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Panorama: A Prescription for Murder – MQ's opinion

On Wednesday 26th July BBC 1 broadcasted an episode of Panorama titled ‘A Prescription for Murder’ - the show investigated the link between antidepressants and homicidal behaviours. 

Cynthia Joyce, MQ's CEO said:

"We are concerned about the representation of antidepressants in last night’s Panorama, 'A Prescription for Murder'. A claimed correlation between the use of certain medication and homicide is unfounded and irresponsible to report.   

There is strong evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of antidepressants in treating depression and other mental health problems in clinical trials and real world experience. The majority of people have seen a positive impact on their mood and a reduction in suicidal thoughts and self-harm while taking antidepressants. Side effects of these treatments are well-known.  Any conclusions about causality regarding adverse effects of mental health treatments must be drawn from research and data and there is simply no evidence to suggest that there is a link between taking antidepressants and homicidal behaviours. 

The programme focused on individual experiences, suggesting devastating actions were a direct result of taking antidepressants. Although stating that these cases were rare, the fact that a link was drawn between them at all is unjustified and stigmatising.   

If you are taking antidepressants and are worried about the recent coverage, it is important to speak to your doctor before stopping your prescribed treatment. You and your doctor can talk about the best course of action for you going forward."

What did you think? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Last updated: 27 July 2017

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