The debate continues about the whether psychiatric drugs are truly effective and can be stopped without causing harm. Peter Gotzsche, professor and director of the Nordic Cochrane Center in Denmark, has expressed in the British Medical Journal that over half a million people have died, over age 65, after the taking psychiatric medications. He cites that this is due to over-prescribing antipsychotic drugs for dementia-related aggression.
As reported in The Guardian, Gotzsche has cited lack of benefits for these psychotropic drugs for these patients. He claims that drug trials that are funded by drug companies have been biased. This is because many trial participants have already been on other medications. Once they go off the previous drugs, they often experience withdrawals and then use the test medications. At this point, the chances of some degree of success is marked, but possibly due to having any type of medication to ease withdrawals.
Gotzsche claims that there are fewer reports of suicide deaths from clinical trials than in actuality. Tests with certain antidepressants tested, along with placebos had no marked effect on depression treatment. He stresses that spontaneous remission of depression comes over time. The same holds true for the treatment of schizophrenia with trial drugs. Due to the minimal benefits of the drug, Gotzsche has found that the risks are greater than the benefits. Murray wonders if the long-term damage, including brain damage far outweighs the benefits.