Stewart Dolin’s Paroxetine Induced Suicide..


Despite tens of thousands of reports of SSRI induced suicidal thoughts, behaviours and completed acts over the decades, GSK are still trying to deny the reality of Seroxat/Paxil (Paroxetine) induced suicides..

Paroxetine is a killer drug….

I hope that Wendy Dolin wipes the floor with GSK (and their sociopathic lawyers) in court…


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On a muggy evening, Wendy Dolin was walking her dog a month after the bewildering suicide of her husband, the former Reed Smith partner Stewart Dolin, when a friend accompanying her uttered a strange word suggesting an explanation: akathisia. Looking up the condition online that night in 2010, Dolin was stunned by how closely its symptoms of intense restlessness and anxiety seemed to match her husband’s puzzling behavior in the days before he took his life by jumping on the tracks of an O’Hare airport- bound Blue Line train in Chicago.

The name of the condition, more familiar to neuropsychiatry professionals and pharmaceutical injury lawyers than to Wendy Dolin, a licensed clinical social worker in Illinois, shone to her through the fog of an inexplicable act by a man she had known for 42 years. He had seemed his usual self until just days before the incident, she said, when he had begun taking paroxetine, the generic version of the antidepressant Paxil.

Stewart Dolin

He became so distressed soon after going on the medication that he pled to her one night that week in July: “I don’t get it, Wendy. I still feel so anxious,” she recalled.

After poring over internet search results about lawsuits that alleged that akathisia was a known side effect of Paxil, which belongs to a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, Dolin decided on a seemingly improbable course of action. She would sue the drugmakers responsible for the manufacturing and labeling of Paxil, a drug whose generic version her husband had taken for only six days before his death.

“I’d got home that night and Googled akathisia, Paxil, and suicide, and lo and behold, all this information pops up,” Dolin said, referring to search results of papers published in psychiatry journals and litigation summaries on law firm websites.

“It was completely clear — all of us were looking through our emails and notes from him and there was no clue, nothing, that it could have been something else,” she said.

Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman PC, a small personal injury firm based in Los Angeles, had been litigating wrongful death and injury suits involving suicides and suicide attempts related to antidepressants for about 20 years when Dolin contacted it in 2010 to take on her mission. Nearly two years later, the firm filed her negligence and wrongful death suit against Mylan Inc., the Netherlands- based generic-drug maker that manufactured the drug her husband was taking, and GlaxoSmithKline, which sold the drug’s branded versions and devised its labels, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires.

The timing of her suit was inopportune for a plaintiff alleging an injury from a generic drug. The U.S. Supreme Court had just issued a landmark decision in 2011 in Pliva v. Mensing that shielded generic- drug makers from claims about their labeling of drug side effects and contraindications because FDA rules require them to follow the same warning language of their branded counterparts. Meanwhile, dozens of courts around the country were taking cues from a 1994 decision by the Fourth Circuit in Foster v. American Home Products Corp., which had found that although branded-drug makers are responsible for the labeling of their products, they don’t have a duty to warn patients taking generic versions of their drug.

The mountain of unfavorable case law had threatened to nip Dolin’s suit in its early pleading stages. Instead, she prevailed through multiple summary judgment motions by GSK — although the Mensing decision did jettison Mylan from her suit — as her lawyers strategized to counter the difficult precedent and found a willing ear in the Illinois federal judge overseeing the suit, James Zagel. Guided by the handful of courts before him to find branded-drug makers could be held liable under other tort theories besides strict product liability, he issued a surprising endorsement of Baum Hedlund’s arguments in the Dolin case, finding in February 2014 that GSK could be held liable for common law negligence claims.

Judge Zagel found that, unlike some other states, Illinois common law did not compel him to treat all claims stemming from a product injury as product liability claims.

“The injury here did indeed occur in connection with a product. And GSK manufactures products,” he wrote in his ruling. “Yet Plaintiff has not brought suit against GSK for tortious conduct committed strictly

The idea that in this country, so many people take generics and that they have no legal recourse, it’s just unthinkable.

— Wendy Dolin

as a manufacturer of products. And, though GSK implicitly urges to the contrary, I see no reason why all suits brought against GSK must be brought against GSK qua manufacturer.”

Under his watch, the case is set to proceed to a monthlong trial in January, and it will be the first to involve a suicide allegedly caused by a generic antidepressant, and the first to test whether a jury would actually hold a branded-drug maker liable for a generic-drug injury. Many of the earlier suits filed over suicides allegedly linked to generic antidepressants have either settled or been dismissed.

Wendy Dolin with her husband Stewart on a 2007 vacation in Aspen, Colorado.

If Dolin prevails, the stakes will be high for generic-drug patients across the country. Her attorneys believe it would likely set the stage for the Seventh Circuit to address the issue for the first time in the event of a GSK appeal. In that scenario, the question before the court would be whether branded-drug makers can be held liable for injuries caused by generic-equivalent drugs that they did not themselves make. If the Seventh Circuit were to answer the question differently from the few other federal appeals courts that have done so — the Fourth and Sixth circuits have ruled against the idea that a branded-drug maker could be liable for a generic-drug injury — the suit could very well wend its way up to the nation’s highest court.

“The idea that in this country, so many people take generics and that they have no legal recourse, it’s just unthinkable,” Dolin said. “I’d love this case to be the one that says, ‘This is no longer acceptable.’”

The Paradox of Litigating Over Generics

Generic drugs account for roughly 80 percent of all prescription drugs dispensed in the U.S., according to the FDA. Their prevalence is due in part to their cost, which can be as low as a tenth of the price of their branded equivalent. In 2010, the use of generic drugs saved the U.S. health care system roughly $158

billion, according to an estimate by the generic-drug trade group the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, which the FDA cites on its website.

Those savings often interact with state laws in ways that ensure the widespread use of generics. A number of states have laws that encourage pharmacists to choose cheaper equivalents to a brand name prescription, unless a prescribing doctor includes explicit instructions not to do so. Such is the case in Illinois, where state pharmaceutical laws actually require such a substitution unless a doctor has advised against it. Some of the few courts that have sided with plaintiffs in generic-drug injury cases have also highlighted this conundrum for generic-drug plaintiffs.

The Alabama Supreme Court, the highest state court in the country to address the issue of whether a branded-drug maker can be held liable for a generic-drug injury
— and one of the few to answer it in the affirmative —
emphasized those implications in a 2014 ruling.

“Additionally, many insurance plans are structured to promote the use of generic drugs,” the court wrote in the decision. Dolin’s own health insurance plan covers only generics, she said. The Alabama Supreme Court ruling, however, which came in the then-groundbreaking case Weeks v. Wyeth, has since been negated by a 2015 law by the state Legislature that rejects the notion that a branded-drug maker can be held liable for a generic drug.

The unique position of generics has a relatively recent history. The Federal Food Drug and Cosmetics Act once required all drugmakers to show that their drugs were safe and properly labeled before the agency would approve them. Then the 1984 Hatch-Waxman amendments to the FDCA sought to simplify the process for generic-drug makers, in order to expand affordable treatment options for patients. The amendments allowed generic-drug makers to sidestep requirements to conduct clinical trials to show the drugs’ safety and effectiveness, but it required them to show that they have followed the formulation and labeling of branded counterparts that have already undergone such trials.

Consumer advocates believe that such requirements have
created a significant gap in protecting patients for injuries they
may have sustained because of inadequate warnings, while protecting generic-drug makers from most liability claims involving their products. Public Citizen, the consumer advocacy group that petitioned the FDA in 2011 for the agency to allow generics to independently go about making changes to their labels, holds that view.

“A majority of prescriptions are filled with generic drugs because it makes health care more affordable, but when the drug doesn’t have adequate warnings on it, then physicians and patients can’t make proper decisions,” said Allison Zieve, the director of Public Citizen’s litigation group.

“Brand name manufacturers are required to update their labeling when they become aware of new information of drug risks, but once a generic is on the market, the market share for the branded version drops very quickly, and the brand name often stops selling the drug altogether,” she said. “There’s nobody under the current regime monitoring the drug to make sure that labels are updated.”

But the U.S. Supreme Court cited the Hatch-Waxman Act in cementing the protections for generic-drug makers in its 2011 Mensing decision. That case involved claims by Gladys Mensing and Julie Demahy, plaintiffs from Minnesota and Louisiana, respectively, that their long-term use of a generic version of the heartburn drug Reglan sold by drugmakers including Pliva caused them to develop tardive dyskinesia, a neurological condition that causes involuntary movements such as uncontrollable twitching or blinking.

The court found in its ruling that generic-drug makers cannot satisfy state law requirements to strengthen their warnings when they are already required by
federal law to match branded-drug labels.

In 2013, the Supreme Court expanded these protections further in Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. Inc. v. Karen Bartlett, largely blocking design defect claims by citing, among other factors, “Congress’ decision to regulate the manufacture and sale of generic drugs in a way that reduces their cost to patients but leaves generic-drug manufacturers incapable of modifying either the drugs’ compositions or their warnings.”

The Dolin Litigation

It was around the time of this flurry of major precedent against generic-drug plaintiffs in the courtroom that Brent Wisner of Baum Hedlund, then an associate at the firm in its San Francisco office, took on Dolin’s suit in 2012, his first case as a practicing attorney.

The suit faced hurdles not only because of the Mensing decision and the eventual Bartlett decision but also because of the sweeping influence of the Fourth Circuit’s Foster ruling, which had barred just the type of allegations that Dolin was making, he said.

Dolin’s suit claimed her husband had killed himself after exhibiting
uncharacteristically high anxiety within days of taking generic Paxil,
which had been prescribed to him by his family doctor and friend
of 20 years, Dr. Martin Sachman. GSK’s warning label, which the generic version’s maker, Mylan, was required to follow, had misled patients and doctors, she claimed. It did not sufficiently warn that akathisia, which according to her complaint is marked by “profound inner restlessness and agitation,” could give rise to suicidal tendencies, she said. GSK has argued that the 2010 labels for Paxil contained warnings about akathisia that said the condition was “most likely to occur during the first few weeks of treatment.” Dolin insists that GSK did not connect the dots clearly enough between akathisia and suicide or sufficiently note the incidence of such risks in adults.

Her suit also claimed that although GSK apparently knew of a statistically significant risk of suicidal behavior in adults taking the medication — roughly 6.7 times higher compared with patients on a placebo — the drug’s label concealed that risk by claiming that “the suicidality risk did not extend past the age of 24.” GSK has said that this language was ordered by the FDA as part of its warnings on all SSRIs that “short term studies” of antidepressants did not show such risks of suicidal behavior.

The Fourth Circuit’s ruling in the Foster case involved the death of a six-week-old infant who had been given a generic version of a colic medication called Promethazine Syrup Plain. The appeals court squarely rejected the notion that a brand-name pharmaceutical
could be held liable for negligent misrepresentation claims in that

instance. But in the pre-Mensing era of that ruling, the court had found that generic drugs were responsible for their own labeling, emphasizing the benefits they enjoyed because of the Hatch- Waxman amendments allowing them to circumvent expensive clinical trials.

“Name brand manufacturers undertake the expense of developing pioneer drugs, performing the studies necessary to obtain premarketing approval, and formulating labeling information,” the panel wrote. “Generic manufacturers avoid these expenses by duplicating successful pioneer drugs and their labels.”

At the time Wisner prepared to fight motions by Mylan and GSK challenging the viability of Dolin’s case, some 70 other courts had more or less adopted the Fourth Circuit’s view in Foster, according to court documents.

“Coming out of law school you want to deal with complicated legal issues,” said Wisner, who had just graduated with his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center in 2010. “But I had a lot of people telling me I had no chance to prevail.”

I had a lot of people telling me I had no chance to prevail.

— Brent Wisner, Wendy Dolin’s attorney

So he hatched a plan. Anticipating that Mylan and GSK would seek to quickly dispose of his claims, he approached them in February 2013 with a calculated compromise. He would agree to put discovery on hold while the parties addressed questions of whether Dolin’s claims were preempted or not viable, but in exchange, Mylan and GSK would have to file their motions challenging her claims roughly at the same time.

That way, Wisner reasoned, he could address both defendants’ motions in a single opposition, creating a path for the judge to issue a cohesive response addressing the arguments of both defendants in the same opinion. Mylan filed its motion to dismiss in August 2012, citing the Mensing ruling. GSK followed suit with its summary judgment motion in January 2013, arguing that there was “virtual unanimity” among the numerous courts to consider this question and that they had rejected the kind of misrepresentation theories that Dolin was advancing. The drugmaker also argued that Illinois product liability laws require claims related to injuries caused by a product be brought against the company that actually manufactured it.

“Regardless of how plaintiff couches her claims, they are all barred under Illinois law because GSK did not manufacture, distribute or sell the immediate-release paroxetine that allegedly caused Mr. Dolin’s death,” it argued. “Without this fundamental predicate, Plaintiff cannot establish the necessary elements of her claims.”

Wisner believed his approach could nudge Judge Zagel to make a more comprehensive analysis about whether case and state laws truly end up leaving most generics plaintiffs with no legal recourse for alleged injuries.

“I wanted him to be ruling on the ability of my client to get any sort of justice,” Wisner said. “My thinking was, when you consider both of these issues together — innovator and generic immunity — it is easy to see how unfair the law has become.”

Judge Zagel took the cue and found in his now-renowned ruling in February 2014 that Illinois law doesn’t call for common law negligence claims to be treated like product liability claims just because the suit involves a product and an alleged injury it caused.

“GSK vigorously contends that the design and warning label are not in themselves ‘products,’” Judge Zagel wrote. “[But] GSK has not shown why Plaintiff should be precluded from claiming at common law that GSK, independent of its capacity as a manufacturer of one particular iteration of paroxetine, was negligent in connection with its responsibility for these ‘non-products,’ and that this negligence contributed to her injury.”

The ruling was a breakthrough for Dolin, too. “The phone rings [that day], and Brent [Wisner] says, ‘I think you just sorta made history here,’” she said.

The Trial

The Dolin trial is set to boil down to a few crucial questions for the jury, foremost of which is whether the drug Paxil, which the FDA first approved in 1992, causes suicidal tendencies in adults. Dolin’s experts, who are expected to testify on this issue of general causation, have so far withstood GSK’s challenges.

 

Among them is Dr. Joseph Glenmullen, a psychiatry professor at the Harvard Medical School who has written two books about antidepressant side effects. In a 2007 report to Baum Hedlund, unsealed in a different case over Paxil in Kansas state court, Glenmullen argued that GSK’s own data to the FDA in 1989 showed a substantial increase in risk of suicidal tendencies in patients on Paxil compared to those on placebo pills but that the drugmaker underreported or downplayed such risks to regulators.

It was only in 2006 that the company acknowledged in a so-called Dear Health Care Provider letter, which is meant to inform doctors of updated safety information, that Paxil could increase the risk of suicidal tendencies in certain patients by about six times as compared with a placebo, according to his report. That year, GSK modified its label to warn that it had found Paxil posed a “statistically significant” increase in the frequency of suicidal behavior in adult patients with major depressive disorder. This language made way for the FDA’s classwide labeling for all SSRIs the following year that would update all black box warnings — the agency’s most serious safety warnings — on the drug. The classwide label would warn patients and consumers only about increased suicidal tendencies among young patients aged 18 to 24.

In 2011, Wendy Dolin founded a nonprofit dedicated to spreading awareness of akathisia titled MISSD, shorthand for “the Medication-Induced Suicide Prevention and Education Foundation in Memory of Stewart Dolin.”

Glenmullen’s report, along with a similar one that followed the same year by the British drug safety regulator finding GSK knew of such risks in adolescent patients since 1998, prompted Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley to urge the FDA in June 2008 to determine if the drugmaker had suppressed any safety information when it sought approval for the drug.

Glenmullen has maintained his position in the Dolin case, in which he has testified that taking paroxetine was a “proximate cause” in Stewart Dolin’s suicide. GSK sought to exclude his testimony in September, arguing that Glenmullen had not shown any idea linking Paxil to suicides, only to suicide attempts, which the drugmaker argued was not an adequate substitute.

Judge Zagel denied such motions in November, finding that Dolin’s experts had offered “reliable” testimony.

Dolin’s experts also include Dr. David Healy, a psychiatry professor at the University of Wales in England. Healy, who has worked as an expert witness for Baum Hedlund for years in lawsuits involving antidepressants, has stated in the case so far that GSK’s own labeling documents from 2006, including letters to physicians, had acknowledged that “the frequency of suicidal behavior was higher in patients treated with paroxetine compared with placebo … this difference is statistically significant.”

If the jury agrees on that question of general causation, it would then have to decide whether GSK adequately warned of the risk. If it decides the warnings were insufficient, the jury would then have to consider whether the failure to warn led to the suicide — that is, whether better warnings would have led Dr. Martin Sachman to prescribe a different treatment.

Baum Hedlund has also enlisted former FDA physician David Ross to testify on the regulatory history between GSK and the FDA and what data the drugmaker shared with the agency.

One of the key points of contention is whether GSK did its thorough due diligence to make sure its labels contained warnings specific to Paxil’s potentially increased risk for suicidal tendencies — the FDA’s own analysis found a 2.76 times higher risk for patients taking paroxetine.

Although GSK had asked the FDA about adding Paxil-specific warnings to the agency’s classwide warnings in 2007 in order to alert doctors and patients about the drug’s potential to cause suicidal tendencies in adults, it did not follow through with the agency’s invitation to ask for a formal meeting to discuss that change, Dolin has argued.

GSK has dismissed this argument as mere “conjecture about a meeting that did not take place,” countering that it had submitted two different sets of documents to the FDA under its Changes Being Effected program, which allows branded-drug makers to update their labels based on new information. Each time, GSK said, it sought to retain warnings specific to Paxil on its label, but it received a rejection by the agency, according to its filings.

Defense attorneys believe GSK’s argument could offer an important window for the drugmaker to persuade the jury that even if it had actually called for such a meeting, the FDA would likely not have approved it.

“Both Judge Zagel and Dolin have said here, ‘You could have had that meeting, so you haven’t exhausted all your options to show that the FDA couldn’t be convinced otherwise,” said Henninger Bullock of Mayer Brown LLP, who has represented branded-drug makers in similar suits. “But GSK can say: ‘Well, we tried, and the FDA told me twice already that I couldn’t modify the classwide label, so to request a meeting would be futile.’”

A spokeswoman for the FDA declined to comment on pending litigation.

Besides experts, Dolin and her two adult children with Stewart are expected to testify, along with Sachman, who said at deposition last year that he didn’t know of the drug’s risks and if he had he would never have prescribed it to his best friend, Wisner said.

Wendy Dolin may be questioned at trial over the circumstances surrounding her husband’s death. “I knew my husband, and I don’t even consider it a suicide anymore,” she said.

GSK, which has taken a whopping 30 depositions in the case over a one-and-a-half-year period, has designated more than two dozen witnesses, including company witnesses and about nine experts.

“GSK is not responsible for Mr. Dolin’s death and we’ve submitted our position in filings to the court,” spokeswoman Jenni Ligday told Law360 in a statement.

Dolin herself may be grilled on the specifics of her husband’s mental state and activities leading up to his death. Some salient details of his final hours stand out to her as especially convincing evidence that he did not plan his suicide in a state of anxiety over long-simmering work-related problems, as GSK has argued.

The drugmaker had argued that Stewart Dolin had experienced work-related anxiety and depression for years, according to a heavily redacted segment of its summary judgment motion in October.

Shortly before his bizarre and tragic visit to the subway station, he had had lunch with an accountant at the Rivers Restaurant near his office in the Chicago Loop. There, he had ordered a chicken salad, requesting the dressing on the side, Wendy recalled, remarking ruefully, “You had the dressing on the side an hour before you [supposedly] planned to die?”

“I knew my husband, and I don’t even consider it a suicide anymore,” Dolin said. “I consider it a fatal drug reaction.”

Sindhu Sundar is a feature writer at Law360. Follow her on Twitter.

SSRI Anti-Depressants : Harmful Or Helpful?


“It is absolutely horrendous that they have such disregard for human lives.”
Professor Peter Gotzsche, Nordic Cochrane Centre

I’m blogging over 9 years (I started this blog in 2007), and in that time I have read tons of stuff about SSRI anti-depressants, psychiatry, and the pharmaceutical industry. I have focused my attention, in particular, upon the SSRI anti-depressant drug Seroxat, and the pharmaceutical company that manufactured it- GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). However, even before I started this blog, I had been educating myself about SSRI’s, the pharmaceutical industry, and ‘mental illness’ related issues. All in all, I have been reading, writing and researching about this stuff since at least 2001 (15 years). I had a particularly bad reaction to Seroxat, and I have no love for the pharmaceutical company who created it (GSK). I think GSK should have warned me about the dangers of Seroxat, and I believe that by suppressing information on Seroxat over the years, much harm was caused to me and to many many others.

The story of Seroxat is still as scandalous as ever.

I am particularly disturbed at how GSK behave generally too. They are an extremely sociopathic company, and they have absolutely no regard for patient well being, the law, or basic human values or ethics. They have been proven numerous times to be corrupt, devious and downright evil in how they behave. They have been fined numerous times for breaking ethical and legal codes in varous countries, however in their home turf of the UK it seems (because of the vast wealth that they bring there and the huge influence they have upon academia/industry etc) they are never brought to book. There are over 1000 blog posts on this blog detailing how GSK have corrupted doctors, the regulators and psychiatry, and I think my blog backs up my opinion on these subjects- ten fold. I had hoped, that by documenting GSK and Seroxat, others might not end up damaged by a pharmaceutical drug like Seroxat, I did it to bring awareness, it was that simple. I didn’t expect this blog to become the force that it has, I didn’t plan on being a blogger. I experienced an injustice from being prescribed the dangerous drug- Seroxat. I should have been warned, and I wasn’t. I met others who suffered because of Seroxat, and I felt compelled to do something about it- this blog spawned as a result of that impetus.

I have had some people e-mail me and thank me for saving their life, others have sent words of support and encouragement, or mentioned how my writing validated their experience, and I have received a lot of kindness because of my writing, and all of this has been extremely humbling for me, but none of this was planned.

(I have also had some psychos/stalkers/assholes and others who have pestered me from time to time- but those idiots will never stop me from helping others and bringing awareness).

Nevertheless, in all that time, and after digesting so much information about all this stuff, one of the most striking aspects of all this which I noticed is – just how polarized the debate about SSRI anti-depressants has been- over these years. There are those who swear blind that SSRI drugs are really helpful, and that the ‘risks’ are worth the (so called) ‘benefits’. There are people (usually biological psychiatrists) who claim that anti-depressants save lives, and they claim that SSRI anti-depressants are vital in the treatment of depression. Then there is an opposing camp who claim that these drugs are causing suicides, and that there risks far out weigh the benefits. I fall (like most reasonable people) somewhere in the middle…

I believe, or actually, in fact- I know (from my own experience, of almost 4 years on the SSRI Seroxat) that these drugs can be extremely harmful for a lot of people. I do understand that they can be somewhat helpful to others (perhaps very short term with close monitoring in extreme cases, or in a hospital setting), but I believe that the harms far out weigh the ‘benefits’. I also think that the so called ‘benefits’ are largely illusory, and often quite transient and subjective (if they exist at all). The benefit is an illusion just as much as the effect of any mind altering drug/substance is an illusion. Nevertheless, the only people who really know if these drugs are harmful or helpful are the people who take them. I don’t think that these drugs are helpful long term, nor do I think they should be prescribed as first line treatment.

These are potent, heavy, seriously addicting psychotropic/psychoactive/mind altering drugs; they are powerful and their affect on the mind is extremely difficult to predict in each individual. Some people will experience increased anxiety, increased suicidal ideation, hallucinations, distortions in their reality/perceptions/personality etc, and others might not experience these effects too badly. Most will experience some, or variations of these effects over time, and the longer you’re on them the more toxic you become. Withdrawal from them is often horrific too. However, most people will experience the physical side effects of nightmares, sweating profusely, stomach problems, irritability, tension, sexual side effects, nervous system side effects etc. The physical side effects in themselves can be extremely debilitating and disturbing. These drugs are quite toxic physically and they have been way too over-prescribed to too many people, mostly without adequate monitoring or informed consent.

It seems to me that those who defend the drugs without question are usually biological psychiatrists with a vested interest (either directly through pharmaceutical affiliation or indirectly through other means of the psychiatric profession) in keeping knowledge of the harms of these drugs as suppressed as possible.

The problem facing biological psychiatrists who defend the use of SSRI’s -almost evangelically – is- the cat is now fully out of the bag. You can’t defend these drugs in an extreme quasi-religious manner anymore without coming across as some kind of irrational zealot nutcase, because even the most eminent drug experts (the Cochrane group for example) now agree that there are serious issues with these drugs and in fact these drugs are very likely causing more harm than good. It has taken a few decades for the truth to finally become known, but the widespread consensus seems to be leaning towards the fact that these drugs are causing serious harm to a considerable number of people, and they have been for a very long time.

There will always be some biological psychiatrists who (seemingly desperate to hang on to some semblance of power and prestige in their own insecure minds) will defend these drugs like they are some kind of sacred religious iconography. They deem any criticism of the drugs as close to some kind of blasphemy. They imagine that if the drugs they dish out are undermined in any way, they themselves will be undermined also, and their beliefs and ideology will be debased as a result.  With their ego, their profession and their world view under threat of extinction from the truth, some of these psychiatrists can get very irrational and volatile indeed. Their egos just cannot take this perceived assault so they continue to deny despite the evidence rendering their denials redundant and ridiculous, because denial is all they have left as a defense.

Unfortunately, the ship of reason has sailed, and those psychiatrists are not on it.

These hell-fire and brimstone biological psychiatrists are few and far between nowadays, as most ‘clever’ psychiatrists are slowly starting to change their own discourse about SSRI’s so as to make it appear that they were never fully behind the widespread use of them in the first place (most of them really were, but at least some of them have the appearance of decency-or ‘devious intelligence’- to accept the truth and follow the tide of consensus).

It must be very difficult for some psychiatrists to accept that the drugs which they have been peddling for a very long time have perhaps harmed (and in some cases killed) many of their patients. It understandable what a hard pill of truth this might be to swallow (pardon the pun) for some of these individuals but the truth is self evident now. However continuing to deny the realities of the side effects of these drugs, and the harms that they caused, and continue to cause- is not acceptable.

Defending the drugs as a means of protecting the psychiatric ideological paradigm -at the expense of patients’ lives and public health- is utterly reprehensible- in my opinion.

There have been a flurry of articles, in the media recently, about the side effects of SSRI’s and much debate has ensued. However, instead of writing my opinion on each, I think it might be best to combine them all in one post.

The latest damning article about SSRI’s and their dangers comes from the Telegraph UK. The Telegraph article is based on a study from the Nordic Cochrane group. The Cochrane group are among the most respected (and widely cited) academics in the field of medicine.

Here are some excerpts from the article:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/12126146/Antidepressants-can-raise-the-risk-of-suicide-biggest-ever-review-finds.html#disqus_thread

“…Antidepressants can raise the risk of suicide, biggest ever review finds

Antidepressant use doubles the risk of suicide in under 18s and the risks to adults may have been seriously underestimated, researchers found

Antidepressants can raise the risk of suicide, the biggest ever review has found, as pharmaceutical companies were accused of failing to report side-effects and even deaths linked to the drugs.

 

An analysis of 70 trials of the most common antidepressants – involving more than 18,000 people – found they doubled the risk of suicide and aggressive behaviour in under 18s.

 

Although a similarly stark link was not seen in adults, the authors said misreporting of trial data could have led to a ‘serious under-estimation of the harms.’

For years families have claimed that antidepressant medication drove their loved ones to commit suicide, but have been continually dismissed by medical companies and doctors who claimed a link was unproven.

The review – the biggest of its kind into the effects of the drugs – was carried out by the Nordic Cochrane Centre and analysed by University College London (UCL) who today endorse the findings in an editorial in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

After comparing clinical trial information to actual patient reports the scientists found pharmaceutical companies had regularly misclassified deaths and suicidal events in people taking anti-depressants to “favour their products”.

Experts said the review’s findings were “startling” and said it was “deeply worrying” that clinical trials appear to have been misreported….”

Tarang Sharma of the Nordic Cochrane Centre, Copenhagen, Denmark admitted: “The analysis suggests that clinical study reports, on which decisions about market authorisation are based, are likely to underestimate the extent of drug related harms.”

Four deaths were misreported by one unnamed pharmaceutical company, who claimed they had occurred after the trials had stopped.

One patient strangled himself unexpectedly after taking venlafaxine but because he survived for five days, he was excluded from the results because it was claimed he was no longer on the trial while he was dying in hospital.”


 

Leonie Fennell is a dedicated patient advocate, and genuine mental health activist, who has done stellar work in bringing awareness to the dangers of SSRI medications (her focus is on the SSRI Cipramil in particular, and Lundbeck the pharma who makes it). Her latest post explores some of the themes which I have mentioned in my post thus far. You can read her full post here, but in the meantime here are some very poignant excerpts from it :

“...Yesterday’s BMJ article that found antidepressants double the risk of suicide and aggression in young people, made headlines worldwide. From America, Australia to india, caution was advised when prescribing in this age bracket. Not so in Ireland. The one newspaper article referring to the BMJ article can be found in today’s Irish Examiner here, entitled ‘Drug link to child suicide queried by expert’. So did it warn prescribers of the suicide and aggression risks, advise stricter guidelines or just advise caution when prescribing to children? None of the latter. Instead the Irish Examiner published an article allowing Professor Patricia Casey to question the findings of the Nordic Cochrane Centre..”


Both the Cochrane group’s report on the doubling of aggression side effects, and suicidal side effects etc, and Leonie’s excellent commentary upon it, is no surprise to me because I experienced these side effects directly from GSK’s notorious Seroxat SSRI. I know just how dangerous these drugs are. Leonie Fennell also knows just how dangerous these drugs are because Cipramil killed her son Shane, and tragically also Cipramil caused Shane to be violent- and as a result of this side effect of SSRI induced violence came the death of Sebastian Creane too. Anyone on an SSRI could end up in Shane’s altered state of mind, I’ve been there, and I know of many others, who have expressed similar experiences. These drugs can make people violent and volatile, they can literally snap your mind. Shane should have been warned and monitored properly for emerging suicidal ideation/akathisa/aggression etc. He wasn’t warned, and neither was his family, and the tragedy that followed could have been prevented had they been.

Although I have been drawing attention to these issues for a long time, it is heartening to see my views legitimized by studies from a group as prestigious and respected as the Nordic Cochrane group. It’s high time the public knew just how dangerous these drugs are for all age groups. The studies highlighting the dangers in adolescents and the young show very clear dangers, however this is the proverbial ‘canary in the coal-mine’. All ages, adults and younger, can experience the same deadly side effects of SSRI’s.

I’m not a huge fan of Peter Hitchens (I preferred his brother- Christopher), however he has been good at covering the dangers of SSRI’s and his latest article on the Cochrane study on SSRI’s pulls no punches in that regard.

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/01/time-for-some-serious-thought-about-antidepressants.html

Here are some excerpts:

28 January 2016 4:26 PM

Time for Some Serious Thought about ‘Antidepressants’

I expect to have more to say about this, but today’s BMJ? UCL/ Nordic Cochrane Centre analysis of research on ‘antidepressants’ should surely change the terms on which we debate this subject.

I should say that all intelligent people should draw lessons about the difference between what they think is happening, and what is actually happening,  from two major Hollywood films – The Big Short’ and ‘Spotlight’. In both cases – the sub-prime mortgage disaster and the widespread unpunished sexual abuse of children by priests – complacency prevented serious concern for years. In both cases the alarm was raised by outsiders, and most people refused to believe what was being said.

I believe that psychiatric medication contains a similar problem, which in a few years, everyone will acknowledge as fact. But at the moment, it is still difficult to raise it without being accused of being a crank. Complacency rules.

For some years now I have been more or less begging my readers to obtain the book ‘Cracked’ by James Davies’ and to study two clearly-written and straightforward articles on the subject by Dr Marcia Angell, a distinguished American doctor, and no kind of crank, in the New York Review of Books. I link to them (yet again) here. They are devastating, not least because of their measured understatement. The alleged scientific theory (the Serotonin theory) which underpins the prescribing of such drugs is, to put it mildly, unproven. The drug companies themselves have kept secret (until compelled to disgorge them by FoI requests) research results which suggest their pills are, again to put it mildly, not that effective.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2011/06/23/epidemic-mental-illness-why/

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2011/07/14/illusions-of-psychiatry/

Dr Angell’s articles are themselves reviews of important recent books on the subject.

I have also drawn attention to the huge sums of money involved, and to a recent case in which a major drug company was fined *three billion dollars* for (amongst other things) mis-selling ‘antidepressants’.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2012/jul/03/glaxosmithkline-fined-bribing-doctors-pharmaceuticals


Hitchens is astute in his analysis of the Cochrane study. He draws attention to what I have been drawing attention to on my blog for 9 years. The reason why these drugs have been so widely promoted boils down to one thing- money.

The pharmaceutical industry makes billions on them, that’s why they have got away with all these years of cover-ups, lies, death and destruction. Psychiatry would lose its status (and its profitability) as a ‘legitimate medical specialty’ without the drugs- that’s why they deny the problems- even in the face of overwhelming evidence against their use. For psychiatry – raising awareness of the dangers undermines the profession… and we all know how highly paid some psychiatrists are don’t we?…

Nobody likes their bread and butter threatened do they?…

Nope..

Money, it’s a crime
Share it fairly but don’t take a slice of my pie
Money, so they say
Is the root of all evil today
But if you ask for payrise it’s no surprise
That they’re giving none away
Away, away, way
Away, away, away

(Pink Floyd – Money)

Psychiatric Failure In Ireland : Brothers Shane and Brandon Skeffington – “Another Murder Suicide In Ireland?”


Another Murder Suicide In Ireland?

This is a very tragic case where it seems that an older brother, Shane Skeffington, (20) stabbed his younger brother, Brandon, (9) to death. Apparently this was completely out of character and there were no previous signs that he would commit such a violent act particularly towards his brother. Shane, then went on to kill himself. According to reports he was under psychiatric care and (like most young people) had dabbled in drugs such as cocaine and cannabis, but what I would be more worried about was the so called psychiatric ‘care’ he received. It’s often the psychiatric drug treatments which are the compounding factor in these cases. This website’ antidepaware ‘ has correlated thousands of similar cases of psychiatric drug related deaths.

http://antidepaware.co.uk/

Some Questions Which The Media Need To Probe:

Were meds involved? What kind of psychiatric ‘treatment’ did Shane Skeffington receive? and for how long? did he express suicidal or violent thoughts under this ‘care’ and to whom? Was he prescribed SSRI’s? (or an anti-psychotic or other drug) If so, why was he not monitored for emerging aggression, akathisia (an extreme nervous system condition which drives people psychotic), or suicidal/homicidal ideation (all known SSRI side effects which are even included now in warning leaflets).

Regardless of whether he received drugs from a psychiatrist or not, it is clear to me that psychiatry has failed this young man and his younger brother. If psychiatry was successful then why do so many of its patients either never get better or get worse and go on to kill themselves or others? Psychiatry is a wealthy institution but they always complain of a lack of funding- but what we need to ask is why are consultant psychiatrists paid astronomical salaries? Surely some of that money could be used to provide funding for intensive psycho-therapeutic interventions such as in emergency cases like this one? Why are these obviously very vulnerable, disturbed and frightened young people just drugged and thrown back out on the street without proper care and proper warnings? why does psychiatry get away with lying to the public about the dangers of medication?

Something is wrong here, terribly wrong. I don’t care what anyone says- psychiatric consultant and high level psychiatrists salaries are obscene- particularly when you consider their absolutely dismal track record. Nobody gets cured! And once people enter the psychiatric system they either get worse or they die- what does that tell you? We need complete transparency, which doctors and psychiatrists in Ireland are in the pocket of drug companies? Which ones receive honoria and payment for research etc,  and how is this pharmaceutical/psychiatric alliance funded in Universities and hospitals?


http://www.herald.ie/news/parents-frantic-attempts-to-save-stab-boy-brandon-30448414.html

Parents’ frantic attempts to save stab boy Brandon

THE parents of a little boy who was murdered by his older brother before he took his own life desperately tried to save the nine-year-old child.

Brandon Skeffington (9) was still alive when his mother and father returned home and found him bleeding heavily on the stairs at their home near Tubbercurry, Co Sligo.

And the Herald can today reveal that a 15-year-old sister of the two brothers who died was also in the house when the horrific stabbing occurred.

It is believed she did not witness the fatal knife attack on Sunday evening.

Shane Skeffington (20) had been receiving psychiatric treatment in a mental hospital just days before the tragedy happened.

He was last night described as a “ticking time-bomb” and was implicated in at least two drug-fuelled assaults before he stabbed his innocent brother Brandon to death.

The killer used a large kitchen knife from the house to stab Brandon once in the chest before their parents arrived home just before 8pm.

Little Brandon was desperately clinging to life when he was discovered by his shocked parents Carmel and Shane senior at the top of the stairs in their home.

But the horror got even worse, when Mr Skeffington discovered the body of their eldest son in a shed at the back of their property moments later. They immediately contacted emergency services.

Senior sources say that there was no premeditation in relation to the attack and that Shane was “very fond” of his younger brother.

“In fact, all the available information is that Shane thought the world of Brandon and there were no significant issues there,” said a source.


http://leoniefennell.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/sligo-tragedy-shane-skeffington-ssris/

Sligo Tragedy

22 Jul

Shane and Brandon

The recent tragedy unfolding in Sligo (Sunday July 20th 2014) is currently a huge media story in Ireland. Two parents, Shane senior and Carmel Skeffington, came home from a shopping trip to find two of their sons dead. Shane (20) who was babysitting, had stabbed his brother Brandon (9) twice, before hanging himself in the garden shed. Brandon died from his wounds a short time after his parents came home and found him. The community are devastated, no-one saw this coming. Little Brandon idolised his older brother and newspaper reports say they had a great relationship. The media frenzy is palpable, from laying the blame at a couple of minor drug offences, to the ease of access to kitchen knives.

I suppose I should be prepared for my own son’s story to be linked whenever a murder/suicide occurs. Today’s Irish Daily Mail referred to my son, also Shane, and the ‘rise in kitchen-knife killings’. My new found friends, whose children have tragically killed themselves, and sometimes others, might have an opinion on whether to lock up the bathroom presses (medication), kitchen cupboards (knives) garden sheds (hoses, ropes and shears) or maybe someone should confiscate grandma’s knitting needles and sewing scissors? Maybe, just maybe, the newspapers need to focus on another similarity?

The tragedy unfolding in Sligo has revealed that Shane (the older brother) was recently released from Sligo General Hospital where he was receiving psychiatric ‘care’. We know what psychiatric ‘care’ usually consists of: pills, pills and more pills – mind altering drugs which double the risk of suicide and violence. The investigation should start with what drug this young man was prescribed; was it cipramil, the same as my son? Most likely it was an SSRI antidepressant (Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor), the family of drug which can cause suicide, violence, worsening depression, mania etc, etc.

Was this young man suffering from akathisia, a severe reaction which occurs with SSRIs, where a person cannot sit still and feels the urgent need to escape from their own body? A full investigation would examine the effects of the ‘care’ this young man received- it certainly didn’t work. Someone needs to answer for these two deaths, blaming it on a 20 year old boy ‘who loved his brother and all his family’ is not good enough!

Brian from AntiDepAware has compiled a list of over 2000 suicides and homicides where antidepressant were involved. The evidence is there if you look for it.

This tragedy has all the hallmarks of being SSRI-induced. The signs to look out for are (1) out of character (2) recently been to the doctor or psychiatrist and (3) totally out of the blue. Dr David Healy did a comprenhensive  report for my son’s inquest. He testified to the dangers of these drugs and that he believed the drug Citalopram (aka Cipramil or Celexa) caused my son to behave so uncharacteristically. The inquest jury rejected a suicide verdict on account of Dr Healy’s testimony. His report is here.

The devastation left behind in Sligo is mind-numbing; 2 boys suffering a violent death, parents left in devasted bewilderment, in a world which will never be the same again. I believe with all my heart that the mental health care Shane Skeffington received is to blame for these two deaths! I also believe that these deaths were preventable. Kathleen Lynch, the minister with responsibility for mental health, was informed (by 3 experts) of the dangers of these drugs; she did nothing. Enda Kenny and James Reilly were also made aware; they did nothing!

 

SSRI’s and Violence… Thousands of Documented Cases…


Tonight, on mainstream Irish television, it was once again denied by mainstream Irish psychiatry that SSRI’s can cause some people to become homicidal.

This is a massive cover up to protect the ideology of psychiatry and the pharmaceutical companies…

That’s a fact

More facts and evidence can be found in the cases collected and documented on these websites..

http://www.ssristories.org/

SSRI Stories is a collection of over 5,000 stories that have appeared in the media (newspapers, TV, scientific journals) in which prescription drugs were mentioned and in which the drugs may be linked to a variety of adverse outcomes including violence.

This updated site includes the stories from the previous site and new ones from 2011 to date.  We have used a new “category” classification system on the new stories.  We are working back through previously SSRI Stories to bring them into the new classification system.  In the meantime use the search box in the upper right column to search through both the old and the new stories.

Also, all of the stories from the original site are available under the Archives tab.  These are presented in the traditional site format.  Once we have finished the posting of new stories and applying the expanded classification we will make all of this available in this traditional format.

SSRI Stories focuses on the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), of which Prozac (fluoxetine) was the first. For more see About SSRIs.

Warning

Adverse reactions are most likely to occur when starting or discontinuing the drug, increasing or lowering the dose or when switching from one SSRI to another. Adverse reactions are often diagnosed as bipolar disorder when the symptoms may be entirely iatrogenic (treatment induced). Withdrawal, especially abrupt withdrawal, from any of these medications can cause severe neuropsychiatric and physical symptoms. It is important to withdraw extremely slowly from these drugs, often over a period of a year or more, under the supervision of a qualified and experienced specialist. Withdrawal is sometimes more severe than the original symptoms or problems.

The following RxISK.org research papers deal with dependence and withdrawal and may be helpful:

  1. Dependence and Withdrawal
  2. Halting Antidepressants
  3. Medicine Induced Stress Syndromes

http://antidepaware.co.uk/1600-inquests/

AntiDepAware

Welcome to AntiDepAware

Latest news:  “Devoted” husband shot his wife and himself after having been prescribed antidepressants

AntiDepAware1.jpg

The objective of this site is to promote awareness of the dangers of antidepressants.

There is no wish to ban these drugs which give support to a large number of people with depression. However, it is clear that antidepressants are being prescribed to those who are not depressed, to whom they are likely to do more harm than good.

In 2009 my son, who had never been depressed in his life, went to see a doctor over insomnia caused by temporary work-related stress. He was prescribed Citalopram, and within less than a week he had taken his life.

As a consequence I learned of the suicide risk of antidepressants, particularly in the early weeks of uptake or if the dosage is changed up or down, or withdrawn.

Drug companies will say that an adverse reaction which induces suicidal thoughts will affect only about 1% of users. But there are at present over 4 million users of antidepressants in the UK, which means that there are 40 thousand people who may be at risk at one time or another.

The centrepiece of this site is a link to inquest reports, found mostly in the online archives of local newspapers, in which antidepressants are a factor in self-inflicted deaths. The reports cover England and Wales over the past 10 years.

It must be noted that this list is far from exhaustive but, even so, contains exactly 1650 reports, including 263 (or an average of 5 a week) from 2012 alone.

My motivation in embarking on this research has been to offer some understanding to the grieving families who are invariably left a legacy of unanswered questions, along with the memory of horrific loss. Perhaps this site will help answer some of those questions.

Brian

WARNING: People who have been prescribed antidepressants should never suddenly stop taking their medication. Gradual tapering is advisable. Anyone considering altering the dosage of their medication, or withdrawing from it, needs to take medical advice first.