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Conflicting information

Last updated: Thursday, December 27, 2018

You will come across sources of information and advice about medicines that give you different answers to the same question. This is quite a common problem and it's important to understand why it happens so that you can make the right decision for your patient. Consider the following scenario:

You are asked by one of your consultants about the choice of antidepressant for a patient with hepatitis C who has resulting liver impairment. The patient uses interferon and the consultant knows that this can cause depression. The doctor has some experience of using sertraline and wonders whether this would be okay.

Before you read the next paragraph, have a think about where you might look for the information initially. When you’ve thought about it, read on....


You try looking in psychiatry sources such as Bazire’s Psychotropic Drug Directory and the Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines, your local psychiatry guidelines, the SPC for sertraline, and Stockley’s for the interactions aspect of this question. You also look in an online US psychiatry textbook that your Trust subscribes to. However, you quickly find that the precise recommendations vary according to which resource you use.


  • What would you do next? 

Take time to think about this before clicking on the Next Page icon to take you to our suggestions.