Dr. Claudia Gold of Boston.com comments on the recent research finding that “thoughts of suicide, sexual difficulties and emotional numbness as a result of anti-depressants may be more widespread than previously thought.”
Animal studies have raised concerns about SSRIs and ADHD stimulants inducing lasting abnormalities in the developing brain. Researchers from the University of Amsterdam are now planning a series of three studies on the effects of Psychotropic drugs on Developing brains (the ePOD study). The present their proposed protocol and rationale in BMC Psychiatry.
There’s an interesting February 11, 2014, article on Peter Breggin’s website: $1.5 Million Award in Child Tardive Dyskinesia Malpractice. Apparently the individual in Dr. Breggin’s paper was diagnosed with autism as a child and was prescribed SSRI’s before the age of seven. The SSRI’s caused some deterioration in the child’s behavior and mental condition, to combat which his first psychiatrist prescribed Risperdal (risperidone). Subsequently a second psychiatrist added Zyprexa (olanzapine) to the cocktail. Both Risperdal and Zyprexa are neuroleptics (euphemistically known in psychiatric circles as antipsychotics), and are known to cause tardive dyskinesia. Full Article →
A report on antidepressant consumption released on 18 February 2014 by the OECD shows huge increases in prescribing of the drugs across most countries. According to the report a key factor driving this increase is the expansion of the off label use of the drugs for a vastly increased number of indications. While this may not seem like news, I think it warrants some analysis because I think what we are seeing is something more complex than simple market expansion. Full Article →
A trial of a new process of identifying drugs that can disrupt sex hormones singled out Paxil from 446 common drugs as having a weak estrogenic effect that could promote the growth of breast tumors in women. The study may shed light on previous studies that found women taking Paxil were more likely than those taking other antidepressants to die of breast cancer when also taking tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer recurrence.
Adverse effects of antidepressants, including sexual difficulties and emotional numbing, apathy, suicidality and withdrawal effects may be more frequent than previously reported, according to research published yesterday in Psychiatry Research. John Read, et al., surveyed 1,829 adults – the largest sample surveyed to date – who had been prescribed antidepressants in the last five years. Emotional “side-effects” were reported by more than 50%.
Recently, I have been the target of much wooing by my local Sunovion rep. I think he leaves messages for me almost weekly and he sends me missives – glossy brochures and reprints from major psychiatric journal. What is the subject of this attention? The drug – lurasidone (Latuda). Full Article →
Shire, dissatisfied with the success – but not “resounding success” – of its amphetamine/amino acid combination Vyvanse, is developing the drug (which recently failed trials as an antidepressant) as a treatment for binge-eating.
Connecticut continues to block public access to information on homicide investigations, according to the Connecticut News Times, an effort that began with concerns over the shooting in Sandy Hook by Adam Lanza in December of 2012. Such disclosure would “cause a lot of people to stop taking their medications,” said CT Assistant Attorney General Patrick B. Kwanashie, speaking at a Freedom of Information Act hearing called by Ablechild last year.
People who saw an advertisement for Cymbalta were less likely to offer help, endorse recovery, and have positive attitudes regarding self-determination towards people identified with mental illness, according to research in February’s Community Mental Health Journal. Those who self-identified as having a mental illness, however, reported less blame, less perceived dangerousness, less desire for social avoidance, more pity, and a greater willingness to help after viewing the advertisement.
MiA blogger Jeffrey Lacasse‘s study of psychiatric prescribing in response to perinatal/neonatal death (co-authored with Joanne Cacciatore) finds that 37% of participants in an online bereavement support community were prescribed meds. Of those, 80% were prescribed antidepressants, and 20% were prescribed benzodiazepines. 32% of prescriptions were written within 48 hours, 44% within a week and 75% within a month. Most of the prescriptions given shortly after the loss were prescribed by obstetricians or gynecologists, and most who were prescribed antidepressants ended up taking them long-term.
In 2009, my friend Leonie’s 22-year-old son Shane killed himself and another young man after taking Citalopram for 17 days. Eighteen days after Shane’s death, Psychiatrist Dr Michael Corry publicly stated his view that he could not have done what he did had he not been on Citalopram. Initially Leonie admits to thinking he was mad. How could medicine prescribed by a doctor have anything to do with what had happened to her son? Full Article →
Utah judge Robert Dale is allowing the defense of David Edward Drummond, Jr., who is serving a life sentence for shooting his wife in 2005, to investigate whether Drommond had suffered adverse effects from the antidepressant Effexor. Defense attorney Scott Wiggins argued that Drommond’s trial attorney provided “ineffective counsel” when he did not “investigate and present expert testimony regarding the possible effects of Effexor” on Drommond.
The body of 78 year-old Bob Farthing, who had been missing since Wednesday, was found in the back seat of his car Friday evening. ”He would never, ever have disappeared, he would have never taken off and left my mother like this,” Farthing’s daughter had said during the search. “He is struggling with the withdrawal from the drug Paxil.”
Does antidepressant use during pregnancy lead to autism in the exposed children? This is a very important question, which new research is beginning to address—and the findings are concerning. Full Article →
The Danish Agency for Patients’ Rights is holding a psychiatrist responsible for a patient’s suicide, which came 11 days after an 8-minute consultation that resulted in a prescription for antidepressants. Denmark will also restrict prescriptions of antidepressants for 18- to 24-year-olds. Peter Gøtzsche, commenting on the case in a Danish newspaper today, wrote “It is true that depression increases the risk of suicide, but antidepressants increase it even more.”
Researchers from Vanderbilt University and the University of Alabama found, in a retrospective study of increased suicidal behavior among 36,842 children who were new users of antidepressant medication, that suicidality did not differ between the various antidepressants studied. They did find, however, that users of multiple antidepressants had a concomitantly increased risk of attempting suicide.
Researchers from Australia find that chronic treatment with SSRIs significantly increases the rate of epileptogenesis in rats. Although SSRIs are commonly prescribed to people with epilepsy due to its high comorbidity with depression, they say, no previous studies have investigated the effects of SSRIs on epileptogenesis. Results appeared online in the journal Neurobiology of Disease.
A Pennsylvania Superior Court has affirmed a lower court’s ruling that GlaxoSmithKline is not responsible for the congenital heart defect that lead Joanne Thomas to abort her child in 2001. Thomas did not learn until studying for her nursing boards in 2007 that Paxil has been associated with such defects. The judge ruled, however, that Thomas could not produce “clear, precise, and convincing evidence” that GSK had concealed the peril. “Because Thomas never alleged any affirmative misrepresentations directed specifically at her,” the court said, “We conclude the trial court properly determined that the fraudulent concealment doctrine did not apply, and that GSK was entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law.”
Britain’s HealthTalkOnline.org offers videotaped interviews with 36 people in their homes, talking about their decision to take antidepressants and the impact of that decision on their work and lifestyle, “both good and bad, the side effects, the things that went well, the things that went less well, the journeys that some of them had to go on to find the right treatment for them.”
If I had remained med compliant I wouldn’t understand the simple joys of caring about my hygiene and my surroundings. I’ve wanted to write about this for a long time but I’ve not done it and I think it’s because I still have shame around how slovenly I became. I hid it from others fairly well most of the time, but I couldn’t hide it from myself. The fact is the drugs stripped me of some very basic elements of human care. When one doesn’t care about their immediate environment and their bodies, they really just don’t care about themselves. It’s a very painful place to be and yet when it’s caused by drugs it’s all muted and weird and not really who we are at all and so really all that is left is horrible shame. Full Article →