Psychiatric drugs do more harm than good and the use of most antidepressants and dementia drugs could be virtually stopped without causing harm, an expert on clinical trials argues in a leading medical journal.
The views expressed in a British Medical Journal debate by Peter Gøtzsche, professor and director of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Denmark, are strongly opposed by many experts in mental health. However, others say the debate around the use of psychiatric drugs is important and acknowledge that there has been overuse of antipsychotics to quieten aggressive patients with dementia.
Gøtzsche says more than half a million people over the age of 65 die as a result of the use of psychiatric drugs every year in the western world. “Their benefits would need to be colossal to justify this, but they are minimal,” he writes. Continue reading »
In May 1998, 15 year old Kip Kinkel murdered his parents and two classmates, as well as injuring 25 others, after engaging in a shooting spree that ended up in his school’s cafeteria. In the investigation it emerged that he had been taking popular antidepressant medication Prozac since the summer of the previous year.
In December 2000, Michael McDermott went on a shooting rampage at his workplace, Edgewater Technologies, killing seven of his co-workers. During his trial, the court heard testimony that in the weeks before the shooting, McDermott had tripled the dosage of his antidepressant medication, Prozac, from 70 milligrams per day to 210 milligrams.
In March 2005, 16 year old Jeff Weise shot and killed nine people, including five students at Red Lake Senior High School in Minnesota, before turning the gun on himself. It was later revealed he had been undergoing treatment for depression and had been on Prozac at the time.
This is a massive subject, and I am living a very difficult life at this time which is interfering with my writing. So, I have to rough this out. This report is based mainly upon information I gathered during a study of antidepressants I did in 2008/09. This was the study that netted the classified documents from GSKThis is the first section of this report.
Thickened arteries, heart disease, depression, suicide, and now, we can add bleeding of the brain to the long list of side effects of antidepressants. Though the risk is admittedly very small, researchers declared on Wednesday that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may raise the risk of hemorrhagic strokes, which happen when the brain bleeds.
SSRIs include a wide variety of common antidepressents, including Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, and Paxil. These drugs are also linked to an increased risk of stomach bleeding. Continue reading »
“Nearly 40% of Army suicide victims in 2006 and 2007 took psychotropic drugs — overwhelmingly, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac and Zoloft.”
Seven months after Sergeant Christopher LeJeune started scouting Baghdad’s dangerous roads – acting as bait to lure insurgents into the open so his Army unit could kill them – he found himself growing increasingly despondent. “We’d been doing some heavy missions, and things were starting to bother me,” LeJeune says. His unit had been protecting Iraqi police stations targeted by rocket-propelled grenades, hunting down mortars hidden in dark Baghdad basements and cleaning up its own messes. He recalls the order his unit got after a nighttime firefight to roll back out and collect the enemy dead. When LeJeune and his buddies arrived, they discovered that some of the bodies were still alive. “You don’t always know who the bad guys are,” he says. “When you search someone’s house, you have it built up in your mind that these guys are terrorists, but when you go in, there’s little bitty tiny shoes and toys on the floor – things like that started affecting me a lot more than I thought they would.”
So LeJeune visited a military doctor in Iraq, who, after a quick session, diagnosed depression. The doctor sent him back to war armed with the antidepressant Zoloft and the antianxiety drug clonazepam. “It’s not easy for soldiers to admit the problems that they’re having over there for a variety of reasons,” LeJeune says. “If they do admit it, then the only solution given is pills.” Continue reading »