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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Paroxetine has passed test with millions

GlaxoSmithKline was disappointed to read your article about paroxetine (Seroxat) relating to the Charles Medawar and Andrew Herxheimer report on the Yellow Card system (News, December 1).

Contrary to Professor Herxheimer's reported view, GPs may prescribe

20mg and 30mg tablets of paroxetine and a liquid formulation can be taken in dosages below 20mg.

Professor Herxheimer's views on paroxetine are well-known; he has expressed these on many occasions in the media. At a minimum, your article should have noted the authors' own caveat that the sample of anonymised single patient printouts examined in their research was 'highly skewed and has obvious limitations as a critical appraisal of the Yellow Card scheme overall'.

Since paroxetine's UK launch in 1991, tens of millions of patients have received this antidepressant, indicating the medical profession's confidence in this medicine.

In addition, paroxetine is one of the most widely studied medicines in the world

and the efficacy of paroxetine in adult patients has been clearly established in depression and anxiety disorders in controlled clinical trials involving more than 24,000 patients.

Dr Alastair Benbow

Head of European Clinical Psychiatry

GlaxoSmithKline

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