Would Mr Andrew Witty Care To Spare A Thought for The Seroxat Damaged?


This is an old article, it’s from 2003- but what it details is the unimaginable amount of suffering that people have been experiencing from Seroxat for over two decades now.

Mr Andrew Witty, CEO – of GlaxoSmithKline- has never once in his four year tenure at GSK- said sorry to any of these people whose lives have been destroyed or severely affected by this utterly hideous inhuman medication. 

Check out the comments on this article on the Seroxat Secrets Blog:

There are dozens of them on one post alone- all real life documented experiences of Seroxat and some posted just recently.

Many are still addicted and enslaved to Seroxat. Many are on it over 10 years or more. 

Will Mr Witty spare a thought for them? or their suffering? 


Wonder Drug Made My life Hell

Seroxat is one of the world’s biggest selling anti-depressant drugs and is marketed as being non-addictive.
But thousands of people have reported disturbing claims of dependency and withdrawal effects, as Lindsay Jennings reports.

Phil Jones says he doesn’t have an addictive personality. He has never smoked and doesn’t drink. It is partly for this reason, that, at the age of 49, he is struggling to comprehend how he has become dependent on the anti-depressant drug, Seroxat.

“I’m not even an avid tablet taker,” he says. “Even with painkillers for my neck and back, I’d rather have acupuncture and try and overcome the pain myself. But you don’t realise how addictive Seroxat is until you try to come off it. The effects are horrendous. If I’d known it was addictive I would never have taken it.”

Phil is sitting in The Northern Echo’s canteen, bravely sharing his experiences of Seroxat in the hope that others with similar experiences will come forward and join the North-East anti-depressant support group he has formed. He is also one of 4,000 people who have registered with Cardiff-based solicitors Hugh James with a view to possible joint legal action against the manufacturers of the drug, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Like those 4,000 people, Phil is keen to challenge GSK’s belief that Seroxat is non-addictive and for better research into its effects to be carried out.

Seroxat is one of a class of drugs known as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) which boost the brain’s levels of mood-improving serotonin. It is commonly prescribed for mild depression, anxiety and phobias and is the nation’s second most popular anti-depressant after Prozac. In 2001, there were 340,000 prescriptions written in Britain alone and the drug is taken by tens of millions of people across the world.

Phil was first prescribed Seroxat in February 1999, after struggling to cope with the aftermath of a road accident, two years previously. He suffered nightmares and flashbacks from the accident and eventually took voluntary redundancy from his job as a machine operator at Rothmans in Spennymoor, County Durham.

‘I would say Seroxat worked to start with,” says Phil, of Bishop Auckland. “I found my mood improved and I didn’t get as many panic attacks. I suffered from agoraphobia so it helped me deal with that. The only drawback was that I had a lot of reality dreams, which seem particularly vivid.”

But his feelings towards the drug began to change when he forgot to take one of his 30mg tablets. He noticed he would start shaking and become very short tempered. Several months later, he says he also began displaying some side effects, including muscle spasms and a tendency to become depressed easily. He decided to go “cold turkey” and stop taking the drug altogether, but he says this was the worst move he could have made.

The symptoms were similar to forgetting to take a tablet, but brought with it memory lapses and headaches. His worst symptom was the heart palpitations and a feeling that he just had to get back on the drug.

His lowest point came when he went “walkabout” and found himself sitting outside Bishop Auckland hospital one night. “I kept thinking ‘should I go inside and get some more drugs or should I go home’,” he says. “I just couldn’t make a decision so I sat out in the open air all night. No one knew where I was. My wife was so concerned she called the police. It’s difficult, I can talk about it logically now, but at the time… I just needed a bit of space by myself. I took the drug again but I felt I had lost my battle to give up the drug forever.”

A similar story is told by Simon, not his real name, who started taking Seroxat to combat work-related stress. When he stopped taking the drug four years later he developed severe mood swings, feelings of violence and suicidal tendencies.

“I was totally devoid of all human emotions. It was so frightening. I felt like a wild animal,” says the 35-year-old, who lives in Durham.
After his initial “cold turkey” spell, Simon developed his own withdrawal programme, and has gradually reduced his intake of the drug over the past year. He believes it may take another two to three months to be completely free of it.

“I’ve taken it as slowly as possible and I’ve felt a lot better in myself for reducing. I feel more motivated, more energetic and a lot sharper in my mind. Basically, more like a human being again.”

Pam Armstrong, a consultant and advisor with CITA, (Council for Involuntary Tranquilliser Addiction) says although she understands that the drug is successful, it is equally important for people to be able to get off it.

“There are ways of withdrawing, but the trouble is doctors are saying to people that it’s them (the patient) and that it’s not addictive, because that is what the drug companies say,” she says. “Many of the symptoms are physical. People get quite nauseated and some get electric shock symptoms, in the head especially.”

CITA has developed a number of withdrawal programmes with Dr David Healy, director of the North Wales Department of Psychological Medicine at the University of Wales. These include reducing Seroxat intake very slowly and using it in liquid form, which is considered gentler to the system during withdrawal. In tablet form, once down to 20mg, it can take at least another three and a half months to come off. The charity has found that switching from Seroxat to Prozac, once down to a 20mg dosage, is one of the most successful withdrawal methods.

According to Pam, a qualified nurse and counsellor, there are more problems coming off Seroxat than other anti-depressant drugs because it is short acting, working for just a few hours, compared with the longest acting anti-depressant, Prozac.

A working party with the Department of Health’s executive body, the Medicine’s Control Agency (MCA), is carrying out an intensive review into all SSRIs, in particular Seroxat. It comes after more than 1,200 complaints from doctors to the MCA about some of the drug’s effects.

Seroxat is heavily marketed and, in Britain, GlaxoSmithKline has been found to be in breach of the industry’s code of marketing practice by playing down the side effects of the drug. The complaint was brought by the consumer group Social Audit and the case, in front of the industry’s self-regulatory body, the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority, was won on appeal.

In America, where the drug is manufactured under the name Paxil, a court recently banned television advertisements of the drug which claimed it was non-habit forming. But, following a review of additional scientific evidence, the same district court overturned the decision. The class action was brought against GSK by patients seeking damages linked to withdrawal reactions from the drug.

GlaxoSmithKline maintains that the majority of the patients who use the drug are happy with it and that there is no reliable, scientific evidence that the drug is addictive. A spokesman for the company says: “Addiction involves an inappropriate pattern of drug use – typically including compulsive drug-craving and drug-seeking behaviour, and sometimes the need for markedly increased doses of the drug – that persists despite negative consequences. There is no evidence that patients experience these symptoms while on Seroxat.

“We take the reporting of adverse effects very seriously, as we do with all our medications. Fortunately, with Seroxat, we have a wealth of positive experience involving thousands of physicians and millions of patients – over ten years of experience worldwide.”

But the company does admit that “discontinuation symptoms” can occur in some people. It describes these as “generally short lived” and “mild to moderate in intensity”.

Phil, who retrained at college and works in IT for the Department for Education and Skills in Darlington, had managed to reduce his dosage slowly to 5mg a day, after almost a year. Despite recently having to increase his intake after suffering muscle spasms in his stomach and panic attacks, he says he has started withdrawing again and feels positive.

But he admits: “I don’t know if I’ll ever be free of Seroxat. To me, it was put forward as a wonder drug, but it’s not.”

* CITA can be contacted on 0151 932 0102.

97 Responses to “The hell of Seroxat withdrawal”

For Full Responses See Link :


Here is an Example of the Comments: 

  • Claire Reed Says:
    June 5, 2010 at 10:12 amPLEASE dont stop. As I write you this message I am sat looking at the only thing left I have of my twin brother…a photo. Stuart had been taking seroxat sinse he was 18 for anxiety and depression and hated having to be reliant on it to just exist in some kind of accepted normality. He tried many different ways to come off them and visited his doctor only 6 months ago to discuss again the possibility of withdrawal. The doctor commended him for holding down a job and for recognising the unnatural thoughts he was experiecing. He reminded him that he had not self harmed for the past 7 years and that seroxat was the reason for this. Stuart lost his much loved dog last october, which came as a huge shock. He was with him when they put him down and he never got over it.
    Stuart hung himself with his dogs lead 3 weeks ago. I found his last prescription of seroxat unopened. He had stopped taking them. He would have been 30 in September.
    I know its hard to be reliant on a drug to overcome the problems our minds produce, but please be careful, these things can be deadly and your life is worth so much more. Depression is the most missunderstood illness and whilst meds like seroxat can help, I agree with you that it looks like once your on them, your on them for life.
    Good luck and please take care of yourself Vikki

  •  lorraine Says:
    January 7, 2008 at 2:40 amI am a seroxat user,since 1999, for the last two years i have been dropping doseage with liquid seroxat,down to 2.5 ml . not able to drop any lower, ive tried, and ive, cried and cried, pushing the ugly overpowering thoughts of death once again, maybe for the 100th time , away from my weak self, the thoughts come from nowhere , they are just all of a sudden there, and so real, so overpowering, so easy to act upon, i know this only through experiance. I feel i am not the person i used to be and dont know if i will ever find my old self again. i long to be me again, i need to be me again you see i have a four year old son who is not living a full life and missing out on so so much because i am his full time parent and caregiver, and there is so much i cant give him , because ive lost too much of myself, physicly, emotionally, and mentally, cant think straight, cant remember things, cant make decisions, cant go out, cant wake up, dont like bright lights, loud noise, too many people talking around me sends my head into a twirll, cant have a conversation without forgeting what i am talking about, need to think about, what i shoul d be thinking about, i could go on, and on, and on. But im done in now, writing this was hard going, please excuse any mistakes with spelling. Maybe GSK’s top dogs could put a family member each on seroxat , even for a short period of time, to prove to everyone how safe it is to take, and how safe and problem free it is to STOP. Would they be happy to let a family member play russian roulette, because thats what taking seroxat is like, it might just kill you. Honestly. Or is that what they are trying to do ? goodbye for now.

     Fiona Says:
    September 12, 2008 at 12:15 amThis ghastly drug ruined my life. Today my best friend has been prescribed it. I think I have may have come across as slightly hysterical when I phoned him and begged him not to take it. If your GP prescribes this to you then find another GP. I lost 12 years of my life and my marriage to this drug. DO NOT TAKE THIS DRUG

     Annelies Says:
    February 15, 2011 at 3:38 amDear Jojo,You must realize, that these are withdrawl symptoms. I’ve been there: nearly 4 month’s of suicidle thoughts and every day sick is part of the withdrawl. I promise you, it’ll get better. I’m off Paxil for nearly 7 month’s now and I’m getting better. If you want to get of Paxil, you have to go trough hell , there’s no other way. Thank you’re MD for putting you on this very addictive poison. and his ignorance.You’ll get there and you’ll feel human again , when you keep it up.The only reason I’m still alive is, because I learned by my own research, that this is the most difficult part of withdrewing anti-depressants.

    1. Lauren Simmonds Says:
      August 4, 2012 at 5:42 pmI have been on seroxat for panic attacks and Emetophobia (servere fear of vomiting) since the age of 11, I am now 22 and have tried a number of times to come off the drug always failing as it causes withdrawal symtoms including nausea, panic, muscle spasms and makes me very emotional! I would love to come off it because of the side effects I get whilst on it including excessive sweating and lack of sex drive.
      I am extreamly angry with the people who put me on the medicine at age 11 as it has ruined my life! I would love to sue the manufactuors of the drug as it has ruined my life!
      I have swapped the drug with another SSRI 7 days ago and the past 4 days have been in bed crying, shaking, feeling sick and in pure panic! Its awful!

      • Anastacia Kostoula Says:
        August 15, 2012 at 5:32 pmHi Lauren,
        I have been on Seroxat for 3 years now, I tried to quit 2 times so far and it has been horrible! I cant believe they gave you this awful pill at the age of 11! And I cant believe I was SO stupid and in such a bad shape when I started taking it that I didnt even research a little about it first. The past week I cut down from 10mg a day to 5mg and Im going through hell….I feel extremely dizzy all the time, nauseous, sweating palms and feet, trembling…and of course even though everything else in my life is going great….feeling like this all week makes me more and more angry, depressed and panicky.. I would love to sue them too but right now I cant even take my dog for a walk without feeling like Im gonna faint, throw up and have a panic attack at the same time!
        Hope you feel better by the time you read this…

      1. seham Says:
        February 19, 2013 at 6:36 pmI’ve gradually stopped seroxat since 3 days. I feel the withdrawal symptoms mentioned above.

      2. derek marsh Says:
        February 22, 2013 at 9:04 pmi am really pissed off reading all the posts i am a sufferer too my email is dswampymarsh@hotmail.com i need help and can help others please contact me , derek


GlaxoSmithKline pays chief executive £4m despite mis-selling fine




GSK had to pay $3bn to settle claims it tricked and bribed doctors into prescribing dangerous antidepressants to children 

Andrew Witty

GSK said Andrew Witty could collect total pay of £10.6m next year. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian

GlaxoSmithKline paid its chief executive, Andrew Witty, almost £4m last year, despite the company paying out a $3bn (£1.9bn) fine to settle claims that it tricked and bribed doctors into prescribing dangerous antidepressants to children.

The drug company also boosted the value of Witty’s pension pot to £13.7m, and will allow him to collect a further bonus of £452,000 if he hits targets.

Witty’s total pay of £3.9m, which included a cash bonus of £905,000 and share bonuses worth £1.8m, was 42% less than the £6.8m he picked up last year. Tom de Swaan, the chair of GSK’s remuneration committee, said Witty’s reduced pay “reflected a very challenging operating environment”.

A spokesman said: “Executive pay is based on stretching performance targets and awards in 2012 reflected these. Total pay fell by almost half compared to 2011 due to the difficult trading environment the group faced, particularly in Europe where governments implemented austerity measures.”

The $3bn fine was over allegations GSK mis-sold drugs and gave doctors trips to Bermuda if they agreed to write extra prescriptions. Glaxo said: “The fine related to settling matters from the past, before Andrew was CEO. The board was supportive of efforts to resolve this litigation to enable the group to move on.”

GSK said Witty could collect total pay of £10.6m next year.

Seroxat Sufferers New Post : Glaxo: Beagles, Blacks and Hispanics


Glaxo: Beagles, Blacks and Hispanics

This post was going to solely focus on Glaxo’s involvement in the AIDS-related drug tests on parentless children in a home for kids with HIV, known as the Incarnation trials.

Sadly, news has just broke of yet more shenanigans by Glaxo, this time from their Verona HQ in Italy.

Glaxo, it appears, have been accused of holding 32 beagle dogs against their will, something which they claim “has no basis in fact” on their Facebook page. [1]

I’ll write about the beagles first then move on to the Incarnation trials.

Browndog is an organisation set up to end all experiments on dogs in the UK. I recently joined their Facebook page as news is filtering through that protesters have gathered outside Glaxo’s HQ in Verona, Italy. It’s alleged that Glaxo hold 32 beagles for experimentation.

This from the Glaxo Facebook page:

However, Browndog, seem to think otherwise and have posted a recent photo from outside the Verona plant. [2]

Glaxo have also responded to a comment claiming that they don’t do tests/experiments on Beagles anymore, in fact, they go as far to say that, “Aptuit acquired the Verona research centre from GSK in 2010.” [3] They even included a link to back up their claim.


Whatever the case may be, Glaxo’s Facebook page has been inundated with messages of protests by dog lovers far and wide. It’s easy to see why there is such a hoo-har given that beagles are a much loved breed of dog. Here’s one undergoing some sort of test [4]


Glaxo are no strangers to controversy, in fact this whole post was going to re-hash a story from some time ago but I had to get in the breaking beagle news, if only to play a small part in their release from either Glaxo or Aptuit. In fact, if it transpires that Glaxo have nothing to hide then the title of this post may be changed from, ‘Glaxo: Beagles, Blacks and Hispanics’ simply to ‘Glaxo: Blacks and Hispanics’

Glaxo and the Incarnation trials

So, what exactly were the Incarnation trials and how are GlaxoSmithKline linked?

Well, at the time of the breaking news Glaxo were, through various media releases, named as one of the sponsors in a pretty shameful trial going on at the Incarnation Children’s Center [ICC] in New York.

In 2004,  Liam Scheff, an investigative reporter, had gained access to information that foster children at ICC had been subjected to experimental AIDS drug trials. Scheff learned that children were removed from their guardians who had refused to give those they had adopted drugs that were making the children sick. He also learned that children who could not tolerate swallowing the drugs were coerced [forced] to have plastic tubes surgically inserted in their stomachs to ensure that the drugs were administered.

Two days ago I finally managed to track down the BBC documentary, “Guinea Pig Kids”, first broadcast on BBC television on Tuesday, 30 November, 2004. The half-hour long documentary, made by Liam Scheff, is harrowing viewing. I’ve provided the documentary in its entirety at the foot of this post.

If you are looking for an all out attack on Glaxo you’ll be disappointed. In fact they are only briefly mentioned. This from the narrator of Guinea Pig Kids, Amanda St John:

In a mass grave owned by the Roman Catholic Church close to Manhattan, over a thousand children’s bodies, including some who were enrolled in the trials, lie beneath a tarpaulin. Officially their deaths are recorded only as resulting from ‘natural causes’.

For months, we tried to get answers from those behind the trials – from Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, where many of the tests were devised. From Incarnation Children’s Centre. From the Catholic Church. And from the ACS; the authority ultimately responsible. None would comment.

The drug companies which have supported trials at Incarnation include some of the world’s largest. Among them Britain’s own GlaxoSmithKline.

They also refused to be interviewed for this program saying only that all trials have stringent standards and are in compliance with local laws and regulations.

You have to watch the documentary to see exactly what Glaxo are suggesting “are in compliance with local laws and regulations.” It’s pretty grim viewing.

Pay particular attention to what Jacklyn Hoerger has to say. Hoerger was a pediatric nurse who worked at Incarnation for five years.

If they were vomiting, if they lost their ability to walk, if they were having diarrhea  if they were dying; that all of this was because of their HIV infection and to be expected and that we were doing the best we could to save them from that.

It didn’t come as my first thought at all to question the medication and since I had worked with pediatric AIDS for many years and had given the medication, I just faithfully gave it as I was told by the doctors.

Guinea Pig Kids also features a 15 year old boy who relives the experience of his time at the Incarnation Children’s Center:

My friend, Jolice, she never, never ever liked to take her medicine. So they used to hold her down and force it down her throat. I tell her every single day, ‘please take your medicine; you don’t want a tube in your stomach’. But she didn’t listen to me. That’s what she got. And my friend Daniel, he didn’t like to take his medicine either and he got a tube in his stomach.

The Guardian newspaper broke the story in the UK, they wrote:

Orphans and babies as young as three months old have been used as guinea pigs in potentially dangerous medical experiments sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, an Observer investigation has revealed.

British drug giant GlaxoSmithKline is embroiled in the scandal. The firm sponsored experiments on the children from Incarnation Children’s Centre, a New York care home that specialises in treating HIV sufferers and is run by Catholic charities.

The documentary, as you will learn, highlights how the drugs were being used on the kids just to test the ‘toxicity’ of Aids medications, one of which was Glaxo’s AZT [also known as Zidovudine]

As far as I’m aware Glaxo have never been brought to task about their involvement in these trials. It begs the question, why?

Be they beagles, black or hispanic children, GlaxoSmithKline have a lot of unveiling if they are to be true to their word of clinical trial transparency.

Glaxo’s major shareholders include, Dodge & Cox Stock,  Royal Bank Of Canada, Invesco Advisers, Inc, Bank of New York Mellon Corp and Wells Fargo Bank NA.

Glaxo have also recently formed a partnership with F1 racing group, McLaren. Everybody’s hero, Jensen Button, is supporting the GSK initiative. If only he knew…

Here’s Guinea Pig Kids.

Bob Fiddaman

Remembering Glaxo’s Controversial Vaccine Trials on Irish Orphans


Controversy over vaccine trial files

By Claire O’Sullivan and Conall O’Fatharta

January 24, 2011

PARTICIPANTS in controversial vaccine trials in mother-and-baby homes have been told by the Department of Health that it can’t give them their medical files or any trial documentation as it is legally bound to return the files to the drugs company.

The files are in the hands of the Laffoy Commission on Child Abuse, which was forced to halt its vaccine trials investigation following a 2002 court case.

Last night, Brenda McVeigh of the commission confirmed that they were “undertaking an examination of all documentation that they have and cataloguing it”. She said no files have yet been returned to Glaxo SmithKline.

A letter from the Department of Health to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health and Children, seen by the Irish Examiner, states that the department cannot hand over the documentation to the committee or to participants as legally “it is not possible for that material to be used for any other purpose” other than Laffoy Commission investigations.

“In the circumstances, I understand from the commission that they will be returning all documentation to the source that originally provided it”, the letter read.

The vaccine trials will be discussed by the Joint Committee in private tomorrow.

One of its members, Labour’s Kathleen Lynch, last night said the files have to be handed to the people used in the trials, irrespective of recent court rulings.

“I firmly believe the files must be given to victims as a human right. But until they are handed over and until this is finalised, they must be protected and must not be destroyed by any body or any company,” she said.

Up to 211 children were given the test vaccines in Ireland in the 1960s and 1970s. Now adults, the participants say the drugs were given without parental consent and they have spent years trying to access their medical files and pharmaceutical information from that time.

They are also seeking previously unseen files obtained by the Laffoy Commission from medical companies.

The Laffoy Commission was investigating vaccine trials between 1940 and 1987 as part of a separate module. However, the commission’s investigation was brought to a sudden halt after court action taken by the doctors involved in the trials.

Last September, after it emerged that a woman now living in the US was seeking to sue the Sacred Heart Order and Glaxo SmithKline about the administration of the vaccines, the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health and Children decided to revisit the vaccine trials issue.

The committee wrote to Glaxo SmithKline seeking information on the trials. The company said the documentation contained sensitive personal information and they wouldn’t hand it over without judicial order.

This appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Monday, January 24, 2011

Remembering Why I Blog About Seroxat


  • The Guardian, Saturday 27 July 2002 02.05 BST
  • Antidepressant Seroxat tops table of drug withdrawal symptoms

Seroxat, the British-made antidepressant which outsells Prozac, causes more people distressing withdrawal problems when they try to stop taking it than any other drug in the UK.The committee on the safety of medicines, which receives reports of drug side-effects from doctors and pharmacists, has received an avalanche of complaints about Seroxat, one of the class of drugs known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). The SSRIs, including Prozac, have always been marketed as safe medicines which are supposed not to cause the dependence problems that emerged with older drugs such as Valium and Ativan.Seroxat – known generically as paroxetine – leads the top 20 table of drugs causing withdrawal problems, with 1,281 complaints from doctors under the “yellow card” scheme set up for the reporting of medicines’ side-effects. More reports have been filed about Seroxat than about the rest of the top 20 put together. In the top six, five of the drugs said to be causing withdrawal problems are SSRIs – second after Seroxat comes Efexor (venlafaxine), with 272 complaints.The figures were obtained from the medicines control agency, the regulatory authority which takes advice from the CSM, by the campaigning group Social Audit.

Charles Medawar of Social Audit has complained to the MCA and the CSM about the patient information leaflet supplied with Seroxat which he says is misleading and wrong. “These tablets are not addictive,” the leaflet states, adding that the withdrawal problems some patients experience “are not common and are not a sign of addiction”.

However, many people in the UK have consulted lawyers over the unexpected problems the drug caused them when they wanted to stop taking it. Mr Medawar drew to the MCA’s attention the hundreds of postings on the group’s website from people who have suffered and continue to suffer distressing symptoms as a result of trying to give up Seroxat. They complain of sensations that feel like electric shocks in the head, dizziness, mood swings, upset stomachs and unpleasantly vivid dreams, all of which are only alleviated by going back on the drug.

“I’ve been on Seroxat for about 10 years,” wrote one woman in January, “and have tried to come off them on many occasions, only to find myself back to my original dose of 30mg because of the horrible withdrawals … I was assured when talked into taking anti-depressants in the first place (that they) were one of the mildest and non addictive so-called ‘wonder-drugs’ in modern psychiatry!”

The SSRIs are commonly prescribed by GPs – not psychiatrists – to people who consult them with mild depression and sometimes other conditions, such as ME, anxiety and phobias.

Mr Medawar points out that the GPs are not warned of the withdrawal problems the drug can cause and often think the symptoms their patient suffers when stopping the medicine are just a return of their original ailment.

In a letter to Keith Jones, director of the MCA, he said that “the categorical and repeated assurance that Seroxat/paroxetine is not addictive seems to me completely unwarranted and highly likely to mislead and confuse patients and doctors alike. My view is that the MCA and CSM have failed the public and continue to fail the public – a gross dereliction of duty and responsibility to users, I would say”.

In its response, the MCA acknowledges that the UK yellow card data shows a similar pattern to that of the World Health Organisation adverse drug reaction monitoring centre in Uppsala, Sweden, which put paroxetine at the top of the list and venlafaxine second in a table of withdrawal problems.

June Raine, who has responsibility at the MCA for the safety of licensed medicines, gave a clear indication that the agency may break with tradition and take into account complaints that come from patients as well as those from doctors and pharmacists.

SSRI-STORIES.COM : Media Articles on SSRI suicides, murders, violence etc

From Alex Jones:

Uploaded on Feb 2, 2011

Betty Henderson is the webmaster of SSRI Stories: Antidepressant Nightmares, a site that documents the adverse side effects of antidepressants.
We westerners have been turned into a spoiled, child-like culture, where you’re supposed to run away from sadness and melancholy, or anything else that is “negative”, for that matter. Basically, everything that actually makes you face yourself or the world, and subsequently grow as a person.
That’s where most people get hooked on antidepressants, and other drugs, legal or illegal. When you go down that path, you never cope and deal with your problems. You never grow from the experience. What’s more, you’re generally poisoned, frequently hooked on the substance. Not a good deal to make.
Before getting into these artificial options, try to develop a head-on, resilient attitude about things. It’s not always easy to do, but persistence pays, and sooner or later it works. Exercise, good nutrition, going out to nature, even getting some (real) therapy, also fit the bill.

Seroxat Survivor Voices: “Anecdotal Evidence?”

Or just a dose of a terrifying reality of Seroxat hell for Seroxat Users? 

There are literally tens of thousands of personal Seroxat (Paxil) horror stories all over the internet in forums, videos, blogs and petitions. This drug- Seroxat- has ruined the quality of life for an unimaginable number of people since it was first approved in 1991. GSK , and their psychiatric puppets, will tell you that any negative drug experience is ‘anecdotal’. In other words- they say patient experiences of their drugs are ‘invalid’ and not credible evidence of harm.

This is bullshit.

These are real people, suffering painful (and sometimes fatal) experiences because of a drug- Seroxat- which should never ever have been licensed for public consumption. It should have been banned a long long time ago and it is a total disgrace how vulnerable people- such as those suffering from depression and anxiety- were prescribed a drug which made their symptoms worse, and in some cases caused them to kill themselves and harm others.

For more ‘anecdotal’ proof of the dangers of Seroxat/Paxil, see these links:





“…I come off Seroxat a year ago. Until then and before then I never suffered with these problems. I am in supported housing with other people with mental health problems, so I have 24/7 help here.When I come off seroxat last year, I began to suffer with terror. Not panic attacks, it was terror. I was so agitated and suicidal. It was hell on earth for a few months until I was sectioned into hospital. I was put on a lot of medications below. The general terror started to die down. But I have never forgot that feeling. Now. I have these feelings of terror and panic, and whenever I get them I want to kill myself.

I am not sure whether it is the fear or not wanting to keep feeling this terror. I don’t want to die, I do not want to kill myself. I just don’t see any other way out, and as soon as I panic I feel suicidal.As I am going through this, I see no end to this feeling and fear I will feel like this the rest of my life, which then in turn makes me feel suicidal and desperate. It is the most awful feeling I have ever endured. 

I have suffered most of my life with panic attacks. I know what they are. I have had the normal ones of thinking I am dying, or panicking in situations. What I am having now for the past year is not a normal panic attack. I don’t fear I am dying, I actually want to die. I always go seek help as soon as I get this feeling, because I want to live and be happy.I just wonder if this is a result of 12 years on seroxat and my brain can’t deal without it.

I will never touch that drug again. It has killed the person I once was. I have had to re learn everything again.

My emotions were numbed. Now I am off it, I am starting to remember traumatic times in my life, which at the time went over my head and I was devoid of any emotion towards sad events. It’s like the plaster has now been ripped off of my entire life.I have been diagnosed with BPD and possible Bipolar, which I did not have before or during my time on seroxat, nor did I have any of these symptoms. No doctor can tell me what is causing these suicidal panics and no one understands them or what they are, because they are no “typical” of panic attacks. Anyone know what I am talking about? What is this and how do you cope with it?….”

New American : Psychiatric Meds: Prescription for Murder?

Psychiatric Meds: Prescription for Murder?

Written by  

  • Psychiatric Meds: Prescription for Murder?

In a frenzied cry for gun-control, the media is rife with details about the firearms Adam Lanza used to kill 20 children and six adults before turning a handgun on himself at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012. But information about Lanza’s medical history is scarce, feeding speculation that he may fit the profile of school shooters under the influence of psychotherapeutic medication.

“In virtually every mass school shooting during the past 15 years, the shooter has been on or in withdrawal from psychiatric drugs,” observed Lawrence Hunter of the Social Security Institute. “Yet, federal and state governments continue to ignore the connection between psychiatric drugs and murderous violence, preferring instead to exploit these tragedies in an oppressive and unconstitutional power grab to snatch guns away from innocent, law-abiding people who are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution the right to own and bear arms to deter government tyranny and to use firearms in self defense against any miscreant who would do them harm.”

There is a striking connection between school shootings and psychotherapeutic drugs, also known as psychotropics. Consider these examples:

• Toby Sincino, a 15-year-old who shot two teachers and himself in 1995 at his South Carolina school, was taking the antidepressant Zoloft.

• Kip Kinkel, an Oregon teen who murdered his parents and proceeded on a shooting rampage at his high school in 1998, killed two and wounded 25 while in Prozac withdrawal.

• Shawn Cooper fired two shotgun rounds in 1999 at his Idaho high school while on an antidepressant.

• T.J. Solomon, Jr. was 15 years old when he shot six classmates in Atlanta in 1999. He was taking Ritalin and was also being treated for depression.

• Eric Harris was one of the assailants at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999. His autopsy revealed a therapeutic level of the antidepressant Luvox in his system.

• Jason Hoffman wounded five people with a shotgun at his California high school in 2001 while on two antidepressant medications, Celexa and Effexor.

• Jeffrey Weise, a student at Red Lake High School in Minnesota, killed 10 and wounded seven in 2005 while on Prozac.

• Matti Saari, a college student in Finland, shot and killed 10 people before committing suicide at his university in 2008. The Finnish Ministry of Justice later reported he was taking an antidepressant and an anti-anxiety medication.

• Steve Kazmierczak killed six including himself at Northern Illinois University in 2008 while in withdrawal from the antidepressant Prozac.

• Tim Kretschmer murdered 15 students and teachers at his secondary school in Germany in 2009, and then committed suicide. Police reported Kretschmer was taking prescriptions to treat depression.

A 2002 Fox News interview with Cory Baadsgaard sheds some light on the possible mental state of these criminals. The year before, at age 16, Baadsgaard held a high-school class hostage at gunpoint in Washington state. Fortunately, no one was killed or physically hurt during the incident. The young man remembers the day in this way: “In the morning I didn’t feel like going to school. I felt sick; didn’t feel like I could get up very well. So I went back to bed. And the next thing I remember I’m in juvie in the detention center where I used to live.” Baadsgaard says he has no memory of the incident. He was tried as an adult but spent only 14 months in prison because expert psychiatric testimony convinced the jury his crime was the result of adverse reactions the antidepressants Effexor and Paxil.

Despite the abundance of such evidence and a glut of scientific studies proving real danger, “there has yet to be a federal investigation on the link between psychiatric drugs and acts of senseless violence,” according to the Citizens Commission on Human Rights International (CCHRI), a non-profit mental health watchdog group. CCHRI states that government officials are well aware of the connection. “Between 2004 and 2011, there have been over 11,000 reports to the U.S. FDA’s MedWatch system of psychiatric drug side effects related to violence,” including 300 homicides. The FDA estimates this total is less than 10 percent of the actual number of incidents since most go unreported.

However, there has been little government action at all, with one exception. Due to the “large body of scientific research establishing a connection between violence and suicide and the use of psychotropic drugs,” the New York State Senate introduced a bill in 2000 to “require police to report to the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), certain crimes and suicides committed by persons using psychotropic drugs.” The bill died in committee, and the issue remains unresolved.

Instead, in response to the Sandy Hook tragedy and ignoring the obvious, Senator Toni Nathaniel Harp and Representative Toni E. Walker, both Democrats of the Connecticut General Assembly, introduced Bill 374, “requiring behavioral health assessments for children,” mandating psychiatric testing for public school students in grades 6, 8, 10, and 12 and for homeschooled children at ages 12, 14, and 17. The assessments would have to be reported to the State Board of Education, and there is great likelihood that more children would end up on psychiatric meds after such tests.

There is also plenty of official agitation for gun control. Hunter suggests instead, “It is pharmaceutical makers, not law-abiding gun owners or gun manufacturers, who should be held to account for the series of ‘lone-wolf’ mass shootings that have occurred since the widespread use of psychiatric drugs began.”

Drugs on the Firing Line

Antidepressants are psychiatric drugs that form a common thread in school shootings. There are five categories of anti depressants: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI), tricyclic antidepressants (TCA), and atypical antidepressants. Despite the moniker, doctors prescribe these medicines for much more than depression. They use them to treat such ailments as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bipolar disorder, bulimia nervosa, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder (SAD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Other suspect medications, such as Ritalin, Adderal, and Concerta, are sympathomimetic amines, prescribed to treat ADHD.

These medicines act on the body’s nervous system — altering its chemical communication pathways to affect areas of the brain involved in judgment, abstract reasoning, memory, emotions, and the fight-or-flight response — explains Michelle Morrison-Valfre, MHS, FNP in her 2005 book, Foundations of Mental Health Care. The expected result is a calm mood and clear thinking. However, in some cases unexpected results occur.

The Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR), an authoritative source of all FDA-approved drug labeling information, identifies the potential hazardous side effects of psychotherapeutics, including suicidal and homicidal ideation. Unfortunately, such effects are not uncommon. In fact, when taking a particular medication poses serious risks, the FDA requires drug manufacturers to highlight the dangers in eye-catching boxes on pharmaceutical packaging. A drug’s “black box warning” alerts consumers to the major hazards they face when taking that medicine. Most prescriptions do not have black box warnings — only those that can cause extreme adverse reactions compared to the potential benefit. Among psychotherapeutics’ black box warnings are:

• “Increased risk of suicidal ideation in short-term studies in children and adolescents with ADHD.” (Strattera, SNRI)

• “Antidepressants increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in short-term studies in children, adolescents and young adults with major depressive disorder and other psychiatric disorders.” (Zoloft, SSRI)

• “Monitor appropriately and observe closely for clinical worsening, suicidality or unusual changes in behavior for all patients who are started on antidepressant therapy.” (Parnate, MAOI)

• “High potential for abuse; avoid prolonged use. Misuse of amphetamine may cause sudden death and serious cardiovascular events.” (Adderal, sympathomimetic amine)

Additionally, all depression and ADHD therapies contain FDA-mandated warnings for caregivers to monitor for suicidal thinking, worsening of depression symptoms, and unusual changes in behavior. Patients taking the tricyclic Elavil are cautioned to “seek medical attention for symptoms of mania, increasing psychosis or paranoia.” Literature warns parents of children on Ritalin that “stimulants at usual doses can cause treatment emergent psychotic or manic symptoms (hallucinations, delusional thinking, mania) in children and adolescents without prior history of psychotic illness.” (Emphasis added.) The PDR also reports clinical trials have identified aggressive behavior and hostility as notable side effects of ADHD medications.

The advent of these drugs coincides disturbingly with a rise in the adolescent suicide rate. Ritalin was introduced in 1956. Antidepressants made their debut in the early 1960s, according to Morrison-Valfre, who noted elsewhere in her text that statistics from the U.S. Bureau of the Census reveal, “from 1960 to 2000 the rate of adolescent suicide more than doubled.” This may be coincidental, but it is unnerving in light of these drugs’ well-known adverse effects.

One thing, however, is certain. Prior to the advent of antidepressants, there was little relation between depression and violent behavior. “One of the things in the past that we’ve known about depression is that it very, very rarely leads to violence,” observed psychiatrist Peter Breggin in a Fox News report. “It’s only been since the advent of these new SSRI drugs that we have murderers, sometimes even mass murderers, taking antidepressant drugs.”

Dr. Breggin is an expert in the mental health field and an outspoken critic of psychiatric drug overuse. Among his more than 20 books on the topic is Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry (2008), in which he recounts a significant clinical trial involving children taking Prozac. Fourteen percent of the study’s subjects became aggressive and even violent on the drug, but the experience of a 12-year-old boy is particularly disturbing. Quoting the study, Breggin writes:

Thirty-eight days after beginning the protocol, F. experienced a violent nightmare about killing his classmates until he himself was shot. He awakened from it only with difficulty, and the dream continued to feel “very real.” He reported having had several days of increasingly vivid “bad dreams” before this episode; these included images of killing himself and his parents dying. When he was seen later that day he was agitated and anxious, refused to go to school, and reported marked suicidal ideation that made him feel unsafe at home as well.

Breggin notes the boy cannot be labeled a copycat since the study was conducted in 1991, long before the highly publicized school shootings of more recent years. Once the child stopped taking Prozac, his symptoms disappeared.

The Drug Pushers

Instead of investigating psychiatric drugs’ connection to acts of mass violence, public policymakers and healthcare professionals actually promote the use of psychotropic drugs by children and adolescents. The New York Review of Books published a June 2011 review by Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine, called “The Epidemic of Mental Illness: Why?” She summed up the problem saying:

The tally of those who are so disabled by mental disorders that they qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) increased nearly two and a half times between 1987 and 2007 — from one in 184 Americans to one in seventy-six. For children, the rise is even more startling — a thirty-five-fold increase in the same two decades. Mental illness is now the leading cause of disability in children, well ahead of physical disabilities like cerebral palsy or Down syndrome, for which the federal programs were created.

Angell relates that psychiatric treatment shifted from “talk therapy” to drug therapy in the 1950s when doctors noticed new drugs meant to treat infections also “blunted disturbing mental symptoms” by affecting the levels of certain chemicals in the brain. Out of that observation was born the theory that mental illness is a result of chemical imbalances. “Thus, instead of developing a drug to treat an abnormality, an abnormality was postulated to fit a drug,” observed Angell. “That was a great leap in logic.” She noted that subsequent studies have proven such chemical imbalances do not in fact exist in patients diagnosed with psychiatric disorders such as depression. It is only after a person takes a psychiatric medication that the brain begins to function abnormally.

Moreover, diagnosing mental illness is largely a subjective endeavor, unlike other fields of medicine that rely on objective lab data or scans and x-rays for diagnosis. So says psychiatrist Daniel Carlat in his 2010 book Unhinged: The Trouble With Psychiatry — A Doctor’s Revelations About a Profession in Crisis. “Our diagnoses are subjective and expandable, and we have few rational reasons for choosing one treatment over another,” admits Carlat.

Eager to exploit the benefits of the chemical theory and aware of the “subjective and expandable” nature of diagnosing mental illness, drug companies vigorously subsidize the psychiatric profession. In his 2010 exposé Anatomy of an Epidemic, Robert Whitaker notes that besides the gifts and fringe benefits given directly to psychiatrists, especially those at influential academic centers, drug companies generously support psychiatric associations, patient advocacy groups, and educational organizations. They fund around one-fifth of the budget of the American Psychiatric Association. In the first quarter of 2009 alone, pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly donated more than $1.2 million to mental health non-profits.

Angell goes on to explain how drug companies peddle their wares. In order to have a drug approved, pharmaceutical manufacturers must submit to the FDA two clinical trials proving a product more effective than a placebo. Drug companies can perform as many trials as they wish in order to achieve the two successful tests they need. Positive studies are highly publicized while the negative are suppressed. In a review of tests for the six most widely used antidepressants between 1987 and 1999 — Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Serzone, and Effexor — Angell reported, “Most of them were negatives. Overall, placebos were 82 percent as effective as the drugs.… The average difference between drug and placebo … was clinically meaningless.”

Convinced by positive reports of the drugs’ benefits, doctors prescribe them liberally. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention divulged in 2011 that 11 percent of Americans age 12 years and over take antidepressant medication. CDC statistics also revealed a 400-percent increase in the rate of antidepressant use in the United States between 1988 and 2008. As of 2008, antidepressants were the most frequently used drug by persons aged 18-44 years.

The problem is not confined to the United States. Last year the Guardian reported prescriptions for Ritalin in the U.K. quad rupled from 2000 to 2010, and between 2006 and 2010 the United States witnessed an 83-percent increase in sales. The U.K.’s Association of Educational Psychologists complains that physicians are ignoring the professional union’s recommendation not to prescribe ADHD medication to most children under age six. “We need to show young people how to deal with the normal stresses and strains of growing up,” argues Member of Parliament Tessa Munt. “Resorting to powerful drugs only stores up trouble for the future.”

The University of Utah’s Genetic Science Learning Center says that Ritalin is currently prescribed to approximately six million people in the United States, of which 75 percent are children. Its data also confirm between 30 and 50 percent of adolescents in drug treatment centers report abusing Ritalin. And because of the medication’s similarity to cocaine, once these teens reach adulthood they are more prone to cocaine addiction.

Angell acknowledges the long-term effects of psychiatric drugs have yet to be proven. But she quotes several psychiatric researchers, including a former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, who contend that by upsetting normal brain chemistry, these medications cause brain cells to become desensitized to or overcompensate for the disturbances the drugs cause. In other words, the drugs can trigger chemical imbalance where none existed in the first place, hence the emergence of adverse effects like mania and suicidal/homicidal ideation, especially when a psychotropic drug is first started or stopped. Other research shows a relation between these drugs and brain atrophy, an often irreparable decrease in the size and number of brain cells.

The Connecticut Case

Fox News reported, after an initial search of Lanza’s home, investigators found no indication the 20-year-old was taking prescriptions. Other evidence suggests he was. Louise Tambascio, a friend of Lanza’s mother, told CBS News’ Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes, “I know he was on medication and everything.” ABC News also interviewed Tambascio, who repeated, “I knew he was on medication.”

Connecticut’s chief medical examiner, H. Wayne Carver II, is currently conducting toxicology exams to determine if Lanza was using any behavior-modifying drugs. Many think it likely. Days after the Sandy Hook massacre, standing outside Lanza’s home, CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta commented, “What medications was he on? I’m specifically talking about antidepressants. If you look at the studies of other shootings like this that have happened, medications like this were a common factor.” In a December 16 Fox News interview, former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge also warned of the undeniable link between youth violence and psychiatric drugs.

Most media choose to ignore such warnings and even downplay the obvious. The Associated Press published a January 11 report entitled, “Connecticut shooting: Medical examiner says gunman’s body won’t reveal much.” It claims that “Connecticut’s chief medical examiner says he doubts toxicological tests and genetic analysis of the body of the gunman who fatally shot 20 children and six educators at an elementary school will explain his actions.” In a glaring contradiction the same article later notes, “The toxicology exam, which could take several weeks, involves testing body fluids for psychiatric medications or illegal substances. Carver said the result could provide ‘potentially valuable information’ in creating a full picture of Lanza.”

Meanwhile, government officials and anti-gun activists continue to use the tragedy in the Constitution State to deprive Americans of the constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Whether Adam Lanza’s toxicology tests reveal psychiatric medications were involved in his rampage is not likely to deter their frenzied zeal.


Remembering GSK’s Myodil Again: “This has been going on for years and years”

60, 000 people affected by a GSK product, Myodil, and GSK do nothing for their suffering!

100, 000 excess heart attacks in the US alone because of GSK’s Avandia, and GSK do nothing to help these people and their families. At least in the US- there is some chance of legal success- in the UK- GSK do everything in their power to squash claims against them…

Hundreds of thousands of lives ruined from Seroxat/Paxil, and in the UK, at least- nothing is done to bring GSK to book over these grave abuses of human rights. We are talking about dead children here! Due to Seroxat’s suicidal side effects! That could be anyone’s son, daughter, child, sister, brother!

GSK… Once again… You are an utter disgrace to humanity.

Your Motto of “Do more, feel better and live longer” must be a sick bloody joke!

Shame on you..


Answers may give some rest

March 3, 2013
  • Read later
Joern Hagemann showing the xray where an oil-based contrast media used in myelography called Myodil.Joern Hagemann showing the xray where an oil-based contrast media used in myelography called Myodil. Photo: Jay Cronan

THE simplest movements – walking, sitting and even lying down – cause Joern Hagemann extreme pain. In 1978 his spine was injected with Myodil after a construction accident. But the dye used in X-ray procedures has been linked to adhesive arachnoiditis, a deteriorating and debilitating condition that leaves sufferers crippled with terrible pain, paralysed and incontinent.

Mr Hagemann considers himself lucky. He is able to walk around his Spence home with the help of his wife, Ursula, and a cane. He does not want pity, he wants answers. Why the oil-based ink was considered safe for internal use when doctors were warned to be careful about spilling it as it corroded rubber; and why it was used until 1987.

He said the February findings of a round table on adhesive arachnoiditis by the standing committee on health and ageing left many questions unanswered.

The committee’s first recommendation was for GlaxoSmithKline, the company that marketed the product for 42 years, to consider establishing a charitable foundation to assist the sufferers of adhesive arachnoiditis.


”I want it investigated further. I tried through the round table but they sugar-coated it,” Mr Hagemann said.

”I wanted the government to finally sort out what’s going on with the drug company. That’s not asking much when there are more than 60,000 people involved.”

He said a suggestion to start a charitable foundation was not enough for a dark incident in Australian medical care that Throsby MP Jennie George called a ”conspiracy of silence”.

”We were never told it was dangerous. We were never asked if we wanted it. This is the whole point.”

In a statement a spokeswoman from GlaxoSmithKline said the company acted responsibly in relation to the supply of Myodil.

”We are currently considering the information within the report, including recommendation one, which encourages GSK to establish a charitable foundation to assist sufferers of adhesive arachnoiditis,” she said.

But Mr Hagemann wants a real investigation.

”This has been going on for years and years and years.”

Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/answers-may-give-some-rest-20130302-2fdlg.html#ixzz2NpMeLxQe

Seroxat Induced Violence: Alcohol-Seroxat and Aggression


Man attacked terrified party guest with sword after mixing alcohol and medication

Christopher Rankin (38) had just finished a bottle of vodka and retired for the night when he reappeared with the weapon. He attacked one of his female guests with the sword before pushing her through the door.

The woman has since forgiven Rankin and was in court to support him. Rankin’s defence counsel said his behaviour was a result of mixing the alcohol and the anti-depressant medication, Seroxat.

Judge Martin Nolan accepted this and said he believed the incident was a “one-off” and out of character for Rankin. He imposed a two and a half year term which he suspended in full.

Rankin of Rathdrum Road, Crumlin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to Sharon Whelan and production of a weapon at his home on August 28, 2010.

Garda Mark Nolan told prosecuting counsel Kerida Naidoo BL that Ms Whelan went to a party in Rankin’s home. At 3am they ran out of alcohol and Rankin left, returning shortly after with a bottle of vodka. He drank most of the bottle himself before saying he was going to bed.

A short time later he re-entered the living room swinging a blunt-edged sword. Witnesses said he was acting like a “lunatic” and swinging the blade around randomly. He attacked Ms Whelan and hit her repeatedly with the sword, inflicting several cuts and bruises.

As guests were trying to retrain him, Rankin pushed Ms Whelan through the glass door causing more cuts to her arms. Gda Nolan quickly arrived on the scene and wrestled the sword away from Rankin, who was covered in blood from cutting himself on the glass.

Gardai pepper sprayed him before bringing him to hospital. Several of the gardai also had to go to hospital because of their contact with the blood.

Gda Nolan said Ms Whelan refused to fill out a victim impact report and is again friends with Rankin.

Defence counsel Shane Costelloe BL said Rankin was acting normally up until the incident. He said he was taking Seroxat and that there is evidence that this can have violent effects when combined with alcohol.

Mr Costelloe asked Judge Nolan to impose a suspended sentence on Rankin. He said this would keep him out of trouble by “leaving a large sword of Damocles hanging over him.”

“Excuse the pun,” counsel added.