Leading article: Prozac nation

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That one in three women in Britain will take anti-depressant drugs at some point in her life is worrying but unsurprising. It confirms previous studies which show rising levels of prescription.

What is more alarming is the news that three in five are offered no alternative medication, and that one in four wait more than a year for a review of their treatment. Over the past 25 years the new generation of anti-depressants have become useful weapons in the struggle against depression, but they should not be the first or only ones. The latest NICE guidelines for GPs warn against routine prescription of drugs and recommend they should be combined with cognitive behavioural therapy. They should be followed.

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