2005N-0354 Consumer-Directed Promotion of Regulated Medical Products; Part 15 Public Hearing
FDA Comment Number : EC111
Submitter : Mr. James Vanus Date & Time: 12/07/2005 06:12:55
Organization : Mr. James Vanus
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
Pharmaceutical companies should not be allowed to use the 'chemical imbalance' theory to promote anti-depressants, since this theory has yet to be proven.

From Time Pacific magazine article, 'Dealing With Depression':
Not everyone's convinced. And not everyone will be until there's a biological test for depression instead of the series of questions doctors use now. Don't hold your breath waiting for that, says British academic Moncrieff: 'I believe that human emotions will never be located in a simple biochemical formula.' The chemical-imbalance theory is nonsense, says Adelaide psychiatrist Jureidini. SSRIs alter a patient's serotonin levels within days, he says, but their antidepressant effect - if there is any - doesn't occur for several weeks. 'The idea that there's a serotonin deficiency that explains depression is such a gross oversimplification as to be completely misleading,' Jureidini says. 'A lot of doctors and others are prone to wishful thinking. It'd be nice if this was all scientific and we could give a drug to correct a chemical imbalance and nobody had to think about how complicated it is to become depressed and what the reasons might be for it . . . But it doesn't work like that.'