Tag Archives: SSRI

Rise in people seeking help over prescription pills bought online

Clinic set up for teenagers sees high number of adults seeking treatment after illicitly buying drugs such as Xanax to treat anxiety

A pioneering clinic set up to help teenagers addicted to Xanax and other prescription drugs is being sought out by adults who use pills purchased illicitly on the internet.

At the beginning of the year Dr Owen Bowden-Jones opened the Addiction to Online Medicine (Atom) service in London, a free, easy-to-access NHS clinic run by Central North West London NHS Foundation Trust that offers one-to-one meetings and group mindfulness sessions.

The clinic, thought to be the first of its kind in the UK, was established in response to the growing problem of teenagers addicted to prescription drugs, particularly Xanax, bought illegally on the web.

What has surprised Bowden-Jones is that a third of current referrals are over 20. “When we established the clinic we were at the peak in terms of interest in Xanax and we were seeing a lot of young people using it,” he says. “But one of the cohorts we have seen are people in their 20s and 30s – people who are prescribed a medicine and then they seek it online, either because the dose they have is not enough or the medicine is stopped by their GP .”

He adds: “Teenagers tend to use [prescription drugs] for the intoxicating effect, to get giddy and drunk, but older people tend to use it to treat symptoms, particularly anxiety. We have had a number of patients with traumatic experiences and for them these medicines are being used to anaesthetise themselves.”

The adult group tend to use benzodiazepines to treat anxiety and tend to be women, he says. They have a job, have a partner, friends and a social network, “but have a secret that they have been buying drugs online and not telling people. They are often quite ashamed about it, but they found they cannot cope without prescription medicines.”

Benzodiazepines are currently prescribed on the NHS but are only supposed to be used in the short term. Research shows around four in every 10 people who take them every day for more than six weeks become addicted.

In the UK, alprazolam is not available on the NHS and can only be obtained on a private prescription. Tranquillisers are controlled under Class C of the Misuse of Drugs Act and possession without a prescription could lead to a prison sentence of up to 2 years and an unlimited fine.

full article (Guardian)

What Does Dopamine Do? 26 Surprising Dopamine Effects (18 are good, 8 are bad)

Without dopamine, we wouldn’t be able to feel driven and motivated. Dopamine increases attention, improves cognitive function, and stimulates our creativity. It makes us more social and extroverted and helps us form romantic and parental bonds. However, dopamine, when too high, can also have its drawbacks. Many people seek out artificial sources of dopamine, which can lead to addiction. Dopamine can increase weight gain and aggression. Read this post to learn more about the pros and cons of dopamine and dopamine genetics.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, which is a chemical released by neurons (nerve cells) to send signals to other nerve cells (R).

Many areas of the brain produce dopamine. It is produced in the ventral tegmental area (VTA in the image above) of the midbrain, the substantia nigra pars compacta, and the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (R).

The most important dopamine pathway in the brain controls reward-motivated behavior (R).

Most types of rewards, such as new experiences or accomplishment, can increase dopamine levels in the brain. In addition, most addictive drugs and behavioral addictions can increase dopamine (R).

In addition, dopamine has many other important roles in humans, including movement, memory, attention, learning, sleep, and mood (R).

Dysfunctions of the dopamine system contribute to Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, restless legs syndrome, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (R).

……….

The following are symptoms that can indicate low dopamine:

  • Low Motivation
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Increased Appetite
  • Low Libido
  • Depression
  • Higher prolactin
  • Attention problems (such as ADHD)
  • Anhedonia (lack of pleasure)
  • Memory Problems
  • Chronic Inflammation
  • Brittle bones
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Brain Fog
  • Introverted personality
  • Lowered ability to form romantic attachments

full article

Extrapyramidal symptoms

This condition is a common side effect of many anti-depressants.

This taken from Wikipedia:

Extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS), also known as extrapyramidal side effects (EPSE), are drug-induced movement disorders that include acute and tardive symptoms. These symptoms include dystonia (continuous spasms and muscle contractions), akathisia (motor restlessness), parkinsonism (characteristic symptoms such as rigidity), bradykinesia (slowness of movement), tremor, and tardive dyskinesia (irregular, jerky movements)…….

full wiki

The Dangers of Abruptly Stopping Antidepressants

Are you feeling better and think you’re ready to stop taking your antidepressant? It may seem like you no longer need the medication, but in most cases, it’s contributing to your improved feelings. That’s why it’s important you stick with the treatment prescribed by your doctor. If you think you’re ready to stop taking an antidepressant, ask your doctor to create a plan of action that will help your body slowly adjust to being without the medicine.

Antidepressants help balance brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. These brain chemicals affect your mood and emotions. An imbalance can cause major depression or anxiety disorders. Antidepressants correct this imfbalance, but it can take four weeks or more to get the maximum effect.

you feel like stopping your medicine because of bothersome side effects, remember that finding the right treatment may take trial and error and some tweaking. Don’t stop taking the medicine until you have spoken with your doctor. It might seem like you don’t need the medication anymore, but if you stop taking it, the medicine will leave your body and your symptoms might return. Quitting without consulting your doctor can be life-threatening. Suicide is a serious concern. It can also trigger withdrawal symptoms and relapse of your depression. If you relapse and start taking an antidepressant again, it can take weeks for the drug to rebalance your mood.

Side effects of quitting medication

Quitting “cold turkey” may cause withdrawal symptoms. Suddenly stopping your medicine may also worsen your depression. Here are some of the possible effects of quitting too quickly:

You get sick. Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome, also called antidepressant withdrawal, occurs when a person abruptly stops taking antidepressant medication. Many people who experience antidepressant withdrawal feel like they have the flu or a stomach bug. They may also experience disturbing thoughts or images.

You set back your treatment. Stopping medication can set back your treatment plan. It can increase the time it takes to feel better or it can actually cause your symptoms to worsen.

You contemplate suicide. Not being properly treated may increase your risk of suicidal thoughts. It also increases the risk that you’ll act on those thoughts. The most common health problem linked to suicide is ddepression……

full article

Antidepressants increase the risk of suicide, violence and homicide at all ages – British Medical Journal

The FDA admitted in 2007 that SSRIs can cause madness at all ages and that the drugs are very dangerous; otherwise daily monitoring wouldn’t be needed: “Families and caregivers of patients should be advised to look for the emergence of such symptoms on a day-to-day basis, since changes may be abrupt” … “All patients being treated with antidepressants for any indication should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the initial few months of a course of drug therapy, or at times of dose changes, either increases or decreases. The following symptoms, anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, and mania, have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants” (1).

Such daily monitoring is, however, a fake fix. People cannot be monitored every minute and many have committed SSRI-induced suicide or homicide within a few hours after everyone thought they were perfectly okay.

As the published trial literature related to suicidality and aggression on antidepressants is unreliable, we looked at 64,381 pages of clinical study reports (70 trials) we got from the European Medicines Agency. We showed for the first time that SSRIs in comparison with placebo increase aggression in children and adolescents, odds ratio 2.79 (95% CI 1.62 to 4.81) (2). This is an important finding considering the many school shootings where the killers were on SSRIs.

Full article – British Medical Journal article

A Prescription for Murder

Is it possible that a pill prescribed by your doctor can turn you into a killer?

Over 40 million prescriptions for SSRI anti-depressants were handed out by doctors last year in the UK. Panorama reveals the devastating side effects on a tiny minority that can lead to psychosis, violence, possibly even murder.

With exclusive access to psychiatric reports, court footage and drug company data, reporter Shelley Jofre investigates the mass killings at the 2012 midnight premiere of a Batman movie in Aurora, Colorado. Twenty-four-year-old PhD student James Holmes, who had no record of violence or gun ownership, murdered 12 and injured 70.

Did the SSRI anti-depressant he had been prescribed play a part in the killings?

Panorama has uncovered other cases of murder and extreme violence which could be linked to psychosis developed after the taking of SSRIs – including a father who strangled his 11-year-old son.

Panorama asks if enough is known about this rare side effect, and if doctors are unwittingly prescribing what could be a prescription for murder.

See the video here

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08zjyp1/sign/panorama-a-prescription-for-murder

Prescription drug addiction: government launches investigation

Public Health England will review prescription of medicines including opioid painkillers

The government has ordered an investigation into the growing problem of addiction to prescription drugs such as painkillers and medicines to treat anxiety and insomnia.

Steve Brine, the public health minister, has acted after it emerged that one in 11 (8.9%) patients treated by the NHS in England last year was given a drug that can induce dependency.

Fears about excessive prescription has also been boosted more than 100% rise in the number of antidepressants prescribed in England over the last decade and the fact antidepressants prescribed in England over the last decade and the fact that prescription of addictive medicines has increased by 3% over the last five years.

Full story – https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jan/24/prescription-drug-addiction-government-launches-investigation