Antidepressants Now MOST Prescribed Drugs Of All
This past week (May, 2008) the CDC released some very shocking news – antidepressants are now officially the most prescribed drugs on the market today.
And why is that news shocking? Let's take a look at the facts:
#1 In 2004 the FDA began to warn the public that they were seeing an increase in suicides among youth with the use of antidepressant medications.
#2 In 2005 the official warning came from the FDA that antidepressants double the rate of suicide for those under age 18. This was a sweeping warning for any antidepressant ever introduced to the market and any to ever be approved in the future. (This warning was the next closest thing they could impose next to an outright ban of the drugs.)
#3 The FDA also warned all users of these drugs at the same time that any abrupt change in dose of one of these drugs, whether increasing or decreasing the drug, could produce suicide, hostility or psychosis.
#4 In December 2006 the warning for increased suicide was extended by the FDA to anyone under the age of 25.
#5 In August 2007 Dr. Thomas Insel, head of the National Institute of Mental Health in speaking of new studies being conducted with the use of Ketamine ("Special K" is the street name for this sister drug to PCP – Angel Dust) in the treatment of depression said that antidepressants produce the same effect as Ketamine. The only difference noted was that Ketamine produced these effects instantly where antidepressants take a few weeks to produce that effect. They were impressed that Ketamine would rid a patient of depression immediately where the antidepressants would take several weeks to do the same, yet when one is aware that Ketamine and PCP are dissociative anesthetics, no one would expect the patient to FEEL anything! [For two decades I have warned that these antidepressants are much too similar in action to the hallucinogens PCP and LSD.]
#6 The news came out in January 2008 that the initial studies done on antidepressants demonstrated that these drugs are of no more benefit than a placebo. Why was no one aware of that? Doctors and patients were no aware of this because the very large majority of the negative studies were never made public.
#7 Although the benefit of antidepressants is non-existent, these drugs have a very long list of serious and very deadly side effects.
#8 The most popular antidepressant on the market, Effexor, now has "homicidal ideation" (obsessive/ruminating thoughts of killing and how to kill) listed as a side effect. The manufacturer had this data for over a decade, yet they chose to not disclose that until a few years ago. Before that warning was added: [I will mention just a handful of cases of professionals who should have known.]
Andrea Yates, a nurse, drowned her five children while taking this drug. Then, while Andrea's case was in court a female doctor in Illinois on the same drug, killed one son and severely injured another. In Tennessee another female doctor also on Effexor slit her 7 year old son's throat and then her own. And then it really hit home for Wyeth when one of their own employees, Cassandra Burgess, whose job it was to take adverse reaction reports on Effexor was killed along with her parents and daughter by her husband who was taking Effexor. He then took his own life. So even though she heard the adverse reports daily on Effexor she still missed the signs in her own husband (although they were there if you knew what signs to look for) soon enough to save herself and her family.
The role of the FDA is to judge the risk to benefit of medications. After seeing the studies demonstrating no more benefit than a placebo, yet deadly enough to produce brutal homicides, why are these drugs still on the market? And why on earth are they the most popular medications?! And the biggest question of all . . . WHY IS IT OKAY IN AMERICA OR ANYWHERE ELSE TO HAVE PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS THAT CAN PRODUCE HOMICIDAL TENDENCIES AS A SIDE EFFECT ???????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We now have medical studies showing that antidepressants:
– are of no more benefit than a sugar pill
– produce fatal birth defects from heart malformations and PPH (Primary Pulminary Hypertension)
– produce mania which includes: wild spending leading to bankruptcy, sexual compulsions, pyromania leading to arson, another form of mania leads to compulsions for alcohol
– keep patients from forming or maintaining meaningful romantic relationships and that marriage relationships of 40 + years suddenly end with the numbness that comes from these drugs thus destroying many families via divorce.
– increase chances of breast cancer by 7 times
– induce LSD flashbacks and LSD like reactions
– produce amazingly high incidents of psychotic breaks leading to an increase in Bipolar Disorder of over 4000% in one decade!
– double the level of cortisol with one dose (steroid effect)
– produce Diabetes, Alzheimer's, Autism, Fybromyalgia – all of which have skyrocketed in the last two decades that these drugs have become so widely used
– produce pedophilia while we now have an epidemic of female school teachers seducing male students
– dramatically increase suicide
– so strongly affect memory that "amnesia" is listed as a "frequent" side effect leaving many patients with severe memory loss and false memories leading them to falsely accuse others of various abuses
– produce serious weight gain leading to many additional health problems
– reports are that approximately one third of pregnant women are now taking antidepressants as their baby's brains form in the womb leaving us to ask what the end result might be
All of this helps to answer the question everyone is asking, "What on earth is happening to our world?!"
And once again I ask the same question I have asked for two decades now, "WHY are the antidepressants still on the market?"
[For any scientific material backing up ANY of the above statements please feel free to contact me.]
Ann Blake-Tracy, PhD, Executive Director, International Coalition for Drug Awareness www.drugawareness.org & www.ssristories.org Author of Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare & the audio, Help! I Can't Get Off My Antidepressant!!! (800-280-0730)
Phone: 801-209-1800 E-mail: <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>email@example.com ________________________________________
Warnings from the FDA Mandated Medication Guide on Antidepressants:
· thoughts about suicide or dying · attempts to commit suicide · new or worse depression · new or worse anxiety · feeling very agitated or restless · panic attacks · trouble sleeping (insomnia) · new or worse irritability · acting aggressive, being angry, or violent · acting on dangerous impulses · an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania) · other unusual changes in behavior or mood · Never stop an antidepressant medicine without first talking to a healthcare provider. Stopping an antidepressant medicine suddenly can cause other symptoms. _____________________________________
From the CNN article below we read: "The use of antidepressants and other psychotropic drugs — those that affect brain chemistry — has skyrocketed over the last decade."
"According to a government study [by the CDC], antidepressants have become the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States. They're prescribed more than drugs to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, or headaches. "
CDC: Antidepressants: Most prescribed drugs in US
Antidepressants such as Paxil, Prozac and Lexapro are among America's most-prescribed drugs.
By Elizabeth Cohen CNN
Story Highlights CDC: Antidepressants most-prescribed drugs in the U.S. Of 2.4 billion prescriptions in 2005, 118 million were for antidepressants Expert: 25 percent of adults will have a major depressive episode at some point
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) — Dr. Ronald Dworkin tells the story of a woman who didn't like the way her husband was handling the family finances. She wanted to start keeping the books herself but didn't want to insult her husband.
The doctor suggested she try an antidepressant to make herself feel better.
She got the antidepressant, and she did feel better, said Dr. Dworkin, a Maryland anesthesiologist and senior fellow at Washington's Hudson Institute, who told the story in his book "Artificial Unhappiness: The Dark Side of the New Happy Class." But in the meantime, Dworkin says, the woman's husband led the family into financial ruin.
"Doctors are now medicating unhappiness," said Dworkin. "Too many people take drugs when they really need to be making changes in their lives."
Could you be depressed? Not everyone who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some people experience a few symptoms, some many.
- Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
- Decreased energy, fatigue, being "slowed down"
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
- Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
- Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
- Restlessness, irritability
- Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain
Source: National Institute of Mental Health
For Dworkin, the proof is in the statistics. According to a government study, antidepressants have become the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States. They're prescribed more than drugs to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, or headaches. _CNN's Elizabeth Cohen discusses the CDC study on antidepressants
In its study, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at 2.4 billion drugs prescribed in visits to doctors and hospitals in 2005. Of those, 118 million were for antidepressants.
High blood pressure drugs were the next most-common with 113 million prescriptions.
The use of antidepressants and other psychotropic drugs — those that affect brain chemistry — has skyrocketed over the last decade.
Adult use of antidepressants almost tripled between the periods 1988-1994 and 1999-2000.
Between 1995 and 2002, the most recent year for which statistics are available, the use of these drugs rose 48 percent, the CDC reported. Many psychiatrists see this statistic as good news — a sign that finally Americans feel comfortable asking for help with psychiatric problems.
"Depression is a major public health issue," said Dr. Kelly Posner, an assistant professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. "The fact that people are getting the treatments they need is encouraging."
She added that 25 percent of adults will have a major depressive episode sometime in their life, as will 8 percent of adolescents. "Those are remarkably high numbers," Posner said.
While Posner says genuine _depression_is driving the prescription numbers
Dr. Robert Goodman, an internist in New York City, says the real force behind skyrocketing antidepressant prescription rates is pharmaceutical marketing to doctors and to consumers. "You put those two together and you get a lot of prescriptions for antidepressants," he said.
He questions whether all those prescriptions are necessary. "It's hard to believe that number of people are depressed, or that antidepressants are the answer," he said.
Goodman is the founder of a group called "No Free Lunch," a group that encourages doctors to reject gifts from pharmaceutical companies. He added that patients sometimes see ads for antidepressants on television and ask doctors for the drugs — and that studies show these requests work.
In a study published two years ago in the Journal of the American Medical Association, actors pretending to be patients went to doctors in the San Francisco area and said they were depressed.
The "patients" who asked for an antidepressant were significantly more likely to get a prescription for one than patients who didn't ask for an antidepressant.
"Patients' requests have a profound effect on physician prescribing in major depression and adjustment disorders," concluded the study's authors. But Posner's concern is about under-prescribing, not over-prescribing.
"Fifty percent of African-Americans who have depression don't seek treatment for it," she said. "Not enough people are getting the treatment they need."