These two quotations, taken from a survey by the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH 2004, pp. 47–8), immediately demonstrate the contribution that service users can make to our understanding of psychiatric drugs. Both people were talking about the same drug, the antidepressant venlafaxine (Efexor). The literature about psychiatric drugs tends to focus on their global effects — whether overall a drug is better than a placebo, better than another drug, and so on — whereas surveys of service users’ experiences and views remind us of the wide variation in people’s individual responses to psychiatric drugs.
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