It’s very easy to get confused when you read about the mechanisms of SSRI drugs, particularly when they involve clinical trial language and all the scientific jargon that comes with that. Dr David Healy’s recent post, on his blog, about Seroxat (Paroxetine) in youth was quite difficult for me to digest, however luckily Laurie Oakley explained it in quite simple terms.
Healy’s post was about the ‘continuation phase’ of a trial of Seroxat from GSK’s notorious 329 study.
According to Healy (in his post – see here):
“...All the fuss about Study 329 centers on its 8 week acute phase.
But this study had a 24 week Continuation Phase that has never been published.
Laurie explains the post in simple terms, and also why it is so important in the story of Seroxat, she said:
“..Looks to me like the continuation phase didn’t produce a desirable outcome, even if they tweaked it, and seemed to result in negative information about the drug’s longer-term potential. In the absence of a positive outcome the study results were put away while the idea of long-term prescribing was promoted anyway.
JAACAP, who published and will not retract the acute phase of the study (which sucked but researchers portrayed the drug positively), will not publish the continuation phase of the study submitted by the RIAT team (a study which should have been paid attention to by the original reseachers and this is why it needed to be published)…”
It seems to me, that Seroxat has never been adequately studied for long term damage.If GSK’s own trial (illustrated above) shows harms in its 24 week continuation study- what harm is done after a year or more?
Effectively, those still ingesting it after, 5, 10, 15, or even 20 years- are GSK’s guinea pigs. I have seen the long term damage from SSRI’s, I have experienced medium term damage myself (I was on Seroxat almost 4 years), but who is studying these long term outcomes in the general population?
Thanks to Laurie for her input (for the quote).
See her video and book here-