Serotonin myth sidelines tricyclics for depression

The notion that low serotonin levels cause depression is a marketing myth that has sidelined more effective, older antidepressant treatments, a UK psychiatrist says.

In an editorial in the BMJ, Dr David Healy, a professor of psychiatry at Bangor University in Wales, says the idea that depression could be treated by restoring serotonin levels to 'normal' was attractive but unproven "biobabble" that helped sell SSRIs but had no basis in science.