The MHRA have issued a press statement regarding the safety and efficacy of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), specifically Paroxetine (Seroxat).
This press release is timed in response to media criticism aimed at regulatory authorities over the handling of the licensing and continued availability of Paroxetine.
In summary, the MHRA advice on the safe use of SSRIs is as follows:
- Clinical trial data do not support a dose response above the recommended daily dose, therefore use the lowest efficacious dose
- Careful and frequent monitoring is important (for assessing efficacy and side effects)
- There is little association between dose or drug and the risk of suicide and there are insufficient data to conclude if there are differences between individual drugs
Additionally, the MHRA specifically reviewed the safety of Venlafaxine (Efexor)
- Venlafaxine should not be started in new patients, unless by a specialist of a GP with a special interest in Mental Health
- Venlafaxine should not be used in any patient with heart disease, electrolyte imbalance or hypertension