New generation anti-depressants have little clinical benefit for most patients, research suggests.
A University of Hull team concluded the drugs actively help only a small group of the most severely depressed.
Marjorie Wallace, head of the mental health charity Sane, said that if these results were confirmed they could be "very disturbing".
But the makers of Prozac and Seroxat, two of the commonest anti-depressants, said they disagreed with the findings.
A spokesman for GlaxoSmithKline, which makes Seroxat, said the study only looked at a "small subset of the total data available".
And Eli Lilly, which makes Prozac, said that "extensive scientific and medical experience has demonstrated it is an effective anti-depressant".
Alan Johnson, the Health Secretary, has announced that 3,600 therapists are to be trained during the next three years in England to increase patient access to talking therapies, which ministers see as a better alternative to drugs.
Patients are strongly advised not to stop taking their medication without first consulting a doctor.
Source - BBC