Tag Archives: antidepressants

Antidepressants & Sexual Side-Effects

This ANONYMOUS small survey is to help ascertain and gauge how many people feel their sexual functionality and possible relationships have been negatively affected by prescription medication. At PAST.WALES our clients often have questions about their sexual side-effects during or after taking prescription medication and look for support in this area. We aim to raise awareness of this area through this anonymous survey so that people do not feel isolated and can feel empowered to seek support groups or be signposted adequately and appropriately. All data is strictly confidential and will be collated and general assumptions made based upon each criterion of the question, compiled and shared ANONYMOUSLY and accordingly through https://past.wales and @pastwales.

Click here to start –

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScEXNZrLqc5MZJ2YWy2bIwRMIypnEHCFsuvLI2Ri2l7CpRIsg/viewform

Research created by Sara Owen

Seratonin Syndrome

ABSTRACT
Serotonin syndrome is an iatrogenic disorder induced by pharmacologic treatment with serotonergic agents that increases serotonin activity. In addition, there is a wide variety of clinical disorders associated with serotonin excess. The frequent concurrent use of serotonergic and neuroleptic drugs and similarities between serotonin syndrome and neuroleptic malignant syndrome can present the clinician with a diagnostic challenge. In this article, we review the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of serotonin syndrome as well as other serotonergic disorders.

Full article – https://academic.oup.com/painmedicine/article/4/1/63/1816666

Positive response from Welsh Gov to the issues of dependency with prescribed medication

Welsh Government have accepted nine out of ten of the recommendations brought forward by Stevie Lewis’s petition.

It is important we distinguish between substance misuse, as the harmful use of substances such as drugs and alcohol; and dependence arising from the therapeutic use of medicines whether they are prescribed or purchased.

This paragraph is so important – to distinguish between misuse and inadvertent dependency.

We commend Welsh Gov for it’s deliberation and thoughtful response to this petition

Petitioner Stevie Lewis
Prescribed Medication Petitioner

We have accepted nine of the ten recommendations set out in the report and a Government response to each is annexed to this letter for the Committee’s consideration.

The Summary

Recommendation 1.
Greater recognition should be given to prescription drug dependence at a national level in both policy and strategy, including within the next Substance Misuse Action Plan and the Substance Misuse Treatment Framework. This should include a clearer distinction between substance misuse and prescription drug dependence, and identification of specific actions to help prevent dependence upon prescription medications and support people affected.
Response: Accept

Recommendation 2.
The Welsh Government should confirm and explain its position on whether SSRI and SNRI antidepressants should be formally recognised as potentially leading to problems of dependence and withdrawal.
Response: Accept

Recommendation 3.
The Welsh Government should restate and emphasise antidepressants should not be routinely prescribed for mild depression in guidance to healthcare professionals, and should provide assurances that sufficient alternative treatment options, such as psychological therapies, are available across Wales.
Response: Accept

Recommendation 4.
The Welsh Government should ensure that additional guidance is produced and promoted in relation to safe tapering of prescription medications, both for patients and health professionals.
Response: Accept

Recommendation 5.
The Welsh Government should provide an update on the actions carried out in response to Recommendation 8 of the Health and Social Care Committee’s inquiry into Alcohol and Substance Misuse published in August 2015.

(This was not a matter brought up in the initial petition and has a different pinciple. ed AJ)

Recommendation 6.
The Welsh Government should determine whether SSRI and SNRI antidepressants should be added to the list of drugs targeted for reduction, and should introduce a national prescribing indicator to support closer monitoring of prescribing volumes and patterns across Wales. This indictor should be used to identify areas where further investigation or intervention may be required.
Response: Reject

(comment – Saddened this wasn’t accepted as it would be a huge leap to monitor how much and for how long SSRI and SNRI’s are prescribed for and therefore have foresight into how many patients will struggle and be affected by their withdrawal. Gov could then plan a coherent strategy in knowledge of how many will require assistance going forward. ed AJ)

Recommendation 7.
The Welsh Government should investigate, as a priority, the potential for a national rollout of a service based upon the Prescribed Medication Support Service operating within Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, in order to ensure that specific advice and support is available for people who require assistance with prescription medication.
Response: Accept in principle

Recommendation 8.
The Welsh Government should create opportunities for a coordinated strategy and greater information-sharing between health boards in relation to prescribed drug dependence, with a view to improved sharing of best practice and to ensure equity of services and support to patients.
Response: Accept

Recommendation 9.
NHS Wales should make better use of the expertise of pharmacists to support evidence-based prescribing, patient monitoring including regular patient reviews, and increased provision of help with tapering and withdrawing from medication.
Response: Accept


Recommendation 10.
The Welsh Government should conduct and publish an assessment of the sufficiency of the advice available to people experiencing prescription drug dependence and withdrawal through the DAN24/7 helpline, including the adequacy of training for operators. The Welsh Government should ensure that the availability of advice related to prescribed drug dependence is promoted appropriately.
Response: Accept

For access to the full petition and its history
http://www.senedd.assembly.wales/mgIssueHistoryHome.aspx?IId=19952

https://past.wales/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Government-Response-to-Committee-Report.pdf

MJ’s story

Hi my name is MJ and i spoke to a member of your team on facebook messenger the other night , and due to my functional neurological disorder – fnd for short, i have severe speech problems , so i am emailing over a brief summary of whats been going on for me with the NHS and having concerns that my fnd may of been caused by medication, especially after watching your video for your awareness day that was in December 2018

Where do i start , always from a child (i am 44 now) i always had sadness and not quite fitting in and was severely bullied at home and at school , so by the age of 16 i found myself in a abusive relationship and had my first child at 17 by the time i was 20 after the birth of my second child i was on antidepressants not sure which ones they were like red smarties  and over the years following i was on various antidepressants Prozac or Citalopram were the drs favourite ones and to be honest they never did nothing apart from cause massive weight gain and lethargy.

Then in a bout 2003/4 after trying to turn my life around to be healthier and already losing about 7 stone in weight but then coming to a standstill weight wise i heard about these tablets that drs were prescribing called Sibutramine or Reductil , so i asked the dr about these and she put me on the highest dose and i agreed to visit dr regulary as they can cause heart problems , but i was so desperate to lose the weight and fit in (be normal , these days i realise it doesn’t matter your size and everyone has their own level of normal) so i started taking these tablets and wow at last something that worked.

It was like my brain had been rewired in the space of an hour of taking the first one , i could think clearly i had so much energy , it was like “yey something at last that kinda makes me feel normal and fitting in”, needless to say i continued with these tablets for several years, then come 2005/6 when i was coming off the tablets as i found out 12 months should’ve been the maximum time i should’ve been taking them there was stress going on surrounding my daughter and i started getting these attacks which the drs at the time just said it was anxiety attacks that mimicked a stroke which i now know to be fnd and i had many visits to A&E in the early days of the attacks and being doped up on Diazepam and anti depressants , eventually i seen another gp at the surgery and he said it wasnt right and referred me to neurology at Lydney outpatients this was in 2006.

The day i met the neurologist i wasn’t having attacks so i had to rely on explaining to him and he agreed to send me for a MRI of my brain, and a test where they wire your head up and flash lights in your eyes i think its called an EEG, then i went back to Lydney outpatients sometime later for results, i walked into the neurologists room when i was called and the neurologist looking down messing with something not really paying attention muttered actually there is something wrong then looked up and said sorry wrong person.

He had no notes or computers files open in front of him, really at the time i should’ve questioned him but i didn’t as i just thought it must be me again my body over reacting and doing strange things , so I went on my way continuing of going back and forth to gps and mental health services for various anti depressants and therapies , like cbt and counselling, art therapy etc … and tablets over the years ranged from Citalopram to Prozac to Veneflaxine to Mirtazipine , some in liquid form some tablets these spanned over many years.

I soon learnt what mostly the triggers were for these attacks it seemed anything that would raise my heart rate , so things like stress , exercise , etc… so I just tried to avoid these these things as much as I could but sometimes the attacks would happen for no reason at all , also over the years I sought private therapy through NLP, EFT, plus I socialised through spiritual groups and learning techniques like meditation and other forms of healing the therapies all helped me one way or another but never made a difference to attacks.

In 2008 I saw my gp again about my weight as it was creeping back on, and she referred me for a gastric band which I had placed in 2010 , which was helping manage weight etc… then in 2013 I became very unwell with the band I won’t go into the gory details but after not being able to eat or drink for 3 months the drs decided to refer me back to the ones who fitted the band , and the drs gave me Lanseroprazole which helped to keep down very small amounts of soft food like runny mash or watery ready break , and the people at south mead who originally fitted it did a swallow X-ray and it turned out my stomach had pushed through the band , so I was given the option of having it corrected or removed , so I agreed to have it corrected as at the time I really didn’t want to be without it.

Apparently when it was corrected there was several hernias and loads of ulcers in or around my stomach , I was told it would never be able to be tightened again but that was ok as at the time as it was like a security blanket for me what with my ongoing issues with weight, so life moved on and in about 2014/15 I saw a neurologist again as I had been back to gp so fed up of attacks and really beginning to question the anxiety thing especially as I had worked hard with loads of therapies and adopting a spiritual attitude to life and having a good social life with some really good friends who accepted me for me.

I saw a different neurologist and he wanted to try and witness an attack so he called a nurse into the room and asked me to undress to my underwear and tested my reflexes etc by this time I was pretty nervous so I began to shake a bit , so he thought that was an attack and said it was a functional movement disorder and gave me a web address to look at he ordered some bloods to be done , several months later I still hadn’t heard nothing so I rang up about bloods and the secretary said they were clear , so I continued plodding on life the best I could finding part time work etc… more tablets from the drs etc…

In 2016 I had the band removed as problems were beginning to occur again and I had just come to the conclusion I would rather be fat and happy than put my body through anymore torture plus the stress on my family In 2017 things started going downhill fast , the attacks were getting more frequent and more random.

Then in March the Friday before mother’s day so I wasn’t stressed and I was looking forward to being pampered and a day off from cooking and housework etc… as I have now got 5 children , I had an attack in the evening that basically hadn’t stopped yet 2 years on , so when it started I kept telling myself it would pass and made visits to out of hour gps who gave me beta blockers which done no good so I stopped them and my regular gp gave me Lorazepam and Zopliclone which really altered my thoughts and mood and by April I took a massive overdose of them which I am ashamed of but my mind was so scrambled and I was so off my face on them but not making no difference to the ongoing attack.

A group of mental health people visited my home on the following Monday which I now know was a assessment but wasn’t told at the time or received any copies of assessments but I will go more into that later as a lot has came to light about that more recently.

By May I had an appointment with the neurologist called Dr M__ S______ and before me and my partner had chance to sit down she blurted out your in a violent relationship aren’t you which is not true yes over 20 years ago I was but the man I am with now is such a good man , I tried to explain to her with my speech problems that this was not true , she just looked at my partner and said well you better not be , she did some standard neurological tests like reflexes although very difficult due to my movement and all over tremors and agreed to have me in as a inpatient ASAP for assessments and tests etc …and she prescribed pregabalin but after a week or so of taking it I recognised the feelings I had previously from meds that I stopped them and in a couple of days although still feeling awful the real horrible feelings went away.

In June I was called on a Friday night and asked if I could come in straight away as a bed had come free , so I did as the attack was still ongoing and really getting me down , it wasn’t a good experience at all , especially due to my speech problems , I even had a nurse taking the mickey out of my speech , the beds were set up weird and I wasn’t allowed to pull the curtains around me for privacy , I saw a physio once or twice and a health phsycologist once , Dr S______ saw me once or twice and one day she brought a colleague around with her with some student drs , he got me to do some things that I found really difficult like raise arms , then he said fnd we get a video done for dr S____ to go through with you to show you it’s fnd , then one of the students said to him how do you know it’s fnd and he grabbed my head and I started to feel electric shocks all through my body and making this weird humming buzzing noise then all of the drs went off to chat and go onto next patient , so great he started a new symptom of vile electric shocks in my body which I get daily now along with everything else.

So I was discharged and invited back the following week for the video to be made , the following week my partner booked yet another day off work and took me up for the video , we was left waiting for hours as somebody had cancelled it but eventually they got the video people to come over , they got me to sign a folded over peice of paper supposedly to say it was not for public use but I do question that now , the video was done which I found very stressful due to not being able to communicate and feeling unheard at one stage he rubbed his hand on my spine and I flinched with pain and he said in a loud voice for the camera oh I’m sorry that tickled I was so glad when it was over it was so humiliating, a few weeks later I had a appointment with Dr S___ , so again another day off for my partner but we thought we was going to go through video , but it wasn’t , it was more or less a discharge appointment.

My partner asked about the video and she was very awkward about it and said oh yes definitely fnd and quickly changed the subject  , so god know what happened to that video , so great discharged or so I thought I felt so alone so I turned to the internet and researched fnd and found someone talking about the Rosa Burden centre in Bristol and how they specialised in fnd , so I emailed Dr S____ through pals to ask wether she could refer me and she did ,so in the August I met Dr E__ M___ a neurologist from the Rosa burden centre and by the beginning of September I was a inpatient there on a four week rehab programme ,

I had some speech therapy there and physio and to input it was good there and great improvement was made there , towards the end you are set a task to walk to local Lidl ( about a 10 minute walk for average person ) but when I did it , it took me nearly 3hours as all symptoms returned but I managed to get back and just sit in a vegetive state for some hours after and pull myself out of it , so upon leaving they advised me to get a self referral for CBT, so I did even though it didn’t help things before , within weeks all of my symptoms were back worse and by the November I had to purchase a wheelchair for outings and by the February 2018 I was fully mute.

I went to gp who sent me to A&E but I ended up leaving because the one Dr was so rude and shouting at me , my partner had to step in and tell him to pack it up , but by this time I was so distressed I just got my partner to get my wheelchair to take me home , and the Dr on the way out said quite sarcastically yes go to Bristol they will sort you they are much better , why he said that I don’t know there was no need of his attitude , anyway I went to se Dr M___ a few weeks later for a outpatient review ,and she did her best to get me speech therapy locally and she reassured me not to worry or blame myself relapse is common in fnd , so by April/May 18 someone from mental health visited and realised I was mute so they then had to think as talking therapy wasn’t going to obviously work , so when they went I emailed them and asked if a psychiatrist could see me as I just had gotten to the point where I think I had gone nuts , so off to a psychiatrist I was referred I met him 3 or 4 times each time he was very rude and very impatient with my speech difficulties and just kept on wanting to give me tablets the first lot was Sertraline well I didn’t even collect prescription and the next time it was a very high dose of Prozac

I collected the prescription but never took them as he said to me in the appointment if I didn’t have tablets there was nothing he could do even though I was explains that meds were having a negative effect on me even paracetamol or anti histamines have a negative impact these days , so the next appointment that was like 6 minutes long he wasn’t happy because I wasn’t taking tablets and he referred me to psycologist L__ M___, I met her several times and she seemed to get it until I received a report in the post where she had written that my man had committed suicide , which when I emailed her to ask her where this had come from as it was distressing to read and not true she wrote back to me saying she got it wrong it was my grandad which again was not true , she wished me all the best for the future in the letter and that was the last I heard from her.

In that time as well I seen the speech therapist who was stumped after 5 sessions what to do, and Dr S___ had sent a random appointment so I went even though I thought I was discharged from her even though i was a lot worse and fully mute she didn’t seem bothered or even examine me and I ended up in tears by the end of the appointment and all she said to my son who had accompanied me was it does them good to let it out and patted me on the back.

When the report came through the lies that was wrote in there I just broke down blaming myself again , so a few more waste of time gp appointments etc … after but I won’t go into all of it as I can appreciate I’ve gone on loads already.

February 2019 I had another appointment with Dr M___ who has now discharged me , and I’m stuck at home housebound , more or less mute and tons of other symptoms , feeling very lost and alone and not knowing where to turn.

It’s surprising how much we take things like talking for granted but when it goes you soon realise what an important function it is , I just don’t understand why I’ve been lied about ? Diagnosis have been made on my past traumas in life are things being covered up especially as my symptoms now match MS or Parkinson’s or other neurological conditions but no recent scans have been done to rule them out ?

How can they waste NHS money on prescriptions and so called therapies when a true diagnosis has not been made ? Because the way I see it how can you begin to fix something if you don’t know what is wrong as fnd is just a umbrella diagnosis and the leading specialists in fnd say it is unusual for fnd to be the soul problem.

Did the years of antidepressants and those diet pills mess my brain signals up ? Especially as Reductil was designed to surpress the appetite through messing with the brain signals , I tried to help the health professionals the best I could by typing up everything prior to an appointment as I can appreciate it was hard for them with my speech problems and the last thing I ever wanted to be was a nuisance or a burden.

Thank you for taking the time to read this there’s probably loads more I could’ve added but I can appreciate this is loads already and I would really appreciate any support or advice you could offer many thanks MJ. 

Avoiding Withdrawal Syndrome for SSRIs Requires Months, Not Weeks, and a More Gradual Curve, Paper Concludes

New research questions conventional practices regarding rapid withdrawal from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, which are sometimes prescribed for migraine, peripheral neuropathy, and other neurologic disorders. Neurologists who prescribe these drugs said the study recommendations fit with their own clinical experience.

Tapering patients off selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) should be done much more slowly and gradually than currently recommended, over a period of months rather than weeks, in order to avoid withdrawal syndrome, a team of researchers suggested in a paper published online March 5 in Lancet Psychiatry.

Although serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) were not the subject of the paper, studies show they show the same hyperbolic dose-response pattern, said the paper’s first author, Mark Abie Horowitz, PhD, a neurobiologist who is currently a clinical research fellow at University College London and a psychiatry trainee at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, Australia.

“The clinical data also show that withdrawal symptoms from SNRIs last much longer than the one to two weeks ascribed to them by standard texts, much more in the region of months,” Dr. Horowitz told Neurology Today. “Tapering protocols suggested for SSRIs in the paper also apply to SNRIs; they should occur over at least months, down to doses close to one-fortieth of therapeutic doses and titrated to individual tolerability.”

The study authors proposed what they call a “pharmacologically informed method for tapering SSRI treatment.”

For instance, reducing doses of citalopram in steady 5 mg decrements resulted in serotonin transporter inhibition hyperbolically rising from 3 percent when the dose was cut from 20 mg to 15 mg, to 6 percent when the dose was cut from 15 mg to 10 mg, to 13 percent when the dose was cut to 5 mg, and to 58 percent when cut to zero.

“These large reductions in inhibition could account for the paucity of success of previous tapering regimens, and particularly for the difficulties with withdrawal symptoms that patients have towards the end of their taper, at low doses,” the study authors concluded.

Rather than taper by fixed amounts, the study authors recommended that clinicians taper the dose by following a hyperbolic slope. In the case of citalopram, for instance, the dose would be dropped from 20 mg, to 9.1 mg, to 5.4 mg, 3.4 mg, 2.3 mg, 1.5 mg, and then to 0.8 mg, 0.4 mg, and finally to zero.

Neurologists who treat migraine, diabetic neuropathy, and other disorders for which SSRIs and SNRIs are sometimes prescribed said the recommendations fit with their own clinical experience.

“I have seen the withdrawal effect; it can go on for months,” said Richard B. Lipton, MD, FAAN, the Edwin S. Lowe Professor and vice chair of neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he is also director of the Montefiore Headache Center. “I definitely agree with the authors of this paper on the need for more gradual tapering in some patients. I’ve certainly had certain patients buy pill cutters to cut an already low dose of an SSRI into quarters and take them daily, then take them every other day, to try to make the taper more comfortable.”

Dr. Lipton said he also agreed with the authors of the paper that current guidelines on tapering SSRIs should be reconsidered, and that randomized, controlled trials would be useful to more rigorously test the effects of a slower, more gradual tapering protocol.

Full article –

https://journals.lww.com/neurotodayonline/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2019&issue=04180&article=00004&type=Fulltext

The Top 20 Medications That Cause Memory Loss

Here is a list of medications known to have memory loss as a side effect:

  • for Parkinson’s — scopolamine, atropine, glycopyrrolate
  • for epilepsy — phenytoin or Dilantin
  • painkillers — heroin, morphine, codeine
  • sleeping pills — Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata
  • benzodiazepines — Valium, Xanax, Ativan, Dalmane
  • quinidine
  • naproxen
  • steroids
  • antibiotics (quinolones)
  • antihistamines
  • interferons
  • high blood pressure drugs
  • insulin
  • beta blockers (especially those used for glaucoma)
  • methyldopa
  • antipsychotics — Haldol, Mellaril
  • tricyclic antidepressants
  • lithium
  • barbiturates — Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal, phenobarbital
  • chemotherapy drugs

This list was assembled by Richard C. Mohs, Ph.D., former vice chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

The Top 3 Types of Drugs That Cause Memory Loss

If you are taking any prescription medication, the odds are that it falls into one of these three categories of drugs known to cause memory loss and other cognitive problems:

The “Anti” Drugs

If you take a drug that starts with “anti,” such as antihistamines, antidepressants, antipsychotics, antibiotics, antispasmodics, or antihypertensives, it’s likely that it will affect your acetylcholine levels.

Acetylcholine is the primary neurotransmitter involved with memory and learning. Low acetycholine can lead to symptoms that resemble dementia including mental confusion, delirium, blurred vision, memory loss, and hallucinations.

Sleeping Pills

Prescription sleeping pills are notorious for causing memory loss.

The popular drug Ambien has been coined by some as “the amnesia drug.” Some users experience night terrors, sleep walking, sleep driving, and hallucinations.

Prescription sleeping pills have been found to put you in a state similar to being passed out drunk or in a coma while bypassing the restorative sleep your brain needs. There are much better ways to get to sleep!

https://realfarmacy.com/beware-20-medications-cause-memory-loss/

Many doctors may be failing to warn patients about the risks of antidepressants, new research suggests

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

PRESS RELEASE

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 lukemontagu@me.com.

More information on the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence can be found at prescribeddrug.org

prescribeddrug.org

“worse than Hitler” “pharma-whore”

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.”

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/drugs-adviser-david-baldwin-quits-after-being-branded-worse-than-hitler-in-online-abuse-row-srtqltmfs

Anti-depressants doubles a child’s risk of suicidal behaviour.

Suicidal thoughts, attempts and self-harm increase in young people prescribed antidepressants, concludes study

Anti-depressants should be a doctor’s last resort when trying to treat children and adolescents with depression, according to the results of a new two year-long study.

The meta-analysis involved researchers conducting a systematic review of all available and relevant test data. Researchers examined 70 trials comparing antidepressants with placebos in order to find out how the use of antidepressants related to increases in suicide, suicidal behaviour and aggressive behaviour in young people.

In 11 of those trials, researchers found out that antidepressants doubled the risk of aggressive behaviour and suicidal behaviour in young people. Suicidal behaviour includes suicide thoughts and attempts, actual suicides and self-harming behaviour such as deliberately cutting oneself.

“There are still psychiatrists who deny that antidepressants can cause suicide in children, which is absolutely incredible,” Peter Gøtszche, the head of the Nordic Cochrane Centre at Rigshospitalet who is the co-author of the new study, told Videnskab.

“I think it is irresponsible to use antidepressants in treating children and adolescents.”

Results no surprise
Anne Katrine Pagsberg – a clinical associate professor, senior researcher and medicine chief physician at the Child and Adolescent Centre, Capital Region Psychiatry at the University of Copenhagen Hospital – was not surprised by the results.

“We are very aware of this risk,” she said. “Especially for children and young people there has long been an awareness that there may be an increase in suicidal behaviour. All our patients are closely monitored and their families informed about the risks.”

Pagsberg said that the national guidelines for the treatment of children and adolescents suffering from depression recommend that antidepressants should never be ‘front-line therapy’ and should never be used as a stand-alone treatment.

“They must always be coupled with psychosocial interventions, and patients should always be closely monitored for side-effects.”

Self-harm may not equate to suicide
Pagsberg said that self destructive behaviour may not always be a sign of suicidal intent.

“Self-harm is a serious symptom, but a young person who cuts their arm is not necessarily suicidal,” she said.

No children or young people in the 70 trials actually committed suicide, but 3 percent of the children and young people taking anti-depressants exhibited suicidal behaviour, compared to 1 percent in the placebo group.

“The front-line treatment for children and adolescents with depression will always be psychotherapy,” said Pagsberg. “In cases of severe depression, we may need to try treatments using anti-depressants, but even then the psychotropics should never stand alone.”

http://cphpost.dk/news/anti-depressants-doubles-a-childs-risk-of-suicidal-behaviour-say-danish-researchers.html