Dr David Healy Recounts His Experiences Of The Dolin Paxil Trial..


Dr David Healy recounts his role in securing a victory against GlaxoSmithKline in the Stewart Dolin Paxil trial…

Compelling reading..

More on the Dolin trial in later posts..


https://davidhealy.org/change-in-chicago-playing-go/

Change in Chicago: Playing Go

May, 8, 2017 | 1 Comment

Shocking Seroxat Stories From The Recent Guardian Article On SSRI’s..


I was lucky I got off Seroxat (Paxil) when I did. I was almost 4 years on it, and every minute of that four years was a minute too long for me. I can only imagine how horrible it must feel to be on Seroxat for ten years or more. In a recent Guardian article on SSRI’s, the long term use of SSRI drugs was examined, and some of the stories about Seroxat were very sad. These drugs are highly toxic and dangerous. Seroxat is hell in a pill. One poor guy has been taking Seroxat for 26 years. That is simply horrendous and his doctor should be ashamed.

The side effects are absolutely appalling on Seroxat and it is almost impossible to come off without experiencing extremely debilitating withdrawals.

My heart goes out to all these people trapped on SSRI’s. Long term usage of these drugs has not been studied and even very short term use can be dangerous.

Here are some examples of Seroxat horror stories from the Guardian article, however there must be many thousands more who can’t speak out though, that’s the bigger tragedy….

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/may/06/dont-know-who-am-antidepressant-long-term-use

‘If I missed a dose, I’d get shocks down the side of my body’: Chris, 43; has been taking Seroxat for 26 years

“…I was originally prescribed Seroxat for mild anxiety about my GCSEs. It was 1991, about the time GlaxoSmithKline released Seroxat. I was one of the first people to be given it.

I was prescribed 20mg, the basic dose, to start with. It helped me: I got through school, I went to uni, I went to work. But I had side-effects from the off: profuse sweating, low libido. I’m quite a placid person, but I became aggressive. I never suffered, in the beginning, with the suicidal thoughts that people talk about now, but what I did notice was that if I missed a dose – especially after eight years of taking it – I’d get shocks down the side of my body. I’d be nauseous, my limbs would become weak. I’d be in a constant state of confusion and was very impatient. I couldn’t communicate well with people. I said this to the doctor, and he said, “We’ll up the dose to 40mg.” That was 1998.

The 10 years after that weren’t too bad. I managed to work, as a sales rep, for 18-20 years. But by 2012, by which time I was up to 60mg, I had tried on numerous occasions to withdraw. I tried to go back to 20mg, but my words became slurry, so the doctor put me back up to 60mg.

By the time I was 38, even that wasn’t enough. I tried to take my life. The doctor wouldn’t prescribe a higher dose. I couldn’t do my job, I couldn’t concentrate, I couldn’t drive. A psychiatrist once said to me that coming off Seroxat is harder than quitting heroin. That really hit home.

I have now been unable to work for four years. I’m still seeing a psychiatrist. I’ve also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia: constant tiredness, aches in the neck, and in the lower back and lower limbs. I’m 43 and still live with my mum and dad.

I also have no libido. Since the age of 30, I have had no feelings in that regard whatsoever. I have had relationships, but they’ve all failed. I haven’t been in a relationship for 10 years, which is a long time to go without sex, but I just don’t get the urge.

I don’t really have emotions, to tell you the truth. The drug takes your emotions away. I’m sort of existing, not living…”


“….I have been on seroxat since 1996, my dose has been 50mg daily for over a decade. I was prescribed it for depression, five years’ ago I was diagnosed with bipolar and told seroxat is not recommended as it can increase the likelihood of manic episodes. In about 1996 I was told I was neurotic because I reported that if I missed a few days’ meds I would get electric shocks deep inside my brain and inside my body. I have tried tapered reduction of my dose several times, mostly at the insistence of GPs (prior to my bipolar diagnosis) and once during my pregnancy in 2007. Those were the scariest periods in my life, I have never felt so physically and mentally ill.

In 2007 I found myself calculating the drop to hang myself and looking for a suitable spot in the house. It wasn’t at all like my ‘normal’ suicidal feeljngs, this was a strong compulsive urge, I can’t even explain it properly. Hanging is not a method I have ever contemplated during other periods of suicidal ideation. As far as I can see I need to take these meds for the rest of my life, trying to even reduce them is too terrifying to contemplate. Since taking them I have also become a severe bruxist and have destroyed most of my teeth through grinding and clenching. Whether this is a side effect of seroxat or not I don’t know but it is very tiresome and painful…”


“…I was on SSRIs for around 25 years continuously. After being on Seroxat for around 15 years my GP got concerned, and told me the long term effects of that drug were unknown, and that I should change to something else. I went on to Sertraline, which was equally effective against the dysthymia I suffered from. That is a relatively unknow variant of standard depression which is not as serious but is chronic, and it never lets up, which is why I was on the pills continuously for all that time.

I never once assumed the pills were any sort of cure – they aren’t. They are just a stop gap, a mental “sticking plaster” if you like. They can keep you functioning – sort of – so you can earn a living. But they leave you with little emotions and turn life in a sort of grey mush.

I tried out a whole variety of different therapies over the years, including standard psychodynamic counselling, gestalt, psychosynthesis, mindfulness, bodywork, hypnotherapy, and creative writing as well as keeping up an exercise programme. None of those things worked in the slightest for me – though I learnt a lot in the process and probably fixed a few other less pressing problems. I eventually came across spirit release therapy (google it) which did work.

Coming off the antidepressants once the depression was cured still took about 6 months. I tried a 4 week programme initially, but felt ill and just went back to my normal dose. A very slow withdrawal fixed it – which involved chopping up standard 50 and 100mg pills into smaller chunks with a stanley knife!…”


“…I only took Seroxat for 6 months, and coming off that was about half of that timescale. I didn’t like it, I have a gap in my memory of my time taking it, and it was horrible to come off. I’m glad I didn’t take it for very long. That was a number of years ago though. More recently I’ve had Citalopram (also not fun to cut down); Mirtazapine (easier to come off than SSRIs), and I’m currently taking Sertraline. A part of me wonders if any of them are helping me much. I was told by a Psyc nurse a few weeks ago that my moods should be more stable than they are, so it’s possible that I don’t have depression alone but something else.
What that may be is difficult to discover. Unfortunately getting anywhere with NHS mental health services is like wading through thick treacle in the dark while a force 9 gale is blowing at you. As others have said, antidepressants just deal with some of the symptoms, they don’t fix the problem….”


“…I have taken a few anti-depressants over the years and I have mostly positive things to say, except I wouldn’t touch Paxil (seen a few people have a tough time on that) and there was one which I forget the name of, but it made so ill the first night I took one, I would rather be depressed that feel that unwell, so I didn’t take one more! I have taken Prozac for 4 months – apart from killing my sex drive, it saved my life, like opening dark-room curtains to show a beautiful garden outside in sunlight, the effect was so dramatic. Don’t remember coming off being a problem, but it was 20+ years ago.
I took Wellbutrin to stop smoking and it worked amazingly well and I came off it after 2 months (haven’t smoked since) and still fondly remember the boost to my libido that first month (almost tempted to try again). Coming off wasn’t a problem. I do recall the constipation being incredible but managed it with prunes and extra water everyday! Seriously.

I took Citalopram for a year to deal with a bit of anxiety and high-stress, only 20mg and when I came off it suddenly, not tapered, I did get weird brain zaps but only for 2 weeks. I came off as I wanted to conceive and didn’t want to be on drugs…”


“…I was prescribed Seroxat for chronic melancholic depression, within a month I started to have suicidal thoughts, not good when I also take high doses of morphine…”



“…I wish I could take SSRIs, but the nightmares that come with them make it impossible. Three to five horrendous scenarios every night are just too much for me. My days are slightly better but my nights are hell….”

Long Term Seroxat/Paxil User: ” the only reason I am on the drug is because I am dependent upon it. And that is not good enough.”…


https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/may/06/dont-know-who-am-antidepressant-long-term-use

‘I don’t know who I am without it’: the truth about long-term antidepressant use

Prescriptions have doubled in a decade, but very little is known about the effect of taking SSRIs for years and years. Is it a lifesaver or a happiness trap?

Noma Bar illustration of bird in cage shaped like a pill
Long-term side-effects of taking antidepressants are sometimes ignored or misunderstood. Illustration: Noma Bar

Sarah never planned to take antidepressants for 14 years. Three years after she began taking them, when she was 21, she went to her GP and asked to stop: 20mg of Seroxat a day had helped her live with anxiety and panic attacks, but she began to feel uncomfortable about being on medication all the time. Her doctor advised her to taper down her medication carefully.

At once, “I was a mess,” she says. “I thought I was losing my mind. My appetite completely went. I lost the best part of two stone. I was anxious constantly. My mouth was dry. It was difficult to sit and be calm.” She became withdrawn, refusing to see friends, and remembers asking her mother to get her a couple of boxes of paracetamol, thinking, “I’m going to have to take all these tablets, because I can’t live like this.”

Sarah’s doctor encouraged her to go back up to 20mg. “Within a week, I was much better. I feel anger when I look back. That wasn’t me relapsing, that was withdrawal. But I was so unwell, I didn’t stop to think, ‘I’ve never had this before.’ I truly thought it was me. Now the only reason I am on the drug is because I am dependent upon it. And that is not good enough.”

Prescriptions of SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), the most common type of antidepressant, have doubled in the past decade. There are now more than 70m prescriptions dispensed in the UK in a year, the “greatest rise” of any drug in the last year, according to NHS research. But while the side-effects of starting and then withdrawing from these drugs are reasonably well known (the patient information leaflet accompanying the SSRI Seroxat is six pages long), there is very little research into the long-term effects of using antidepressants.

Last year, an all-party parliamentary group began hearing evidence as to whether there is a link between a measurable rise in mental health disability claims – 103% between 1995 and 2014 – and that in antidepressant prescriptions. (Claims for other conditions fell by 35% in the same period.) “We need to have a serious rethink about current levels of prescribing, because it may well be that the drugs are in fact contributing to the disability burden,” Dr Joanna Moncrieff, a consultant psychiatrist and senior lecturer at University College London, told the committee.

Reports both anecdotal and clinical have included side-effects such as constant pain, an altered sense of smell, taste or hearing, visual problems, burning hands and feet; food or drug intolerances and akathisia (the medical term for a deep inner restlessness). When a patient begins tapering down their dosage, these effects are generally ascribed to the drug leaving their system; if it is long after withdrawal is supposed to be over, however, patients are often disbelieved (according to the drug companies, withdrawal should take just two weeks for most people, though they acknowledge that for some it can be months).

Professor David Healy, director of the department of psychological medicine at Cardiff University and author of 22 books on psychopharmacology, believes that antidepressants are overprescribed. “If you go into your average doctor – if you’ve been off the drug for half a year or more – and you complain [of a range of symptoms] and say, ‘I think it’s caused by this pill I was on’, he or she would say, ‘It’s been out of your body for months. You’re neurotic, you’re depressed. All we need to do is put you on another pill.’”

GPs, Healy says, are “relying on your word, and if it’s a choice between believing what you say and relying on what drug companies say to them, they [tend to] believe the drug companies”. Healy, who has been a consultant for, and expert witness against, most of the major pharmaceutical companies, has long argued that long-term side-effects are routinely ignored or misunderstood.

But many experts believe these drugs do more good than harm. “Most of the people I see who have moderate to severe depression benefit from them,” says Daniel Smith, a professor of psychiatry and researcher into bipolar disorder at the University of Glasgow. For some, medication can be no less than “transformative. It can get them through a really critical period of their life.”

However, when it comes to long-term impact, especially after a person stops taking SSRIs, Smith says it can be hard to work out which symptoms relate to the drug use and which to the underlying conditions. “There’s obviously an issue of cause and effect. How can we be certain the SSRI caused it? Depression affects libido and sexual interest. How much [of the reported effects] is depression and/or anxiety symptoms coming back?”

A Seroxat box and pills
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By 2003, worldwide sales of Seroxat, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, were worth £2.7bn. Photograph: Alamy

SSRIs have been around for more than 40 years, but grew in popularity in the late 1980s and 90s after pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly launched fluoxetine, otherwise known as Prozac. Time magazine put the drug on its cover twice, asking, “Is Freud finished?” and describing SSRIs as “mental health’s greatest success story”. In 2001, a landmark report on a clinical trial into paroxetine (sold as Seroxat in North America and Paxil in the UK), called Study 329, concluded that it demonstrated “remarkable efficacy and safety”. Study 329 led directly to a massive increase in prescriptions: by 2003, worldwide sales of Seroxat (manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline) were worth £2.7bn.

But concerns were raised about the study –the US food and drug administration (FDA) officer who reviewed the data disagreed with the findings, calling it a failed trial – and in 2015 the British Medical Journal published a re-evaluation. Seven authors went through as many of the thousands of individual case reports as they could, and found not only that “the efficacy of paroxetine… was not statistically or clinically different from placebo”, but that “there were clinically significant increases in harms, including suicidal ideation and behaviour”. The original study reported 265 adverse reactions; the BMJ found 481. The re-evaluation also found that psychiatric responses were grouped together with “dizziness” and “headaches”, rather than given their own category. In 2003, the UK banned the use of Seroxat by anyone under 18; and in 2004 the FDA required a “black box warning” on all antidepressants, its strictest level of patient warning.

“Patient safety is our number one priority,” a GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) spokesperson tells me. “We believe we acted responsibly in researching paroxetine, monitoring its safety once it was approved and updating its labelling as new information became available.”

Many SSRI users report blunted emotions, even long after they have ceased taking pills, and an impact on sexual function. “They should be called anti-sex drugs rather than antidepressant drugs,” says Jon Jureidini, a child psychiatrist of 30 years’ standing, a professor of psychiatry and paediatrics at the University of Adelaide and co-author of the BMJ study, “It’s more reliably predictable that they’re going to get rid of sexual function than it is that they’re going to get rid of depression.” Again, some people find this persists long after they cease taking the drug. One person I spoke to, Kevin, had taken Prozac for six months when he was 18; now 38, he hasn’t had an erection since.

Last September, Healy and colleagues published a further examination of the data gathered for Study 329. This data followed the trial participants for six months after they started taking paroxetine (the “continuation phase”) and while they were tapered off it. GSK, which in 2004 published a clinical study report, had argued that “the long-term safety profile of paroxetine in adolescents appears similar to that reported following short-term dosing”. Healy and co, however, concluded that the “continuation phase did not offer support for longer-term efficacy”. More alarmingly, they found that the taper phase, when patients were being taken off the drugs, was the riskiest of all, showing a “higher proportion of severe adverse events per week of exposure”. This, they said, opens up the risk of a “prescribing cascade”, whereby drug side-effects are thought to be symptoms, so are treated with further drugs, causing further side-effects and further prescriptions – thus increasing the risk of long-term prescription drug-dependency.

In October, the British Medical Association published its response to a two-year fact-finding exercise into long-term use of psychoactive drugs. It noted that while benzodiazepines, z-drugs, opioid and antidepressants are “a key therapeutic tool”, that their use can “often lead to a patient becoming dependent or suffering withdrawal symptoms… the evidence and insight presented to us by many charity and support groups… shows us that the ‘lived experience’ of patients using these medications is too often associated with devastating health and social harms”; it was therefore, the report concluded, a “significant public health issue”.

The BMA made three key recommendations: first, and most urgently, that the UK government establish a 24-hour helpline for prescribed drug dependence; second, that it establish well-resourced specialist support units; and third, that there should be clear guidance on prescription, tapering and withdrawal management (they found the current approach to antidepressants, in particular, to be inconsistent: too many patients were suffering “significant harm”). There are also increasingly urgent calls for studies into long-term effects that are not funded by drug companies, because, Moncrieff says: “We don’t have very much data. This research is really important, but hasn’t been done. It’s a massive blind spot. It’s extraordinary – or maybe, given the pressures and interests at work, not extraordinary at all – that it hasn’t been filled.”

In March this year, members of the BMA, along with MPs and researchers from Roehampton University, went to parliament to lobby Public Health England, armed with research estimating that there are 770,000 long-term users of antidepressants in England alone, at a cost of £44m to the NHS per year (a figure that does not account for the cost of GP appointments, or the impact of side-effects, withdrawal effects and disability payments).

“I think you have to adopt a very conservative approach,” says psychiatrist Jon Jureidini. “These are brain-altering drugs, and our overall experience with brain-altering drugs of all kinds is that they tend to have a detrimental effect on some proportion of people who take them long term. All we know about the benefits is from short-term symptom-reduction studies. The careful prescriber needs to say, ‘Well, in balancing the likely benefits and harms, I need to be very cautious about how much benefit I’m expecting, and I need to be very generous about the possibility that the harms might be more than they appear to be.’”

Quite a few long-term users, such as those I spoke to below (and who wished to be anonymous), would agree.

‘Tapering off is the hardest thing I’ve ever done’: Sarah, 32; has taken Seroxat for 14 years

I was prescribed Seroxat when I was 18, the year I started university. I grew up with a disabled sister, so things at home were very stressful, and I had a history of anxiety and panic attacks. I had counselling, but the problems persisted, so I went back to the GP. I don’t remember everything that was said, but there was no conversation about side-effects.

Within the first two weeks of starting Seroxat, I remember I was sitting in the front room watching TV when out of nowhere I had this intense feeling of heat, like an electric shock. It started in my hands, went all the way up my arms and through to my head.

The GP said it was probably just my body getting used to the drug. And after a few weeks the weird sensations did ease off. I had a fabulous time at university. I still had panic attacks, and there were certain situations I would avoid – as I still do – so it wasn’t a wonder drug, but there were no major problems.

But in 2006 I tried to come off it. There were a couple of Panorama documentaries about the side-effects and I was starting to become concerned. The GP said, “That’s fine, but do it gradually, over three weeks.”

I immediately became incredibly unwell. I thought I was losing my mind. I was going to work, but it was difficult to get through the day. My mouth was so dry, I was constantly drinking water. I had bizarre thoughts – not hallucinations – that were frightening or distressing. I had a strong sense of detachment from reality.

Eventually, the doctor said, “Look, you coming off is obviously not working: we need to get you back to 20mg.” Within a week I was much better.

A few years later, when I realised my mental health was getting worse, even though I was on the medication, I started to do some research, reading case studies about withdrawal. I find it so offensive when a GP says, “This is who you are.” I didn’t have these symptoms 10 years ago. I didn’t have this sense of detachment. I saw various psychiatrists. They just kept saying, “The drug is safe, you need to be on it.” A couple of others told me the reason I was having these problems was because I wasn’t taking enough. Another said, “If you were diabetic, you’d take insulin and you wouldn’t have an issue. Why are you so bothered about taking this drug?”

I’ve been on it since I was 18, so I don’t know who I am without it, as an adult. Who knows? I might have all kinds of problems, but I need to know I’ve tried. Tapering off is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s taken me three years just to get from 20mg to 5mg. I’m no longer with my partner – we were together for six years. I believe Seroxat has played a part: it affected my moods, it made my anxiety worse and, by necessity, I’ve had to be selfish, really. I don’t want to say all my problems are to do with Seroxat, because they’re not. But I do believe that it has caused me harm.

‘I don’t have much of an interest in interacting romantically or physically with the opposite sex’: Jake, 24; took SSRIs for eight years

I had been dealing with symptoms of OCD and anxiety for a lot of my childhood. It’s in my family, affecting two siblings and one parent. I was prescribed Zoloft when I was 12; I took a variety of SSRIs, Zoloft to Prozac to Lexapro, and then two others, for eight years.

Did they help? You know, I can’t really tell you, because I got through school. I got high marks, I had a lot of friends. So, in that sense, they must have helped. That’s the thing: for people with major depression, it’s easy to say, this has a measurable effect. But I kept taking them just because that’s what I’ve always done.

I went to university right out of school. I did very poorly. I had a bit of a breakdown, isolating myself, not sleeping. I was still on medication. I came home and enrolled at a community college. That was my worst period – I was very depressed. And I started to think, “I’ve been on these medications a long time. I’m not doing well – why not get off them?” I don’t recommend this at all to anyone, but I stopped going to a psychiatrist and took myself off.

prozac
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Prozac. Photograph: Getty Images

For months I had trouble sleeping. I was jittery. I had brain zaps. My anxiety was pretty ramped up. I would feel numbness in my extremities – generally my arms. My psychiatrist told me these were just normal withdrawal symptoms, and they’d be gone in four to six weeks: “Anything you feel beyond that is your anxiety and depression returning.” Basically, if you still feel anything beyond this window that the medical community has established, it’s all in your head.

Eventually I went back to school full-time, and I remember doing OK, feeling somewhat better.

I’ve now been drug-free for four years. What’s lasted are the sexual side-effects. They were definitely worse in withdrawal than they had been on the drug, even though I didn’t really realise or understand it at the time, primarily because I started to take SSRIs at 12. While my brother took the same medicine over the same period and had a normal sexual life, I had a lack of sexual interest. I had erections, and I have regularly masturbated my entire life. But I don’t have much of an interest in interacting romantically or physically with the opposite sex.

I didn’t even start thinking about sex until a couple of years ago. It’s almost like I woke up one day and thought, “OK!” I started getting these windows – days or weeks – when normal sexual feelings would appear. But they’re new to me and I don’t know what to do about them. And because I don’t know what to do, I get anxious, and the anxiety kills any feeling – and then I’m anxious because I’ve lost all my feeling.

Online, I’ve come across a big asexual community. Some also took antidepressants; I think there are a lot of people like me out there. I’d like to think that if I keep going to counselling and sleeping and eating properly, I can rectify these things.

In the end, it’s about pros and cons. If you’re lying in bed and can’t get up, is it better to function? If it was up to me, I’d say that, barring extreme circumstances, nobody under 18 should be prescribed these things. Your brain develops around them. Drug companies should be thinking of the long-term effect on people who can’t even consent.

‘If I missed a dose, I’d get shocks down the side of my body’: Chris, 43; has been taking Seroxat for 26 years

I was originally prescribed Seroxat for mild anxiety about my GCSEs. It was 1991, about the time GlaxoSmithKline released Seroxat. I was one of the first people to be given it.

I was prescribed 20mg, the basic dose, to start with. It helped me: I got through school, I went to uni, I went to work. But I had side-effects from the off: profuse sweating, low libido. I’m quite a placid person, but I became aggressive. I never suffered, in the beginning, with the suicidal thoughts that people talk about now, but what I did notice was that if I missed a dose – especially after eight years of taking it – I’d get shocks down the side of my body. I’d be nauseous, my limbs would become weak. I’d be in a constant state of confusion and was very impatient. I couldn’t communicate well with people. I said this to the doctor, and he said, “We’ll up the dose to 40mg.” That was 1998.

The 10 years after that weren’t too bad. I managed to work, as a sales rep, for 18-20 years. But by 2012, by which time I was up to 60mg, I had tried on numerous occasions to withdraw. I tried to go back to 20mg, but my words became slurry, so the doctor put me back up to 60mg.

By the time I was 38, even that wasn’t enough. I tried to take my life. The doctor wouldn’t prescribe a higher dose. I couldn’t do my job, I couldn’t concentrate, I couldn’t drive. A psychiatrist once said to me that coming off Seroxat is harder than quitting heroin. That really hit home.

I have now been unable to work for four years. I’m still seeing a psychiatrist. I’ve also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia: constant tiredness, aches in the neck, and in the lower back and lower limbs. I’m 43 and still live with my mum and dad.

I also have no libido. Since the age of 30, I have had no feelings in that regard whatsoever. I have had relationships, but they’ve all failed. I haven’t been in a relationship for 10 years, which is a long time to go without sex, but I just don’t get the urge.

I don’t really have emotions, to tell you the truth. The drug takes your emotions away. I’m sort of existing, not living.

And when the drugs do work…

‘I wanted to be able to feel good when good things were happening, bad when bad things were happening’

By Simon Hattenstone

I suppose I was a depression snob. A purist. Why should I take antidepressants? Yes, there was something rubbish about crying all the time, not functioning, being unable to answer simple questions because of the fug in my head. But, hey, at least I was true to myself.

My depression went back to my late teens. I didn’t like to think of myself as depressive, because depressives were losers. And I didn’t think I fitted the bill: I was pretty funny and able, and I could get girlfriends. I guess most depressives don’t think they fit the bill.

It might have been genetic. My dad had paralysing depression, and so did his father. As a young boy, I’d spent three years off school with encephalitis – an inflammation of the brain that is often fatal. Survivors are often left with depression.

I remember as a teenager being on holiday in Greece with friends. The weather was gorgeous, and I thought, “Why can’t it piss down, because then at least I’d have a reason to feel this way?”

That is what I always craved – objectivity. To be able to feel good when good things were happening, to feel bad when bad things were happening. I hated the fact that my feelings rarely correlated to what was going on in my outer world.

In my 20s, I got by. I held down a good job, fell in love, had kids, made friends, had a pretty good life. But things came to a head when my best friend killed herself. I’d find myself weaving in between traffic wondering what the impact would be like. I took a period off work and gratefully accepted my Prozac prescription.

Things had changed since I first rejected them. Prozac looked cool (lovely green-and-white pills) and rock bands wrote great songs about it (even if REM’s Shiny Happy People was supposed to be dystopic). After telling people I was off work with depression, I ended up feeling like a priest at confessional. It turned out that virtually everybody I knew was a depressive and pilling their way out of it; now it was “our secret”.

Initially, Prozac made me feel sick. And then magically, after a couple of weeks, I felt lighter, as if something had been lifted. I could hear questions properly, answer logically, enjoy a sunny day.

My partner said I was transformed. Occasionally, I would try to come off the pills and felt rubbish again – not more rubbish than I had before, but the same. So I returned, and after a while, I thought, “What’s the point of even thinking about coming off the pills if they make life work for me?”

There are times now when I wonder if I weep and fret and withdraw too much, and whether I’m becoming immune to the Prozac. But on balance I think not, because life is still so much better than it was.

If Prozac was no longer working for me, would I stop taking it? Probably. Would I stop taking antidepressants full stop? I doubt it. I’d simply look for another super pill.

Are you a long-term user of antidepressants? Tell us about your experiences

  • If you are affected by the issues raised in this piece, contact the Samaritans here.

DR AJ PODCAST: Drug industry perverts proper medical practice


http://thechronicleherald.ca/opinion/1463910-dr-aj-podcast-drug-industry-perverts-proper-medical-practice

DR AJ PODCAST: Drug industry perverts proper medical practice

DR A.J.
April 29, 2017 – 6:00am
April 29, 2017 – 2:35pm

Irish Politician (Clare Daly) Speaks Out Against GSK’s Dodgy Pandemrix Drug In The Irish Parliament….


 

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/oireachtas/boy-with-narcolepsy-blocked-from-seeking-documents-d%C3%A1il-told-1.3036855

Boy with narcolepsy blocked from seeking documents, Dáil told

Independent TD calls for no-fault vaccine damage payment scheme

Clare Daly said the boy could fall asleep without warning and had smashed his teeth and broken his bones.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Clare Daly said the boy could fall asleep without warning and had smashed his teeth and broken his bones. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Independent TD Clare Daly has claimed a 14-year-old boy suffering from narcolepsy has been obstructed from seeking documents under discovery by State agencies.

She said narcolepsy was a lifelong debilitating disorder caused by the Pandemrix vaccination issued for swine flu in 2010.

Ms Daly told the Dáil the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the State Claims Agency (SCA) had gone into the High Court last week, “unnoticed and undocumented’’, to obstruct the boy and other sufferers seeking the documentation.

Ms Daly said the HSE and the SCA had said they would voluntarily disclose the documents in 2015.

“We need to be clear about the fact that the HSE decided to purchase Pandemrix and continued to distribute it even after it knew it was dangerous and untested and before most of the public in Ireland received it,’’ she added.

“It knew there was a sevenfold or eightfold risk of serious adverse effects in comparison with its sister drug and alternative vaccinations for which there were no adverse side effects.’’

Ms Daly said the Government was continuing to deny the requests of victims for discretionary medical cards and other benefits.

“I want to know why Ireland is the only country that does not operate a no-fault vaccine damage payment scheme,’’ she added.

Ms Daly said the boy could fall asleep without warning and had smashed his teeth and broken his bones.

“He experiences terrifying hallucinations in a state of sleep paralysis,’’ she added. “He has to be given expensive anaesthetics so that he can get a few hours’ sleep.’’

He suffered from anxiety and depression to the extent had had tried to kill himself, she said.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he did not know why the HSE, having said it would voluntarily disclose the information sought, seemed to have had a sudden change of direction. He would follow the matter up, he added.

Mr Kenny said Minister for Health Simon Harris had met representatives of the support group for people with narcolepsy in recent days and had sanctioned the go-ahead for the centre of excellence for sleep disorder in St James’s hospital.

He said the programme for government included a commitment to examine supports for people who had been harmed by vaccines.

This Bitter Earth..


Mad In America: Wendy Dolin Takes on GlaxoSmithKline And Wins — For Now at Lea


Wendy Dolin Takes on GlaxoSmithKline And Wins — For Now at Least

Jim Gottstein, JD

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In July of 2010, Stewart Dolin, a partner at the mega law firm Reed Smith, jumped in front of a subway train in Chicago, killing himself. He was apparently suffering from akathisia caused by the so-called antidepressant drug paroxetine. The brand name for paroxetine is Paxil, but Stewart was given a generic version manufactured by Mylan.

Stewart’s widow, Wendy, sued GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the manufacturer of Paxil, and Mylan, on the grounds that the paroxetine caused Stewart to commit suicide. The case came to trial on March 14th and ended on April 20th with a $3 million verdict for Wendy and their children. The trial itself was gripping, with excellent coverage by Bob Fiddamen:

Since Bob did such a great job, I am not going describe the trial except to say that it exposed GSK lies and the morally bankrupt conduct of GSK, its attorneys and expert witnesses. GSK knew Paxil caused adults to commit suicide and hid that from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and doctors. The trial transcripts can be found here and exhibits here.

This is one key to the case, because there is a legal principle shielding drug companies called the “Learned Intermediary Doctrine” which establishes that the doctor, with access to full information, recommended the prescription-only drug after carefully weighing the risks and benefits. The primary official way that doctors are told about the risks of a drug is through the FDA-approved “label.” The drug manufacturer can also issue what is called “Dear Doctor” letters alerting them to risks.

But if the drug manufacturer withholds information, then one can get over the Learned Intermediary hurdle. That is the crux of this case. The argument is that because the manufacturer did not tell the doctor about the substantial risk of suicide, the Learned Intermediary Doctrine does not apply. Ms. Dolin’s top-notch legal team from Baum Hedlund (well known for taking on drug companies, especially over antidepressants) and David Rappaport established that GSK did not inform the FDA or doctors that Paxil caused people to commit suicide, thus getting over the Learned Intermediary hurdle. In fact, GSK still denied it. Cases against drug companies for withholding important information are not unusual.

However, Wendy Dolin faced another really big problem, which was that Stewart took the generic version of Paxil, manufactured by Mylan. Wendy sued Mylan, but Mylan was prohibited from providing any information other than the approved FDA label. How can Mylan be liable for not telling doctors something that it is prohibited by law from telling them? For that reason, Mylan was held to not be liable and dismissed from the case. Wendy also sued GSK, but GSK argued, “Hey, we didn’t manufacture the drug Mr. Dolin took so we can’t be liable.”  This is a classic Catch-22. The generic drug manufacturer isn’t liable because it was prohibited from giving any additional information and the original manufacturer isn’t liable because it didn’t sell the drug.  And, indeed, the judge ruled that GSK could not be held for product liability since it wasn’t its pill that caused Stewart’s suicide.

This is where excellent lawyering came in. R Brent Wisner of Baum Hedlund and local counsel David Rappoport came up with what I think is a brilliant argument based on what is called common-law negligence. The elements needed to establish negligence in Illinois are:

  1. Duty of care owed by the defendant to the plaintiff;
  2. Breach of that duty; and
  3. The breach of duty proximately caused an injury.

See, Memorandum Opinion and Order (Order), page 8.

The judge held that GSK owed a duty to warn doctors (but not consumers) of the risks of which it knew, or should have known, satisfying the first requirement. This duty is not tied to the branded Paxil, manufactured by GSK, but is applicable to the generic versions as well. This allowed the case to go to the jury where the dishonesty of GSK was put on full view.

The jury was charged with determining whether GSK was negligent in failing to warn the doctors and then, if so, did that negligence cause Stewart to commit suicide. The judge instructed the jury as to what negligence and proximate cause mean, as follows:

“Negligence” as used in these instructions means the failure to do something which a reasonably careful person or corporation would do, or the doing of something which a reasonable careful person or corporation would not do under circumstances similar to those shown by the evidence. The law does not say how a reasonably careful person or corporation would act under those circumstances. That is for you to decide.

As used in these instructions, “proximate cause” means that cause in the natural or ordinary course of events produced the death of Stewart Dolin. It need not be the only cause, nor the nearest or last cause. It is sufficient if it combines with another cause resulting in Stewart Dolin’s death.

The entirety of the judge’s instructions to the jury can be found here.

Then, the jury indeed found GSK negligent in not informing doctors of the suicide risk and this negligence caused Stewart’s death. In order to get there, the jury had to believe Stewart’s doctor that he would not have prescribed the paroxetine if he had known about the risk, or would have monitored him.

Frankly, in the overall scheme of things, the $3 million verdict is not that large. Stewart was a successful partner in a big law firm, presumably making a lot of money. But Wendy Dolin’s lawsuit was never about the money. Bob Fiddaman published an interview with Wendy after the verdict that is quite worthwhile reading. I direct your attention to it especially for her description of the awful tactics of intimidation perpetrated by GSK’s lawyers. The other thing about Wendy’s interview that I would draw attention to is her description of the importance of the ruling on generics:

I knew from the moment this lawsuit was filed that GSK was always concerned that this was a generic drug. . . . It has been suggested that GSK wants to take this case to the Supreme Court because they are so afraid of what this guilty verdict means. As it stands, the legal ramifications for this verdict are so damaging for pharmaceutical companies that reaching the Supreme Court is very possible.

For sure, holding drug companies liable for failure to warn about risks with their drugs even after they have gone generic is a good thing. Actually, I think drug companies have an incentive to do this to depress generic sales in favor of new drugs that are still on patent and therefore subject to monopoly pricing. In fact, it has been a longstanding pattern that the real risks of drugs do not get revealed until they come off patent. This case, if sustained on appeal, gives even more incentive for the drug companies to diss their drugs after they come off patent.

We will have to see where this goes, but for sure it is a big victory for exposing the truth. Baum Hedlund and David Rappaport deserve kudos for taking this case and pursuing it so effectively.

Paxil-Aropax-Seroxat And Other SSRI’s Caused Suicidal Thoughts In Children..


The same in adults..

same in all ages..

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4431472/Anti-depressants-caused-suicidal-thoughts-children.html

 

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Daddy, please kill me I can’t do this any more’: Meet the CHILDREN prescribed anti-depressants for anxiety that ‘made them suicidal’ – as scores of parents join in a class action

  •  Two mothers have spoken out about their children’s adverse reactions to the anti-depressant drugs
  •  Sydney mother Donna’s son Seth went on anti-depressants when he was five and he is now 10 years of age
  •  Mel’s daughter Maiya, from Brisbane went on anti-depressants seven years ago, when she was six years old
  • The concerned mothers claimed their young children suffered from suicidal symptoms  

A mother who watched as her 10-year-old son rocked in a corner of his room begging for someone to kill him to end his misery has revealed how anti-depressants turned her ‘gentle, loving’ son into angry and suicidal young boy.

Sydney mother Donna is one of dozens of people involved in a class action over the use of ‘adult’ antidepressants in children in Australia.

The concerned mother spoke to Daily Mail Australia from beside her son Seth’s hospital bed on Friday after he was admitted for psychiatric care following multiple attempts to end his own life while being weaned off the antidepressant Aropax.

‘One day I came outside and he had a pair of scissors to his chest – he kept saying he was going to do it, so I had to call an ambulance,’ Donna said.

‘He was cuffed by paramedics and at the hospital I had to watch as he was held down by doctors, three security guards, nurses, and his father so he could be sedated.

Seth, pictured with mother Donna, has suffered from side effects of his antidepressants which include suicidal thoughts

Seth, pictured with mother Donna, has suffered from side effects of his antidepressants which include suicidal thoughts

The ten-year-old is now being weened off the drug is a Sydney psych ward

The ten-year-old is now being weened off the drug is a Sydney psych ward

Maiya, 13, has been on Zoloft since she was six, after she had some tantrums at school

Maiya, 13, has been on Zoloft since she was six, after she had some tantrums at school

‘He looked at me and said ‘please don’t let them do it mummy I will be good’ I will never forget that look on his face.’

Now, aged 10, he is in a psych ward of a Sydney hospital after a devastating few months where he would go from ‘rocking and crying in the corner asking his parents to kill him’, to trying to jump out of his mother’s moving car.

Brisbane mother Mel, 34, also revealed the devastating effect antidepressants had on her daughter Maiya, now 13. The child, who after taking the drugs at just six years old, started ‘fantasising about death’.

‘I will never forget the moment she looked up to me and said ‘mummy, I want to go with the angels now’, it was just after an episode which saw her crying for days,’ Mel said.

The despairing mothers said they both ‘feel like it is their fault’ for making their young children take the doctor-prescribed pills.

But the lawyer running the proposed class action, Tony Nikolic, told Daily Mail Australia he had heard the stories of up to 60 children who suffered severely after taking antidepressants.

This picture was taken two weeks ago while Seth was being weened off the drugs

This picture was taken two weeks ago while Seth was being weened off the drugs

'I will never forget the moment she looked up to me and said 'mummy, I want to go with the angels now',' her mother Mel said

‘I will never forget the moment she looked up to me and said ‘mummy, I want to go with the angels now’,’ her mother Mel said

Maiya, pictured here with her younger sisters 6 months after being off the drug is now a happier person 

Maiya, pictured here with her younger sisters 6 months after being off the drug is now a happier person

The young girl, pictured here with her mother Mel, used to cut at her hair when she got angry

The young girl, pictured here with her mother Mel, used to cut at her hair when she got angry

‘A bad night’:  Seth’s anxiety got the better of him at his brother’s birthday and he had to leave the crowd shortly after this photo was taken

‘A bad night’:  Seth’s anxiety got the better of him at his brother’s birthday and he had to leave the crowd shortly after this photo was taken

‘The complaints range from people who were given it from as young as five – to teenagers who were put on them,’ he said.

The lawyer says the fact the two drugs are ‘not recommended for children’ is little known.

‘We know the 90 days coming on and 90 days coming off are the worst times for these families – as well as any time the dose is changed- that is when there is most likely to be trouble.’

The product information on both drugs says they are not recommended for children, but doctors continue to prescribe them.

Psychiatrist and Adelaide University research leader Doctor Jon Jureidini told Daily Mail Australia the drugs are widely used to treat anxiety in young children – but there is ‘no evidence supporting it’.

He claims doctors are given ‘contradictory information’ from the pharmaceutical companies – which ‘over the years have promoted the use of antidepressants in children’ despite the warnings on the drugs which say use for children isn’t recommended.

The young girl was at her most depressed when she was 11 and 12, pictured during that time here

The young girl was at her most depressed when she was 11 and 12, pictured during that time here

Seth was diagnosed with separation anxiety and ADHD in March 2012, when he was five, at the end of the year he was put on 20mg of Aropax

‘There is information which suggests tens of thousands of young people are on anti-depressants in Australia.

‘With these so-called anti-depressants a small number of children become suicidal and violent.

‘With any drug used in children it should be monitored very closely, and parents should get a second opinion,’ he said.

Seth’s mother Donna thought she was ‘doing the right thing’ by her son when she gave him the drugs because she ‘assumed the doctors knew what they were talking about’.

He was diagnosed with separation anxiety and ADHD in March 2012, when he was five, at the end of the year he was put on 20mg of Aropax.

According to the company’s product information ‘when AROPAX was tested in children under 18 years with major depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder or social anxiety, there were additional unwanted effects to those seen in adults, such as suicidal thoughts, hostile and unfriendly behaviour and changing moods.

‘The use of AROPAX is not recommended to treat major depressive disorder in children under 18, as the drug has not been shown to be effective in this age group. The long-term safety effects of paroxetine in this age group have not yet been demonstrated.’

The drugs appeared to ‘fix’ the boy’s anxiety when he was first introduced to them.

This picture was taken just weeks before going on the drug

This picture was taken just weeks before going on the drug

Seth's mother Donna thought she was 'doing the right thing' by her son when she gave him the drugs because she 'assumed the doctors knew what they were talking about'

Seth’s mother Donna thought she was ‘doing the right thing’ by her son when she gave him the drugs because she ‘assumed the doctors knew what they were talking about’

‘For five days he was almost euphoric. He had no fear or inhibitions, he was busking, he was going to class, he was like a normal child. I thought it was working.

‘Then he started having fits laughter- even when he was in trouble. Not long after that things started going wrong.’

Then the angry bursts started, which meant he became a problem at school and could no longer attend.

‘The smallest things would set him off it could be something simple like asking him to have a bath or go brush his teeth.’

He became violent toward his mother and started hitting her and trying to rip out her hair.

When he was nine, and his behaviour was deteriorating the family decided he needed more help. Doctors doubled his dose of the drug.

‘He was euphoric again and I thought I must have been wrong to think it wasn’t working the way they said it would. But then he got way worse and I knew it was the medication. Seth’s suicidal tendencies got worse.

‘His father called me one day and told me Seth needed me, by the time I got to him he was in a ball, rocking in the corner yelling ”daddy please kill me I don’t want to do this anymore” it was absolutely heart-breaking, really hard to see your own child like that,’ she said.

‘I never knew it wasn’t for children, we were never told, if I had I wouldn’t have made him take it.’

She was ten, pictured left when her 2nd psychiatrist ‘upped her dose’

The family is happier now that Maiya has stopped having angry bursts and depressive thoughts

The family is happier now that Maiya has stopped having angry bursts and depressive thoughts

Mel’s daughter Maiya, 13, took Zoloft for seven years – her depression continued to spiral out of control so doctors gave her more of the drug – which her mother says just made her sicker.

The once bubbly little girl had her two sisters, Jazlyn, 12 and Gemirah, seven, ‘walking on eggshells every day’.

‘I thought I was doing the right thing for her, I was just doing what the doctors said, I thought I had lost my baby girl to depression. Finding out the drugs I told her she had to have were making her sad kills me,’ Mel said.

‘She would attack her sisters and scream and yell – but what is worse is when she would just cry.

‘She cried for hours and hours and hours at a time it is heart-breaking to see your baby do that and not know how to help.’

Then 12 months ago Mel stumbled across information on antidepressants which revealed Zoloft, the drug her daughter had been taking, was ‘not recommended for children and could cause suicidal thoughts’.

Pfizer, the maker of Zoloft has confirmed to Daily Mail Australia that it should only be used for children aged 6 to 18 years of age to treat obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

The teenager pictured weeks ago with her sister is excited to be able to 'be happy'

The teenager pictured weeks ago with her sister is excited to be able to ‘be happy’

The family used to 'walk on eggshells' to avoid an explosion of anger from the girl

The family used to ‘walk on eggshells’ to avoid an explosion of anger from the girl

Maiya pictured here a few weeks before she was first given anti depressants

Maiya pictured here a few weeks before she was first given anti depressants

‘I just burst into tears when I read it – I showed my mum I couldn’t believe it. We weened her off Zoloft, which was really tough but now she is a completely different kid.

‘She is not angry and there is no aggression. We don’t have unhappy days anymore,’ Mel said.

‘She will always have anxiety but we can cope with that – better then all those days of uncertainty, unhappiness and utter sadness. We never want to see that again.’

The young girl had ‘given up on life’ by the time her mother found the information on Zoloft and had stopped going to school and playing sport.

‘By the time she was 10 she was cutting her hair every time she got frustrated – when we went to see doctors they would put up her dose.

‘I am only speaking out because I never want any parent to go through what we have been through or to have their kids suffer like this.

The young girl had 'given up on life' by the time her mother found the information on Zoloft and had stopped going to school and playing sport

The young girl had ‘given up on life’ by the time her mother found the information on Zoloft and had stopped going to school and playing sport

‘I have seen a spark in her beautiful face that I though we lost a long time ago.’

Mr Nikolic has also looked into the possibility of a class action for adults – because they ‘are not told it is so hard to get off’ and has had about 1,400 people contact him for that.

‘This is a hard one as people don’t know how to complain because they are just one little person who have to try and prove their case against a multi-billion dollar corporation.

‘There is interest in both cases but I have a firm belief a case for children for Aropax and Zoloft has a reasonable prospect of success.’

The lawyer is looking for more people effected by antidepressants after being diagnosed the drugs as children.

‘We are looking for children who have demoniacal physical and psychological disabilities – Kids who took meds and are now in jail or took meds and jumped off a balcony and are now paraplegics.’

'I am only speaking out because I never want any parent to go through what we have been through or to have their kids suffer like this,' Mel said

‘I am only speaking out because I never want any parent to go through what we have been through or to have their kids suffer like this,’ Mel said

These cases could help move the proposed class action forward.

‘The Australian court is difficult, instead of the corporation having to prove they are right the little people have to prove the medication is dangerous and whatever has happened was caused by it.’

Pfizer the manufacturer of Zoloft and GSK the manufacturer of Aropax have both been approached for comment by Daily Mail Australia.

‘Pfizer takes the safety of our medicines very seriously and we are committed to ensuring the appropriate communication of important safety information to health care professionals and patients,’ a spokesperson said.

‘Zoloft (sertraline hydrochloride) is approved in Australia for use in children with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) aged 6 years or older.

‘Zoloft is not indicated for use in children and adolescents under the age of 18 years for the treatment of any medical condition other than OCD.’

GSK has not yet responded to our request.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4431472/Anti-depressants-caused-suicidal-thoughts-children.html#ixzz4fxuKqvbG
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Paxil/Seroxat Withdrawal Causes Violent Reaction In Florida Man..


http://www.flkeysnews.com/news/local/crime/article148063869.html

Attorney: Paxil withdrawal triggered client’s shooting rampage against police

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