A “loving, kind and thoughtful” mother-of-three most likely died because of “an interaction” between prescription drugs, an inquest heard.
Hit Lists, Fake Journals, Harassment and Big Money
Two painkillers are to be reclassified as class C controlled substances amid concerns people are becoming addicted to them and misusing them.
The drugs – pregabalin and gabapentin – are also used for epilepsy and anxiety.
The move, announced by the Home Office, means it will now be illegal to posses the drugs without a prescription and it will be illegal to supply or sell them to others.
The government acted after experts said tighter controls were needed.
The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs raised concerns about the drugs – amid reports of a rising number of fatalities being linked to the drug.
The law change will still mean the drugs are available for legitimate use on prescription, but there will be stronger controls in place.
What is Gabapentin – https://thedrugclassroom.com/video/gabapentin/
These reports indicate that many doctors are unaware of the potential harms of antidepressants- Oliver Letwin MP
ALL PARTY PARLIAMENTARY GROUP FOR PRESCRIBED DRUG DEPENDENCE
8 October 2018
For immediate release
Many doctors may be failing to warn patients about the risks of antidepressants, new research suggests
The All Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence today publishes two new pieces of research which indicate that many doctors and psychiatrists may be failing to warn patients about the potential risks of antidepressants, and subsequently fail to recognise withdrawal symptoms. Furthermore, sources of NHS support for patients, such as NHS 111, were found to be unhelpful.
The first report, ‘Antidepressant Withdrawal: A Survey of Patients’ Experience’, was authored by researchers at the University of Roehampton on behalf of the APPG, and is based on the results of a survey of 319 UK patients affected by antidepressant withdrawal.
64% of patients surveyed claim not to have received any information from their doctors on the risks or side effects of antidepressants, while only 2.5% of patients found NHS 111 to be a helpful source of support during withdrawal. In addition, responses to the survey make clear that the impact of antidepressant withdrawal can be devastating for some individuals with severe withdrawal reactions, with 30% of respondents reporting being off work indefinitely due to the severity of their symptoms.
The second report, ‘Voice of the Patient: Petition Analysis Report’, identifies failure points in the health care system based on the testimony of 158 individuals impacted by prescribed drug withdrawal who responded to two petitions lodged with parliamentary Petitions Committees in Scotland (1) and Wales (2) in 2017. The report concludes that the failures encountered by the respondents will require systemic change. Both reports will be submitted to Public Health England as part of its review into prescribed drug dependency and withdrawal, due for publication in spring 2019.
Dr James Davies, of the University of Roehampton, commented: “The majority of the people we surveyed and who responded to the petitions indicated that they were never properly informed about the risks associated with antidepressants, including withdrawal. This undermines the principle of informed consent, which is essential if patients are to make a proper assessment of the harms and benefits. This is very concerning, particularly as the survey shows that severe antidepressant withdrawal can have a devastating effect on patients’ lives, including long-term disability. Furthermore, the research suggests that patients who suffer from withdrawal mostly find existing sources of NHS support, such as 111, unhelpful.’
Sir Oliver Letwin MP, chair of the APPG, said: ‘These reports indicate that many doctors are unaware of the potential harms of antidepressants, and fail to communicate the risks to their patients. This highlights the need for additional guidance and training in this area, and we hope that Public Health England will consider this as part of their current review into prescribed drug dependence. Furthermore, it suggests that existing NHS sources of support are inadequate, and new dedicated services, including a 24 hour national prescribed drug withdrawal helpline, are therefore urgently needed.’
NOTES TO EDITORS
The report ‘Antidepressant Withdrawal: A Survey of Patients’ Experience’ can be found at this link: http://prescribeddrug.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/APPG-PDD-Survey-of-antidepressant-withdrawal-experiences.pdf
The report ‘Voice of the Patient: Petition Analysis Report’ can be found at this link: http://prescribeddrug.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Voice-of-the-Patient-Petition-Analysis-Report.pdf
For further information please contact Luke Montagu at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence can be found at prescribeddrug.org
Stevie Lewis went to see her GP for help with insomnia after struggling with the pressures of starting up a business consultancy. The 41-year-old from Bristol hoped she’d be given something to help her sleep.
‘But to my surprise the doctor announced that I was on the edge of clinical depression — what my mother’s generation would have called a nervous breakdown,’ she recalls.
And instead of sleeping tablets, she was given a prescription for paroxetine, a type of antidepressant known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), thought to work by increasing the level of a mood-enhancing brain chemical, serotonin.
‘I was completely shocked, not least when he told me I had a chemical imbalance in my brain,’ says Stevie, who now lives in Rogiet, South Wales. ‘I thought very carefully about whether I should take this drug, but in the end I did, because I believed him — he was my doctor.’
However, her shock at being prescribed an antidepressant was nothing compared with the horror that awaited her when she tried to wean herself off paroxetine.
Stevie did not know this was the start of a 20-year battle to extricate herself from the grip of a drug she never needed, during which she would struggle with appalling side-effects that doctors refused to acknowledge were caused by withdrawal, dismissing them as a return of her original symptoms.
Health chiefs are failing to investigate a clear pattern of worsening health outcomes
Within the first seven weeks of 2018, some 93 990 people died in England and Wales.1 Over the same weeks in the previous five years, an average of 83 615 people died.1 This rise of 12.4%, or 10 375 additional deaths, was not due to the ageing of the population. Ageing is a slow process and leads to slow, not sudden, rises in mortality.2 An additional person died every seven minutes during the first 49 days of 2018 compared with what had been usual in the previous five years. Why?
Not the weather or flu
The weather was unusually mild during the initial weeks of this year—very cold weather did not arrive until late February. The mean temperature was 4.1°C across the UK in January 2018, almost half a degree above the average for this time of year.
A government adviser on the use of antidepressants has resigned after being called “worse than Hitler” and a “pharma-whore” in a campaign of harassment that he has accused colleagues of fomenting.
David Baldwin claimed that a fellow adviser helped to fan the flames of online abuse in a row over the effects of the drugs. The controversy began when he wrote to The Times in February to downplay the side-effects of coming off the drugs, saying: “In the vast majority of patients, any unpleasant symptoms experienced on discontinuing antidepressants have resolved within two weeks of stopping treatment.”
Harriet Williamson Wednesday 19 Sep 2018 8:12 am Last November, Christina Craig died after taking a fake Valium pill. The tablets were known as ‘Blue Plague’. She was the fourth in a group of six friends in Glasgow to lose her life to what she believed to be Valium.
Scottish police estimate that there could be millions of fake Valium pills on the streets. Why is there a thriving market for the drug? Why aren’t users getting it on prescription?
Valium, also known as Diazepam, is part of a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. It’s a sedative recommended for short-term treatment only because it can quickly become addictive.
Valium isn’t usually prescribed for longer than two to four weeks at a time, and some GPs are uncomfortable prescribing it at all. The NHS lists the side effects of benzodiazepines as including drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, vertigo, low sex drive, headaches and the development of a tremor.
After four weeks of use, benzodiazepines may start to lose their efficiency, meaning that you need a higher dose to get the same effect. The way Valium loses potency and the potential for addiction are two reasons why GPs don’t regularly prescribe the drug for long-term conditions like anxiety, as they did when it was first released. Valium was created by Leo Sternbach and released in 1963. It became one of the most frequently prescribed medications in the world, and between 1968 and 1982, it was the highest selling medication in the US. More than two billion tablets were sold in 1978 alone.
Anxiety and insomnia had previously been treated with barbiturates, which caused extreme withdrawal symptoms, were highly addictive and easy to overdose with. Benzodiazepines like Valium seemed like the safer and more effective option, and they became the prescription solution for every problem.
The drug was particularly associated with women, and in 1966, the Rolling Stones even wrote a song about it, entitled ‘Mother’s Little Helper’. It took a long time for the addictive nature and negative side-effects of benzodiazepines to be recognised, despite research in the 1980s linking the long-term use of this drug group to brain damage and calling the drug ‘more difficult to withdraw people from than heroin’.
The NHS is now supposed to prescribe benzodiazepines for a maximum of four weeks to curb the potential for addiction. However, some doctors are failing to stick to guidelines published more than 20 years ago.
They are powerful painkillers bringing relief to millions of people – but there is growing concern over the use of opioids.
There’s evidence that some patients are becoming hooked on them and many experts argue they are ineffective when it comes to reducing long term chronic pain.