for another excellent piece. I struggle with writing at length (so being triggered, mouthing off on Twitter, and running, suits me very well!).

    It also was Laurie’s book and her many articles which finally gave me the recognition and the language I needed, even for myself, to help me confront and process the barbarism of what done to me as a healthy young woman, and then continually, and to so many.

    I will always be indebted.

    Despite this, I tried to consider the risks and benefits of the Covid19 Vaccines for me at my age without prejudice, including the fact that I’d already been exposed.

    Any debates on the issues would go on interminably (as they do).

    The simplest fact is, without repeating all the facts in Dr Healy’s Open Letter to President Biden, nothing has changed since Study 329.

    Further, despite Biden himself saying that transparency would be necessary regarding the vaccine trials (when Trump was still in power).

    The fact that there is no access to the data for novel drugs seemingly intended not just for the elderly or at risk, but for the whole world, including children, perhaps babies, (and with millions already immune), is something I would expect to see in the plot of a dystopian B movie considered so utterly ludicrous it was thrown straight into a bin.

    An audience simply wouldn’t be able to suspend their disbelief.

    But here we are.

    That said, I respect other people’s medical decisions and I truly hope that vaccination of the elderly/at risk by Sars Cov 2 with these new products is making a positive difference.

    I have had all usual vaccinations and pretty much all of my own family has been vaccinated (some I suspect with regret as they may have been unaware they may not have needed vaccination post having Covid).

    Perhaps doctors and scientists will succeed in getting the data Biden said would be needed and which Pfizer promised; perhaps the real world data will improve; perhaps other things in a world where we are being continually primed and blindsided may change many minds: many minds which are not “Anti-Vaxx” but merely pro science (some of whom may also have been disabled and medically traumatised by “remarkably” effective and safe drugs).

    Perhaps we’ll all regain our collective sanity one day and look back in astonishment — of perhaps many brutal awakenings in the post or not– at what was considered by many people, even high profile “experts”, to be an “Anti-Vaxx” talking point” or wrong think.

    As it is, another simple fact is that we’re all in the mother of all clusterfucks together and the only way out is together.

    I thank Laurie again and in my (hourly!) moments of despair I try to keep in mind that for every bad faith player, there are shining lights like Ed White.

    • Thanks Dee. Like you, I have considered getting the vaccine but the more time passes the less inclined I’ve been to proceed. The last time I received vaccines (to protect my newborn grandson) I had a significant drop in immunity for a period of almost two years, so I am very reluctant to be vaccinated now.

  5. I still haven’t had the vaccine if I’m truthfull think I’m to scared after what seroxat done to me I’ve been off it nine years and still have side effects. Wondered how many off you guys have taken it and if you have had any adverse effects seeing that like me you probably had an adverse effect from a drug you was given and that’s what brought you to this site. Any comments will be apreciated. Also wonder if you could help me out on this one David I’ve noticed alot off publications stating that if you catch covid and recover you only get immunity for a short while and you should still have the vaccine Is this true? It sounded like drug company spin to me? I’d have thought if you were lucky enough to recover you would have better immunity any answers would be apreciated 👍

    • A lot of people are in your position Karl.
      Others in your position like Altostrata have had no problem and push the vaccine.

      There are clearly harms from the vaccine but no indication at the moment that those with SSRI induced harms are more at risk. My impression is catching covid offers better immunity than the vaccine.



    • The Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN) has submitted 60 plus studies to the CDC reflecting that natural immunity is more durable and robust than vaccine immunity.

      Fifty six of those studies are here should you wish to read them:
      Quantity however, does not equal quality (someone would have to review the methodology of each study to judge their sum quality).

      Worryingly, the figures out of Israel suggests that there are many cases of antibody dependant enhancement (ADE) occurring in the vaccinated. This can happen with naturally acquired infections as well but their hospitals have a greater number of seriously ill patients amongst the vaccinated which is what one would expect if the vaccine (in this case Pfizer) is causing more ADE than natural infections. Also in Israel a person is not considered fully vaccinated until 14 days after their last scheduled vaccine. Most of the vaccine attributed deaths happen within the first 14 days so any vaccine death before 14 days are up would be counted as a Covid death in the unvaccinated group.
      For anyone with SSRI-associated extrapyramidal symptoms (or other EPS) I can’t find anything specific but some health officials in Israel are recommending people avoid exercise for a week after their vaccination from which you’ll have to draw your own conclusions.
      A 15 minute piece discuses all this and condenses it down, together with charts from studies and official statistics.

    • I’m still living with protracted SSRI withdrawal system and a hypersensitive nervous system from citalopram withdrawal and rapid reinstatement, and I chose to get the AZ vaccine. Of course I was a bit wary of adverse effects from it, but I chose to get it for a couple of reasons – firstly, because the odds of dying from Covid or having long Covid would likely be considerably greater than adverse effect of the vaccine, and secondly, because I didn’t want to potentially put my parents at risk. Would I get the flu vaccine? Probably not – the risks here, to me, would definitely outweigh the disadvantages.

      Personally I found that it didn’t ramp up my symptoms at all. In terms of my friends – I have a number of friends who have experienced long-term issues from benzos and/or antidepressants and I would say the majority of such friends have chosen to, with some caution, get the vaccine.

  6. £500m… the shameful cost of pills patients should never have been given: As damning new research shows the NHS wastes a fortune on medication every year, a devastating investigation into a scandal wrecking so many lives


    PUBLISHED: 01:13, 19 October 2021 | UPDATED: 08:14, 19 October 2021

    Dr Mark Horowitz knows the feeling. As well as being a trainee psychiatrist at University College London, with a PhD in the neurobiology of depression, he’s been on antidepressants for more than 15 years. For the past four, he’s been tapering his dose — reducing it one tiny fraction at a time. ‘I was 21 and a student in Australia when a doctor put me on escitalopram for low moods. But it was a 30-second consultation without extensive checks. I wish I had never been put on them.

    ‘They’ve not been useful and if I had known at the time [about the risk of dependency] I would never have taken them.’

    Dr Horowitz is now on two types of antidepressant and a sleeping pill, zopiclone. But even with his expertise, he is finding quitting the drugs gruelling.
    ‘It’s been much harder than I had ever imagined. NICE guidelines say [withdrawal takes] four weeks — I’m four years in and it may be five by the time I get there.

    ‘I reduce my dose by a small percentage every few weeks by using a liquid version of the drugs my GP prescribes. But many people can’t do that as some GPs won’t prescribe liquid forms of the medicines as they can cost a lot.’

    Commenting on the research, published today in the journal Addictive Behaviours, the Department of Health and Social Care said plans to tackle the issue will be finalised later this year.

    Get vaccinated — yes, you!

    Replying to @JDaviesPhD

    Money! That will get attention. Good for you.

  7. These are the vax patent numbers from Karen Kingston if anyone wants to look them up:

    US20130251618A1 – Method for making semiconducting single wall carbon nanotubes

    US20100216804A1 – Long Circulating Nanoparticles for Sustained Release of Therapeutic Agents (this is a targeted diverery system for Docetaxel – chemo)

    US20120201859A1 – Drug Delivery Systems and Use Thereof

    US20120265001A1 – Composite magnetic nanoparticle drug delivery system

    US10703789 – Modified polynucleotides for the production of secreted proteins (MODERNA MAIN PATENT)

    Some videos here:

  8. Government ordered to reveal firms put in ‘VIP lane’ for Covid PPE contracts
    The Department for Health has 35 days to hand details to the Good Law Project after Information Commissioner’s Office said government “failed to comply” with FOI laws

    I am unvacced so I always take a home test at intervals of 2 days if meeting anyone even though outdoors as well. This is in consideration of of others who have decided to vacc . Have also have been told by a seniour nurse practitioner responsible for giving them out that the negative tests are only %40 accurate
    Matt Hancock was hugely but not only responsible for Test and Trace amongst other scandals in UK before his ‘retirement’ as health minister. Nevertheless he boasted of being given a ‘top job’ a few weeks ago which has been recinded a few days ago. Those who offered him the post must have known his record. Wonder what the connections there were? And they must have been warned of the breaking news by The Good Law Project.
    Covid-19: Hancock’s failure to publish contracts was unlawful
    BMJ 2021; 372 doi: (Published 19 February 2021)
    Cite this as: BMJ 2021;372:n511Matt Hancock left red faced after losing new job at UN hours … › News › Politics

    3 days ago — A statement from the United Nations read: “Hancock’s appointment by the UN Economic Commission for Africa is not being taken forward. “ECA has …

  9. I am mortified how we are all being forced to have the covid-19 vaccine.
    How can we put our trust/faith in something if:
    1. The covid-19 vaccine was rushed
    2.The covid-19 vaccine has not undergone vigorous testing on many unforeseen variables.
    3. If the information of this vaccine is ghost written where can we find reputable data about how it may impact certain individuals; with or without health issues?
    4. How do we know that out of a batch certain vaccines are not flawed? This always worries me!
    5. What kind of experimentation’s are taking place with this covid-19 vaccine?
    6. When someone gets maimed or is harmed by a vaccine, why do medical professionals blame it on something else? The videos that Chris posted does not surprise me!
    7. What are the long term side effects of this covid-19 vaccine?

    Where are our civil liberties?
    I cannot give my consent to a vaccine, I know nothing about.
    What ever happened to the right to bodily integrity?
    What about those who have a conscientious objection to a vaccine(s)?, especially those who have been harmed or passed away as a result of ingesting prescribed medication(s)/vaccines?
    Sorry, If I am not fully informed about vaccine dangers and they are not made transparent, no one can force you to have the jab. However, if you do not have the jab we will severely punish you and make you look like you are impacting others as a result of mot having the jab???
    Some people sadly have had no choice or else they will be punished for not having the jab. Loss of income, loss of other entitlements which are evolving on a day to day basis, compliments to policy makers who are not giving a damn about other people’s concerns or valid points.
    We cannot even have a rational/civil debate about what is happening this moment, in our universe because everyone/everything that ‘thinks outside the box’ is being rail railroaded or gas lighted.
    Thank you kindly Laurie for making us aware of a grubby industry that has gone entirely mad. Raping and exploiting many innocent people and forcing people to have the jab is entirely asinine! What incentives are in it for those making money out of this schifezza!
    We are being forced to submit without being informed of all the precarious consequences!
    The other night I saw a commercial on TV that was totally ridiculous. If one was to have the covid-19 jab before the end of October, you will be in for a million dollar draw ~ what is this world coming to!!!!!

    I would like the proof and evidence behind the science regarding this Covid-19.
    I do not want to be forced to put a loaded gun at my head without being informed of all the risks.
    When people like myself have been harmed, the medical/legal establishment want all the proof and evidence.
    The evidence is there however, somehow some doctors have made an art out of lying and made people who have been harmed by prescribed medicines seem delusional.
    If you have never bothered to listen or look at the medical history or read the reports or live in that persons shoes for just one day ~ there is no way that you are going to care, display compassion/empathy or seek out the truth. Not all tests and procedures are black/white ~ there are various shades of grey.

    Doctors bury their mistakes, architects cover them with ivy ~Frank Lloyd Wright
    If something goes wrong you should still try to help that person and not leave them in a lurch. Sadly, a Hippocratic oath that does not exist in these MAD times!

  10. (I remembered too late to include the involvement of coroners).
    Re: Improve coding practices for patients in suicidal crisis Molly McCarthy, Pooja Saini, Rajan Nathan, Jason McIntyre. 375:doi 10.1136/bmj.n2480
    Dear Editor
    There are suicides which are recorded as due to mental distress or illness which omit to include that the person was taking prescribed medications and which have the potential for generating suicidal thoughts and actual suicide. (Although these are not only psychiatric medications.) By now there is much more information to warn against this, so more accurate records could be kept. There is no reliable data about the extent this is happening–there seems to be a reluctance to link suicide with medications on official reports or inquests. It surely could be managed. It would allow more accurate information to be collected perhaps in a limited way initially using data from codes, but this could be used both to gather more information about the potential effect of some medications on some individuals and importantly as a further flag for individuals and prescribers
    20 October 2021

    AND Here’s a – Respose from G Lewis and G Lewis
    Re: Half of people who stopped long term antidepressants relapsed within a year, study finds Elisabeth Mahase. 374:doi 10.1136/bmj.n2403
    Dear Editor
    We thank the correspondent for their interest in our research, but suggest they are mistaken in asserting that we have no interest in antidepressant withdrawal symptoms or were unaware of the debate concerning long term antidepressant use. We refer them to our publicly available trial protocol ( ) and entry on the ISRCTN trial registry, where (like the correspondent) we note increasing rates of long-term antidepressant prescription, that ‘the benefits of continuing treatment are debatable’ and proposed to measure withdrawal symptoms.

    We measured withdrawal symptoms in the short, medium and longer term with a modified version of the DESS (Discontinuation Emergent Symptom Scale) measured at baseline, 6 weeks, 12 weeks, 26 weeks, 39 weeks and 52 weeks. ANTLER is therefore one of the first large “double blind” randomised controlled trial in primary care to provide evidence of withdrawal symptoms occurring over a long period after antidepressant discontinuation.

    Gemma Lewis and Glyn Lewis, on behalf of the ANTLER study team

    Competing interests: Glyn Lewis has received fees from Fortitude Law as an expert witness involving litigation concerning withdrawal symptoms from antidepressants

    • FEBRUARY 21, 2018

      expert reaction to largest review of antidepressants
      * ‘Comparative efficacy and acceptability of 21 antidepressant drugs for the acute treatment of adults with major depressive disorder: a systematic review and network meta-analysis’ by Cipriani et al. published in The Lancet on Wednesday 21st February. 

      Prof Glyn Lewis, Professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology, UCL, said:

      “This excellent and comprehensive study pulls together all the evidence for the effectiveness of antidepressant treatment and provides compelling evidence for their efficacy. Antidepressants often receive a ‘bad press’ but this paper shows they have a role in the management for people with depression.”

      Declared interests

      Prof Glyn Lewis: “I am acting as an expert witness in a case concerning withdrawal effects of paroxetine.”

      Re-Read Miranda Levy

      Professor Lewis’ study flies in the face of pretty much every piece of research that has been published in the last half-decade.

      BRITISH JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY (2002), 181, 2 84^ 294

      Systematic review



      About 30% of people with depression do not respond to an antidepressant at the recommended dose and can be described as having treatment refractory depression


      Treatment-refractory depression is common in clinical practice but there is little evidence to inform management.

      Declaration of interest G.L. has received payment for lectures from a number of pharmaceutical companies

  11. recovery and renewal retweeted


    Replying to@Dr_Ellieand@micmicmic1

    Good point, what do you think about the subject stirs up so many emotions?

    Dr Ellie 
    If you think broadcasting about vaccinations is controversial and stirs up hatred and trolling, try talking about #antidepressants Have just spent a few minutes blocking/muting for a quieter life for a few days.
    Goodness me.

    Prof Marwaha says the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is currently considering approving a ketamine-based drug known as esketamine for use on the NHS. “It seems to have a rapid, and fairly persistent effect on the treatment of depression,” says Marwaha.

    But neither ketamine nor psilocybin are a complete panacea. These drugs do not work for all patients and concerns have been repeatedly raised about their side-effect profiles, which can include hallucinations and out-of-body experiences following treatment, as well as fluctuations in blood pressure.

    A world without antidepressants …

  12. Good for Nothing

    National overprescribing review report
    The findings and recommendations of the national overprescribing review led by Dr Keith Ridge, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England.
    Department of Health and Social Care
    22 September 2021
    Applies to England

    Good for you, good for us, good for everybody: a plan to reduce overprescribing to make patient care better and safer, support the NHS, and reduce carbon emissions
    PDF, 847KB, 85 pages

    The government commissioned Dr Keith Ridge, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England, to lead a review into the use of medication and overprescribing.
    The review was guided by a short life working group (SLWG), which brought together senior stakeholders from across the healthcare system, together with patient and third sector representation. It looked at reducing inappropriate prescribing, with a particular focus on the role of digital technologies, research, culture change and social prescribing, repeat prescribing and transfer of care.
    The review sets out a series of practical and cultural changes to ensure patients are receiving the most appropriate treatment for their needs while ensuring clinicians’ time is well spent and taxpayer money is spent wisely. This includes better use of technology, how to review prescriptions more effectively, and how to offer alternatives to medicines where they would be more effective.

    Published 22 September 2021

  13. James Moore

    Please please share this open letter to .@thismorning
    it is vital that statements made publicly about #antidepressants are factual and as scientifically accurate as possible. Thank you.

    Mad In The UK

    · 2h

    OPEN LETTER TO THIS MORNING: “The truth about antidepressants – What you need to know?” If you support the contents of this letter and its request for @thismorning to air the information contained within, pls retweet.


    Open Letter to This Morning: “The truth about antidepressants – What you need to know?”

    Dear This Morning producers, 

    We, the undersigned, are writing this letter to voice our concerns about your segment aired on Monday, 11th October, “The truth about antidepressants – What you need to know?”, which featured Dr. Ellie Cannon as an expert on the topic.

    While we applaud the programme for taking the initiative to educate its viewers on matters relating to the dramatic increase in use of antidepressant drugs in the UK, we were disheartened to find misleading information — and in some cases, actual falsehoods — being presented in the segment regarding how SSRIs work and how their safety was characterised. We address three key areas below. 

    1. The ‘chemical imbalance’/ serotonin deficit hypothesis

    Dr. Cannon stated that Antidepressants are, “medications that increase hormone levels in the brain… they increase those hormone levels so that you can function again.” She goes on to say, “if somebody who didn’t have depression took them, they wouldn’t do anything.” 

    The ‘chemical imbalance’ hypothesis of depression (and similar explanations for other diagnoses) expressed above has long since been abandoned. In fact, prominent psychiatrists have publicly stated that they believe it to always have been a “myth.” (1)

    There is no evidence for the existence of lower levels (or ‘imbalances’) of serotonin or any other neurotransmitter in people diagnosed with depression, anxiety or any other disorder she mentions. 

    There is no evidence that increased levels of serotonin cause people diagnosed with such disorders to “function.” It is unknown how SSRIs and other antidepressants produce benefits for those who do experience such benefits.

    Moreover, at best only 20 out of 100 people taking antidepressants will benefit to a greater extent than those taking a placebo or doing nothing. (2)

    The claim that SSRIs would “do nothing” to a person not diagnosed with such a disorder is false. On the contrary, the neurochemical effect and potential for adverse effects would remain the same for anyone who took them. (3)

    1. Downplaying the ‘side-effects’

    Dr. Cannon states: “That’s one of the myths — that they make you feel like a zombie, stop you feeling happy, they stunt everything, they don’t. What they stop is the bad feelings, the bad thoughts, whether it’s depression, whether it’s anxiety.” 

    While Dr. Cannon to her credit does mention ‘side effects’ at different points, she very explicitly dismisses one of the most common side-effects, found in over 50% of people who take SSRIs — emotional numbing and apathy (4) — which was clearly the target of Mr. Schofield’s question. 

    Sexual dysfunction, which affects 50% or more of those taking antidepressants (5), and insomnia (30%-50%) (6) are other adverse effects of antidepressants that occur so frequently that it is hard to understand a lack of reference in any fair discussion of the drugs. 

    It is hard to square these effects with the implication that one is able to live one’s “best life” under drug treatment. At the very least, an adverse experience is as common as a good experience on antidepressants.

    1. Denying the problem of dependence

    Dr Cannon told the audience that antidepressants “are not addictive.”  While antidepressants do not fit the medico-legal definition of “addictive drugs,” they do cause physical dependence just as other drugs that affect the central nervous system do, such as stimulants and opioids. Because of this, people’s brains adapt to them and they become difficult, or even impossible, to stop. 

    As a result, antidepressants cause withdrawal syndrome —which can be severe and debilitating— in about 40-50% of those who attempt to go off the drugs (7). For some, this can last years, putting jobs, relationships and lives at risk. The Royal College of Psychiatrists now recommends that patients are warned of the possibility of severe and long lasting withdrawal effects when they are considering starting these drugs. (8)

    1. Long-term use of antidepressants

    Dr. Cannon: “​​there was a study that was reported in the Times that showed that people who stay on antidepressants long term actually do better. So, perhaps we do need to think of them like a chronic medication. Where you stay on them as maintenance, a bit like you do with your asthma inhaler. Rather than coming on and off. You’re better because you’re on the medication.”

    The recent study that Dr. Cannon refers to has been widely criticised for not distinguishing between withdrawal symptoms and relapse.
    Other studies of long-term treatment have similar problems and overall evidence does not confirm that antidepressants have beneficial long-term effects. (9)

    There are in fact legitimate concerns that for a large proportion of users antidepressants might be largely ineffective or even harmful. (10)

    Taken together, a picture emerges that is, we suggest, deeply problematic. The issues involved unfortunately go far beyond the particular segment in question, however. As the undersigned and many others can attest, it is very common for medical professionals to use similarly incomplete and misleading explanations, at times including false information, to encourage people to take antidepressants. It is incumbent on medical professionals— at this time especially— to be giving accurate, balanced information and advice in the media to re-establish trust in their profession. At the very least, this should include recognition of the widespread over-prescribing of antidepressants — as reported by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence this week. (11) 

    With this in mind, we ask that This Morning make a positive commitment to have the information contained in this letter represented and aired on the programme in some form. We would be happy to discuss the form this might take, and to recommend speakers.

    We look forward to hearing your response at your earliest convenience, 

    Sincerely, the undersigned:

  14. The misinformation broadcast by Ellie Cannon GP is so serious that a complaint should probably be lodged with the practice where she works 3 days a week.
    Abbey Medical Centre 85 Abbey Road London NW8 OAG
    I will copy the letter written by MadintheUK
    Complaints or Commendations
    Your feedback is very important to us and any concerns or recommendations are taken very seriously. We want to know when you think we should be performing better but we would also like to know when you think we have done something well.

    There are several ways to leave us feedback. You may follow our complaints procedure, leave us feedback via the online form below, leave us a public comment on the NHS Choices website, or fill out a feedback form in reception.

    Complaints or Commendations
    Your feedback is very important to us and any concerns or recommendations are taken very seriously.

    Dr Evgeny Legedin has tweeted

    2,652 Following
    4,271 FollowersMad in the UKMad in the UK
    Really showing yourself up here,
    19 Oct
    Replying to
    Shame on you both
    Do your research.NICE guidelines changed recently to acknowledge antidepressant withdrawal symptoms can be long lasting. You made an oath ‘Do no harm’
    take heed, people are dying from withdrawal symptoms. RIP dearest Dr Ed White.

    The local newspaper for the area is :-
    Hampstead and Highgate News › news
    Local news headlines for Hampstead, Highgate, Camden and the surrounding London … This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years.

  15. I think Ellie Cannon’s broadcast should considered by The GMC (general medical council) Have sent copy of letter.
    To GMC
    To GMC
    ———- Forwarded message ———
    Date: Thu, Oct 21, 2021 at 11:11 PM
    Subject: Complaint regarding the seriously misleading information broadcast by Ellie Cannon

    To General Medical Coucil

    I wish to raise concern about the misinformation broadcast by Dr Ellie Cannon detailed below in copied letter to :-
    To The Practice Manager
    I have copied here the letter drawn up by a group of extremely angry and distressed members of a service -user organisation. Their reaction is widely shared by others including professionals who are shocked about the mis information Ellie Cannon GP broadcast . The letter by MadinUK describes the content of my complaint .
    Thank you for your attention

    enclosed letter by MadinUK
    Open Letter to This Morning: “The truth about antidepressants – What you need to know?”

    • Re: Complaint regarding the seriously misleading information broadcast by Ellie Cannon
      4:58 PM (3 hours ago)
      Dear Brett
      Thank you for forwarding my complaint to the practice manager. I would also point out that the local councillor was also unable to contact the practice either by e mail or phone.
      Mainly though I am asking what action you propose to take yourselves. People are of course always welcome to contact the newspaper but I am specifically asking the CCG to take some action.
      I would though appreciate your offer to forward my complaint to ITV on my behalf and give my consent for that.
      You my bein terested to know there is another very serious article about medications in the Daily Mail by two d
      Thank you
      On Thu, Oct 28, 2021 at 4:14 PM COMPLAINTS (NHS NORTH CENTRAL LONDON CCG) wrote:
      We acknowledge receipt of your complaint. Thank you for taking the time to contact us and share your concerns about the information Dr Cannon provided to viewers of ITV’s This Morning.
      We understand that you have also contacted Dr Cannon’s practice directly to share your complaint. With your consent, we have also shared your feedback with the practice about the difficulties you experienced with their contact details.
      You can also contact ITV directly about your concerns. The details are on the following link and pasted below. We are happy to forward your complaint to them with your consent if you wish us to do so.
      PHONE: 08000 30 40 44phone-in line. Phone-in lines are open until 12:30pm.
      Thank you again for getting in touch with us.
      Best wishes
      Brett Vallance
      PALS, Complaints & FOI Manager
      North Central London CCG

  16. My comment would unpublishable

    Home News Clinical areas Mental health and addiction NICE: GPs should regularly review patients withdrawing from addictive medication

    antidepressant withdrawal
    Emma Wilkinson

    22 October 2021

    GPs should provide regular reviews for patients on antidepressants and drugs for chronic pain that may be addictive, NICE has recommended in draft guidance on managing withdrawal.

    The frequency of reviews should increase once a patient has decided to stop taking a medicine and the process could take several months, NICE said in its new guidance now out for consultation.

    Extra reviews – which can be done face to face, by phone or online – should be offered to anyone reporting adverse effects, pregnant women or those planning a pregnancy, or those who have reported a change in their condition or psychosocial circumstances, the guidelines state.

    Decisions to stop a medicine and how to do so should be done in consultation with the patient, taking into account signs they may be developing problems with dependence such as running out of medicine or reporting it no longer works.

    Patients should get an updated management plan after every review and any decision to withdraw a medicine should be done in a ‘shared decision making approach’.

    The guidance, which does not include opioids for acute pain, cancer pain or at the end of life, follows a report from Public Health England that warned that one in four patients had been given a prescription for a potentially addictive medicine.

    In 2019, NICE revised its depression guidelines to warn of ‘severe’ and lengthy antidepressant withdrawal symptoms, having originally said such symptoms were ‘mild’.

    The recommendations also note that all other relevant management options should have been discussed and offered before potentially addictive drugs are prescribed in the first place and patients should be made aware of the potential long-term consequences, the NICE committee said.

    Discussions around withdrawing an opioid, benzodiazepine, gabapentinoid, Z-drug or antidepressant should happen when the medicine is no longer benefiting the patient, problems of dependency have developed or the harms outweigh the benefits.

    But a medicine should not be stopped suddenly unless there are exceptional circumstances such as serious side effects.

    Withdrawal should be a planned process with medicines that are no longer effective or necessary reduced gradually over time.

    For some a dose reduction rather than complete withdrawal may be a more realistic approach, NICE said. If there is more than one medicine, this should be done in stages.

    Healthcare professionals will need to consider whether symptoms that appear during withdrawal are symptoms of coming off the medicine or a sign of a new problem.

    For those withdrawing from benzodiazepines, group cognitive behavioural therapy should be considered.

    And if a withdrawal has not been successful, healthcare professionals should aim to stop any further dose increases and make a plan to try again at a later date.

    But NICE concluded more research is needed on interventions to support dose reductions of opioids, psychological interventions to support those coming off addictive medicines and which support services are most effective for patients.

    Dr Paul Chrisp, director of the centre for guidelines at NICE, said: ‘Many people continue to be prescribed these dependence forming medicines despite evidence that the risks associated with adverse advents of taking them outweigh their benefits. People are being harmed and we cannot ignore it.

    ‘Although these medicines can provide lasting symptom management for a proportion of people taking them, they do not work for everyone.

    ‘Having the right strategy for withdrawing safely from these medicines is key and that is why these evidence-based guideline recommendations are required to support healthcare professionals and patients.’

  17. Patrick D Hahn

    The red flag is a TV doc claiming #antidepressants are not addictive, correct a chemical imbalance, and going on to say “If somebody who didn’t have depression took them, they wouldn’t do anything,” ignoring the healthy volunteer studies which showed that…

    Dr Ellie 

    You have tweeted about me 7 times so far today.

    That’s a bit of a red flag isn’t it? @DrEvgenyLegedin

    How about you send a tweet about your own professional standing and explain to everyone what a GMC hearing is?

    Patrick D Hahn

    … ignoring the healthy volunteer studies that show as many as ten percent of subjects who ingest these poisons are thrown into a state of intense violent suicidal preoccupation.

    Alyne Duthie
    Replying to
    @Dr_Ellieand @DrEvgenyLegedin

    Dr Legedin is an ethical psychiatrist. He’s a whistleblower who put the safety of his patients first above those of the guild. He had nothing to answer for. The fate of the whistleblower is something we ought to be ashamed of. I’m thankful they exist.

    Psychiatrist Peter Gordon claims Royal College ‘gaslighted’ him in antidepressant row

    Prescription for Sorrow: Antidepressants, Suicide and Violence

    by Patrick D. Hahn

    One could scarcely have been alive and conscious anywhere in the Western world any time in the past twenty-five years and not have been aware of a raging controversy surrounding antidepressants, suicide, and violence—a controversy that shows no sign of abating. During that same period, prescriptions for antidepressants have skyrocketed. So what is the story? Do these drugs drive people to suicide, or do they not? What about homicide? Are they addictive? Do they even help with depression? Author and researcher Patrick D. Hahn has examined the scientific literature and the trial transcripts. He’s listened to doctors and the patients. He’s cross-checked the facts. And now, he has reconstructed the story to tell the truth about how these drugs are made and sold.

  18. Transcript from a Dr Peter Mccullough talk

    ‘Listen, there’s a circle of medical freedom, and if this is broken, then it’s going to break social freedom and then economic freedom.’ a quote from Eric Clapton to Dr Peter Mcculough

    “So right now, we’ve got to shore up that medical circle, no matter what. I mean medical freedom to get the treatment that people need; medical freedom to demand good care in the hospital and get it and medical freedom to decide what goes in your body. Okay?”

    Imagine if they mandate SSRI’s on the say so of 10min visit to a GP – CTO’s for the general public. Psych ‘hospitals’ inside your own home.

  19. John Read

    Dr Ellie Cannon and I discuss the overprescribing of antidepressants.


    Doctors should warn patients of the side-effects of antidepressants, which can include withdrawal symptoms and even suicidal thoughts, according to new draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). In a fiery debate, the Medical Minefield talk to Mail on Sunday GP Dr Ellie Cannon, who takes antidepressants herself for long-term anxiety and who believes the drugs help many of her own patients, and Dr John Read, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of East London, who has researched the efficacy and adverse effects of the drugs, especially withdrawal effects, and believes they are over-rated, often harmful, and over-prescribed.

    Miranda Levy Retweeted

    Mark Horowitz

    NICE recommends a “slow, stepwise rate of reduction proportionate to the existing dose — so that decrements become smaller as the dose is lowered”, over “months” recognising our work, @Altostrata and so many experts by experience. I am sorry
    was not here to see it

    Mark Horowitz

    · 33m

    “Prescribers should warn patients about dependence before starting them on high-risk drugs, says NICE” Prof Taylor:”[guidelines which] for perhaps the first time, formally recognise the dependence potential of antidepressants, Z-drugs and gabapentinoids”.

    Prescribers should warn patients about dependence before starting them on high-risk drugs, says NICE

    In its first guideline on medicines that can cause dependence or withdrawal symptoms, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has recommended that prescribers warn patients about these risks and offer alternative treatment options before prescribing.

    Before starting treatment with antidepressants, opioids, benzodiazepines or other drugs associated with dependence, patients should be warned about how hard it may be to stop taking them, recommends draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

    In the institute’s first ever guideline specifically concerning medicines that can cause dependence or withdrawal symptoms, NICE says that prescribers must offer patients all of the alternative options for treatment, such as non-pharmacological treatment and watchful waiting, before prescribing a high-risk medicine.

    Mark Horowitz

    Good to see the principles in the @rcpsych guidance on stopping antidepressants being applied to all drugs of dependence by NICE, as principles similar for all. As outlined here .

    Now effort required to upskill drs in these methods

    Mark Horowitz

    People are exiting the health system for facebook groups that give (in general excellent) advice: In fact a lot of the NICE guidance released today is derived from those peer support websites. Decades of trial and error.

    Astonishing really.

  20. Problem is in public you would think many so called advocates of ‘partnership; learning from those who consult them’ and all the rest of it are truly on the side of openess and dialogue – butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths. But they almost never attend ‘user’ led events have forums which are enclusive and not open to criticism and only run meetings when they are in control Even when a token ‘user-survivor’ is invited to their ‘open’ meetings it is mere tokenism The real talk goes on behind the scenes.Those who have learned to be wary turn down these invitations – being used is another lesson learned. G I tweet is devious in the way he has put it ,cruel and distressing to the thousands who don’t just ‘feel’ harmed and who are not just voicing opinions. Those who are enjoying running projects ans so on are quite happy to take from reading ‘ex/user-survivor activists material-but they lack the confidence to engage and learn from those outside the club.
    Right or wrong, patients who feel harmed by psych have right to voice opinion. Agree or not, psychs always benefit, as learn HOW patients think + feel. Spreading misinformation does not hurt psychs but those who (would) benefit from psych. Abusing patients who benefit is cruel.
    6:42 pm · 20 Oct 2021·Twitter Web App

    20 Oct
    Replying to
    I find it offensive to read the words “feel harmed” .. is that what you say to car crash victims or victims of mugging or stabbing?
    Fiona French, honesty and integrity are my values
    20 Oct
    I have pointed this out time and time again but it is a waste of time and energy and the feedback is ignored
    Show replies
    Sophie Porritt
    20 Oct
    replying to
    I appreciate what you are saying, & can only speak on behalf of my own personal experiences, but in my case there was a distinct conscious effort to dismiss an entirely logical and evidence based alternative perspective. I can’t understand why, unless it had bigger implications.

  21. George Ikkos
    George Ikkos Retweeted
    Michael P. Hengartner, PhD

    Sep 29
    Replying to
    Sure, I don‘t share this view. The effect is subtle and small. Serious treatment-emergent suicidal behavior is certainly rare, otherwise we would see much higher suicide rates in the general population

  22. John Read did a great job in that Dailymail debate

    GP Dr Ellie Cannon’s view will change depending on how her withdrawals goes. The longer she is on an SSRI the more difficult it will be. What makes the withdrawal horrific into suicide is the length of time it goes on.

    Dr Ellie Cannon talked about Sertraline being popular…..

    “In early 1983, almost a decade before it launched in the US, a study of Zoloft (sertraline) was run by Dr. Ian Hindmarch in Leeds, UK. There were 12 female volunteers aged between 34 and 40, drawn from the control panel in the Department of Psychology in Leeds University. The study was supposed to randomize half its subjects to sertraline and half to placebo for a week followed by a cross-over between drugs. It was abandoned before the first week was out.”

    “All of the sertraline subjects had problems, as had one of the placebo subjects. The placebo subject having problems, however, had sertraline levels in her blood, making the finding even more convincing. The side effects that seemed most clearly linked to sertraline were apprehension, insomnia, movement disorders, and tremors. There were wonderful descriptions of akathisia – the mechanism later linked to suicide induction on SSRIs.”

  23. @Dr_Ellie

    I wrote an article about #anxiety #antidepressants and me I hope it helps people realise that often we don’t really know what’s going on in someone else’s life.

    DR ELLIE CANNON: Antidepressants ARE worth the risk – and I should know, I’ve been on them for 15 years

    PUBLISHED: 22:01, 23 October 2021 | UPDATED: 22:07, 23 October 2021

    Patrick D Hahn

    No mention that in industry-sponsored trials of #antidepressants, most of the dead bodies are in the treatment arm.


    Fiona French, honesty and integrity are my values Retweeted

    Alyne Duthie

    Replying to @Rozewicz

    When a GP with celebrity status goes on national tv & promotes the chemical imbalance, a myth most psychiatrists now want to distance themselves from, what other things might she be misinformed about? Perhaps the missing data & the lost lives as outlined in Children of the Cure?

    Helping people understand the risks of taking antidepressants

    The ‘Devil’ is in the ‘Detail’ …

    • Ellie actually describes her experience when coming off depressants – it’s called withdrawla Ellie and there are loads of people who could support you with advice if you were only able to listen rather than smear with the ;anti-psychiatry’ nonsense. You admit you have only just realised there is a groundswell of concern about AD’s – that is an astounding level of ignorance. You suggested that the ‘stigma’ of going onto medication is lessened by comparing going on them for long term is akin to taking meds for diabetes! That is a nonsense which no doctor should be propagating. Hopefully you will at least read the messages people are sending you – they will legitimately be angry and need to put what you have propogated right.They don’t all have the access to the media that you have – listen and learn is the what is taught in med school these days. It needs to be put into practice by all health workers as well as GPs.

  24. A recent study by two Harvard researchers published online 30 September in the European Journal of Epidemiology has failed to show any correlation between vaccination levels and COVID-19 infection rates.

    In the discussion, the authors go on to note some problems specifically associated with the Pfizer vaccine:

    • A report by the Israel Ministry of Health assessed the efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine at thirty-nine percent, as opposed to the figure of ninety-six percent claimed by Pfizer
    • Immunity acquired by means of the Pfizer vaccine may not be as strong as natural immunity conferred by recovery from COVID-19 infection
    • Levels of humoral immunity in health care workers and nursing home residents receiving the Pfizer vaccine drop sharply by the six-month mark

    Meanwhile, hate campaigns against “anti-vaxxers” (a category which apparently now includes anyone who has any concerns about the safety and effectiveness of any vaccine) continue unabated. Millions of workers face the loss their livelihoods for not accepting the shot, including, ironically, tens of thousands of emergency responders and front-line health care workers. At a recent “Town Hall” meeting in Baltimore, President Biden dismissed their concerns with a contemptuous sneer:

    “Freedom. I have the freedom to kill you with my covid. I mean, come on.”

    Hopefully the new study will inject a note of sanity into this acrimonious debate. But don’t count on it.

  25. `Ellie and the sugery where she works have pulled up the drawbridge. The manager; mailings to CCG haven’t managed to breach the fort – even the local councillor Peter F hasn’t managed to contact them . Is a discussion via the Daily Mail the way medical controversies are managed.

    Peter Freeman
    12:27 PM (6 hours ago)
    to me, abbeyroad

    Dear Susanne,
    I also have found it impossible to get hold of our practice by email (or by other means!). I can only suggest posting it or dropping it in by hand.
    Best regards
    Peter Freeman

    On 22 Oct 2021, at 13:14, Susanne
    Dear Peter
    I am trying without success as you see to get above to the Practice manager at the Abbey R Surgery NW8
    Can you forward please?
    Best wishes

    • It was jaw dropping when she said Sertraline is the most prescribed – the real efficacy of evidence on this drug needs to be put in front of this person. Then she interrupted and tried to shout down John Read. Quite something.

    • A bit of housekeeping
      FPD Decisions
      Wed, Jan 5, 2:53 PM
      to me

      Dear Susanne ,
      Thank you for your email of 7 December 2021. I am sorry for the delay in responding at this busy time for the GMC.
      I hope you have received a response from the practice manager, however I do understand that they may be very busy at this time.
      Thank you once again for your comments about this important subject, and giving us the opportunity to consider the concerns you raised.
      Yours sincerely,

      Ian McCann

  26. We have a situation now where Quercetin, Zinc, C and D vit are being pushed by people opposed to the vaccines – and I understand why they are opposed – as a solution to Covid-19 even Flu. But there is a problem with Quercetin, if you are on prescribed drugs and guess which ones in particular….

    “The findings of this study may indicate that consumption of QR or TQ, in the form of food or dietary supplements, with drugs that are metabolized by CYP2C19, CYP2D6, or CYP3A4 may cause significant herb-drug interactions.”

    “As CYP2D6 is the primary CYP isoform that catalyzes biotransformation of the antidepressants and antipsychotics, an extreme caution should be exercised when herbal remedies containing QR or TQ are coadministered with these agents.”

  27. The MEP conference ‘hit a nerve’ with me. It made me very sad and I broke down in tears knowing the plight these people have ahead of them. I wish people in Australian parliament would do the same for us. These people who work for the European Parliament understand and acknowledge the predicament that many people like myself face. People, who through no fault of their own, have ongoing health issues they do not want to further compromise. There is no freedom to bodily integrity. If you do not get the jab, we will take away all your civil liberties and punish you for not doing so. This is not democracy. It is about control and people in positions of power abusing their power to diminish the basic civil rights of the people. These people, representing the minority, have enough common sense to know what is going on. If we do not comply with these totalitarian policies, we will be punished. Don’t some people think that we have a cross to bear without the added stigma of being vaccinated? Our cup is full and we don’t need to be be told that we are infecting the vaccinated or told that we are putting others at risk. If we were such a risk, we would of been a burden and a high risk,from the onset of this pandemic however, this is truly and evidently not the case. I ask that people exercise compassion for people who are fighting for their basic civil rights. We already suffer ongoing humiliation and discrimination, as it is,! Freedom to bodily integrity is a basic civil right that should not be denied. There is enough division in this world as it is and exerting any form of totalitarian power over the people who refuse to vaccinate, for legitimate reasons, should not be exploited, just to benefit giant cooperations who do not have any invested interests in our mental,physical, emotional or spiritual well being. The right to be free to choose no longer exists. We have merely become puppets on strings to be manipulated and controlled for those who abuse their powers. What a sad 😔 state of affairs. Thank you MEP members for thinking of us and being brave and courageous by fighting and standing up for the rights of those who have totally been forgotten and unheard . The oppressed,! 🙏

    • Not sure I trust Yeadon’s credibility – I remember last November he claimed, on talkradio, that the pandemic was ‘effectively over’, then a couple of months later we were having up to 1800 covid deaths a day. I’m sure I also remember him criticising masks and lockdowns as well…

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