Guest Column: Rebuttal to Gatekeepers to Pharmaceuticals

Jane H. Feldman, MD

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The fact that a trial of antidepressant medication takes weeks provides another problem for over-the-counter dispensing. Psychotropic medication, with very few exceptions, does not work immediately. Virtually all over-the-counter medications are intended for relatively quick effect. Without supervision or some sort of professional involvement from a practitioner, it is considerably less likely that a self-medicating patient would have the perseverance to sustain a medication trial for an adequate length of time. It is likely that without the involvement of their doctor, patients will get frustrated, discouraged, and generally lose faith and hope that the medication will be of benefit to them eventually.

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