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Seroxat: GPs now left in a quandary

GPs face mounting uncertainty over the safety of selective serotonin uptake inhibitors

after a Government adviser resigned from an expert group considering their safety.

Richard Brook, chief executive of Mind, left the Committee on Safety of Medicines' expert group on SSRIs in protest over an alleged 'cover-up' over unsafe prescribing.

He accused the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency of 'extreme negligence' in failing to 'identify or communicate' key facts on safe prescribing levels for paroxetine (Seroxat) which it had known for 10 years.

He told Pulse his resignation threw into doubt any conclusions the group might come to in the future and the Government had an 'issue of no confidence on its hands'.

The agency denied his claims but GPs say that

they have been left in an

impossible position by conflicting advice.

Dr Clare Wilkie, a GP in south London with a special interest in mental health, said most GPs would 'shy away' from prescribing paroxetine at the moment.

'When different bodies and different experts are giving dramatically opposed views it is difficult for people in primary care,' she added.

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