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February 26, 2008
Antidepressants No More Effective Than Placebos
A new study published in the Public Library of Science Journal claims that SSRI antidepressants Prozac, Effexor, Paxil, and Serzone are no more effective than placebos, except in the case of those who are "at the upper end of the very severely depressed category."
"Although patients get better when they take antidepressants, they also get better when they take a placebo, and the difference in improvement is not very great," lead researcher Irving Kirsch, a professor of psychology at the University of Hull in Great Britain, said in a prepared statement. "This means that depressed people can improve without chemical treatments," he added.
The researchers got their results by examining unpublished drug trial results done by the drug companies. They got the study results from the FDA through the Freedom of Information Act.
Not surprisingly, the drug companies aren't thrilled with the results of the review. A spokesperson from Prozac manufacturer Eli Lilly said the study "does not take into account that today more than 12,000 patients have participated in Prozac clinical trials and thousands of scientific papers have referenced Prozac, supporting its use in the treatment of depression."
GlaxoSmithKline, makers of Paxil, said, "This analysis has only examined a small subset of the total data available ... and this one study should not be used to cause unnecessary alarm and concern for patients."
June 19, 2007
John Travolta Says Psychiatric Drugs to Blame for School Shootings
John Travolta says he agrees with Tom Cruise's views on psychiatric drugs and says he thinks these drugs are to blame for most of the school shootings.
"I don't disagree with anything Tom says," Travolta says in the July issue of W magazine, on newsstands Friday. "How would I have presented it? Maybe differently than how he did, but it doesn't matter. I still think that if you analyze most of the school shootings, it is not gun control. It is (psychotropic) drugs at the bottom of it."
It's true that many of the school shooters were on antidepressants and many - not just Scientologists like Travolta and Cruise - believe there is a link.
While taking the drugs themselves often causes psychotic reactions, it is also frequently the case that withdrawal from these drugs causes normally peaceful people to become violent and murderous.
I agree with John Travolta that we can't jump to the conclusion that lack of gun control is the cause of school shootings. Vermont has one of the most relaxed stances on gun control in the country and has one of the lowest violent crime rates in the country. The people who really want to go on a shooting rampage are going to get their guns illegally, anyway.
Do people want to blame guns because they can't face the fact that questionable medical treatment may be to blame for these horrors? How many more school shootings do we need to live through before someone says enough is enough when it comes to the overprescription of antidepressants in adolescents and teens?
You don't have to be a Scientologist to see that something is very wrong and needs to be changed within the psychiatric system.
October 7, 2006
Paxil CR Recalled, Patients Not Informed
Last month, GlaxoSmithKline recalled Paxil CR pills that were lacking the active ingredient paroxetine hydrochloride. They recalled 7.5 million pills but did not inform patients.
Doctors said the lack of a warning could mean that patients may face a sudden withdrawal that can spur suicidal thoughts, shooting pain and flu-like symptoms. The Paxil CR pills Glaxo recalled can cause severe withdrawal symptoms, said Stephen Ellen of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Peter Lurie of advocacy group Public Citizen said: "To the extent patients learn of it, they're likely to return distributed inventory and that's going to cost the company money. This way the company gets to say they did a recall, they dump the responsibility on intermediaries, and the patient most likely hears nothing."
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