Schizophrenia Drug Blamed for 17 Deaths in Japan


The Japanese unit of Johnson & Johnson affiliate Janssen Pharmaceuticals reports that 17 people have died since the launch of its new antipsychotic, Xeplion, on November 19.  Though it is not known whether the drug caused the deaths, which occurred up to 40 days after injections of the drugs, the drug maker advised doctors to “fully understand that the substance remains in the body for at least four months after being injected’ and to stay alert for any side-effects.

Schizophrenia drug blamed for 17 deaths (Sky News)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. The Japanese seem to be well ahead of the rest of the developed world with this kind of honesty, In the UK eye specialists are not even prepared to record psychiatric drug exposure history, with people developing serious eye conditions. Its just not the done thing.

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    • My heart broke when a mother of an individual committed to Oregon State Hospital told me that her adult son complained that he could not close one eye due to the medication and that when taking a shower, the droplets of water entering his eye stung. The thing that made me so angry was hearing how a psychiatric nurse, after hearing the complaint pooed pooed it, as if this young man was lying about the side effects. How can we forgive professionals in the system who are charged with treating and protecting our children, yet intentionally turn a blind eye again and again to the harmful effects of our children’s treatment? I have seen so many people physically disabled from lifetimes of overmedication and all of this has been systematically covered up.Where is the media? Bought out.

      Some doctors, out of sheer arrogance put our children on medications that we have warned them will cause terrible terrible reactions in our children from PAST EXPERIENCE. I’ve talked to mothers who have had doctors sneer at them for their diligence and ‘interference.’WE beg them to look at our children’s medical records from years past, often to no avail. Our children are kicked like cans down the road and passed from facility to facility: doctors pass the buck, go on leave, retire, or lose ‘jurisdiction’ of our children. Each has a ‘brand’ loyalty to certain drugs probably instigated by one good outcome among hundreds that for some irrational reason, makes them forget about all of the other bad outcomes, each has his/her preferred drug, regardless of our children’s unique history, and they will inevitably treat our children with that preferred drug, only the dosage and polypharmacy will get tweaked. Each doctor likes to think of himself/herself as the hero that will best all the other doctors, all the while doing more harm. Meanwhile, reams and reams of medical records are created which no single professional will ever go through in entirity to put the pieces together and find out how initial harm in the system escalated into full blown chronic illness. How can we expose this once and for all?

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      • madmom
        Harm doesn’t get exposed because of the convenient confusing of information. This misinformation style seems to be very common with the medical records of the ‘mentally ill’. Its like medicine protecting psychiatry.

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