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Letter to the editor

Editor, – In his letter regarding antidepressant wash-out periods ('Letters' Aust Prescr 1999;22:3-4), Dr D. Grounds correctly notes that the approved product information for sertraline (Zoloft) explicitly includes reversible MAOIs in the contraindication against use concurrently or within two weeks, and that the product information for the other SSRIs available in Australia are not so explicit.

The subsequent comment from Professor Tiller errs in fact in referring to the product information for Zoloft. The present wording of the contraindication(i.e. explicitly including moclobemide as well as the type-B selective MAOI, selegiline) was adopted in the latter part of 1995 and has remained unchanged since then.

Although we acknowledge that, in many cases, failure to observe this rule has been free of adverse consequences, individual cases have been reported which support Professor Tiller's subsequent comment about 'prior good luck', and we stand by the terms of the contraindication.

M.M. Lawrie
Director, Medical Affairs
Pfizer Australia
West Ryde, N.S.W.