Prozac-Driven Violence: Time To Act?
Prozac, like other drugs of its class, has been linked to both suicides and to bouts of violence - unprovoked shootings in schools and tragedies that have left families and indeed nations shocked, but it seems the FDA is less than willing to change things. Warnings on drug labels were reluctantly introduced last year, but some of these have been watered down since then.
Bush is pushing for widespread testing of school children ... to be given drugs if they turn out to have views or behavior that isn't in line with what psychiatrists think it should be.
But despite all that official trust in psychiatry and the chemical way to change our behavior, perhaps it's time to really examine this more closely. And perhaps it's time even to radically change course and recognize that people are different from one another - that there is no such thing as mental illness that may be conveniently treated with pills.
A friend in Canada comments:As long as MONEY buys POLICY, and DRUGS are first and foremost a SALES COMMODITY, divorced from improving health, we are well on the road to becoming a population that is drugged to death by mandatory edict. As long as the biggest swindler drug-pushers sit in "positions of authority", the trade will continue, unchallenged by a strangely silent media and judiciary. Ironical that any parent who tries to protect his/her child from these demonic potions is vulnerable for being charged with child-abuse on the basis of "medical neglect", and to have the child removed from the home, made a "ward of the state", for his/her "PROTECTION". Indeed, the world is up-side down". And far too few people are informed - thanks to a complicit media - to become incensed and/or determined to set it upright again.
We all have trouble from time to time. Prozac and similar drugs obviously are not the answer.
See this excellent article by Alexander Cockburn, put on line by Counterpunch...
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But the Pills Your Mother Gives You...
Death, Depression and Prozac
By ALEXANDER COCKBURN
New Dehli, India.
Jeff Weise, teen slayer of ten, including himself, at the Red Lake Indian reservation in northern Minnesota, was on Prozac, prescribed by some doc. How did the consultation go? "Here Jeff, take these, they may help you get over life's little problems, like the fact that when you were eight your dad committed suicide and when you were ten your cousin was killed in a car wreck that left your mom with partial paralysis and an injured brain. And let's face it, Jeff, most likely you'll never get off the res. You're here for the rest of your life. " Cut to a shot of the doc holding up a Prozac bottle, like the kindly fellow in the white coat and mirrored headband in 1950s Lucky Strike ads, telling us that Luckies were a fine way to soothe a raspy throat.
The minute the high command at Eli Lilly, manufacturer of Prozac, saw those news stories about Weise you can bet they went into crisis mode, and only began to relax when Weise's websurfs of neo-Nazi sites took over the headlines. Hitler trumps Prozac every time, particularly if it's an Injun teen ranting about racial purity. How many times, amid the carnage of such homicidal sprees, do investigators find a prescription for antidepressants at the murder scene? Luvox at Columbine, Prozac at Louisville, Kentucky, where Joseph Wesbecker killed nine, including himself. You'll find many such stories in the past fifteen years.
By now the Lilly defense formula is pretty standardized: self-righteous handouts about the company's costly research and rigorous screening, crowned by the imprimatur of that watchdog for the public interest, the FDA. And of course there's the bogus comfort of numbers; if Lilly's pill factory had a big sign like MacDonald's, it could boast Prozac: Billions Served.
Each burst in the sewage pipe brings a new challenge to Lilly's sales force, which has had some heavy hitters down the years, including George Herbert Walker Bush (onetime member of the Lilly board of directors); former Enron CEO Ken Lay (onetime member of the board); George W. Bush's former director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mitch Daniels (a former senior vice president); George W. Bush's Homeland Security Advisory Council member Sidney Taurel (a Lilly CEO); or the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (a recipient of Lilly funding).
At the turn of this year there was a five-alarm incident when the British Medical Journal went back to the 1994 Wesbecker suit against Lilly, reminding the world that the company had been involved in some shifty footwork involving a back-door payoff to the plaintiffs in a deal that successfully excluded from Judge John Potter's courtroom the regulatory case history of Oraflex, a highly compromised Lilly product, which displayed the company's supposed disclosures to the FDA in an unpleasing light.
Lilly rose to the challenge, successfully persuading gullible journalists that the real story concerned a lonely freelancer writing for BMJ and not a powerful pharmaceutical company with a huge advertising budget. The press dutifully shifted its focus from Lilly's outrageous efforts to suppress evidence to the narrow question of whether a piece of evidence had really been in the public record in the years since 1997, when Judge Potter changed his verdict to "dismissed as settled with prejudice," very far from the victory Lilly had been claiming.
That's the trouble with time, as Paul Krassner joked about Waldheimer's Disease, which is when you get old and forget you were a Nazi. But it's never too late to review the origins of the Depression Industry in the late 1980s, and the saga of what happened after three Lilly researchers concocted a potion in the mid-1970s they christened fluoxetine hydrochloride, later known to the world as Prozac.
Long years of rigorous testing? When Fred Gardner and I investigated the selling of depression and Prozac in the mid-1990s, we found that clinical trials excluded suicidal patients, children and the elderly although once FDA approval was granted, the drug could be prescribed for anyone.
According to Dr. Peter Breggin, the well-known psychiatrist who analyzed the FDA's approval of Prozac, it was based, ultimately, on three studies indicating that fluoxetine relieved some symptoms of depression more effectively than a placebo, and in the face of nine studies indicating no positive effect. Only sixty- three patients were on fluoxetine (fluoexetine hydrochloride was branded as Prozac in the mid 70s) for a period of more than two years. By 1988 the National Institute of Mental Health had not only put the government stamp of approval on corporate-funded depression research but had created a mechanism whereby government money and personnel could be employed to stimulate demand for corporate products.
Psychiatrists - a breed whose adepts, so stated a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry in 1980, commit suicide at twice the national rate--have been central to the entire enterprise. The process linking their sorcery to the corporate bottom line has a robust simplicity to it. As Prozac came off Lilly's research bench and headed for the mass production line psychiatrists labored to formulate a multitude of bogus pathologies to be installed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, whose chief editor in the 1980s was Robert Spitzer MD, an orgone box veteran and adept copywriter skilled at minting new ailments for late twentieth-century America and sanctioning treatment, medication, state funding for the requisite pills (no expensive consultative therapy) and reimbursement by insurance companies.
When detailed research showed likely linkage of Prozac to violent acts. Lilly-liveried psychiatrists were there to douse the flames of doubt. In 1991 the FDA's Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee met to decide whether Prozac should carry a warning label about links to suicide. Five out of the ten panel members (eight of whom were shrinks) had active financial interests in the drugs the committee was investigating, and all voted against requiring a warning, their obvious conflicts duly sanitized by the toothless FDA. Other shrinks in the hire of the drug companies urged ever wider application of Prozac to remedy social angst, inclcluding plans for compulsory Prozac-dosing of youngsters.
In 2000, when hundreds of farmers in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh were committing suicide because of neoliberal policies that had destroyed their livelihoods, the state government announced it was sending out a team of shrinks to determine why the farmers were depressed. The implication was that these people were mentally unstable. But in India credulity about the causes of depression is not so far advanced. The plan provoked a storm of ridicule, and in the elections that followed the Andhra Pradesh government, darling of Western neoliberals, was duly trounced.
No such happy chance in the United States, where government is in the pay of drug companies and prescriptions for antidepressants have long since taken over from political manifestos that would cure depression by collective social action. How they must have cheered at Eli Lilly when the Senate wiped out Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy statutes, fostering family violence, heightened crime and a vast new potential market for Prozac and kindred potions at the stroke of a pen.
Britain set for clash with Europe over ban on Prozac for under-18s
Europe's drugs watchdog has banned Prozac and other modern antidepressants for under-18s because of safety fears, putting it on a collision course with Britain's drugs regulator. Antidepressants increase suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts among children and adolescents, and should not be used to treat depression, the scientific panel of the European Medicines Agency (Emea) said. Including Prozac in the ban clashes with the stance taken by Britain's drugs regulator 16 months ago. Prozac is the only antidepressant that doctors can prescribe to children in Britain, following a safety review in 2003.
Psychology Today - Better than Prozac
Drugs firms 'creating ills for every pill'
Expensive new medicines are oversold when cheaper therapies or prevention would work better, say MPs
Heartland Org - Commentary: No Child Left Unmedicated
Bush - Labeling Kids Mentally Ill For Profit - By Evelyn Pringle
Consumers Union - Prescription for Change
(watch the video and song by the Austin Lounge Lizards)
MindFreedom: United Action for Human Rights in Mental Health
How Lilly Gilded Prozac's Profile
By Melissa Davis - 5/10/2005
This spring, Jeff Weise shot himself dead after taking the popular antidepressant Prozac...
Video: Antidepressants and School Shootings, Suicide, Addiction
A shocking Compilation of Video clips showing negative side effects of Antidepressants. Suicide, homicide even to the point of school shootings. Best Case scenario you only experience Withdrawal and Addiction. My solution has not been medications/drugs but a company called Truehope. www.truehope.com
posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Monday April 4 2005
updated on Friday December 10 2010
URL of this article:
FDA Covers Up Report - Mosholder: 'Antidepressants Double Suicides in Children'
According to a recent article published in the British Medical Journal, a scientific report by one of its researchers, Dr. Andrew Mosholder, showing that antidepressant drugs double the suicide rate in children taking them, was suppressed by the FDA. Instead of owning up to its mistake and issuing generalized warnings, the agency has launched a criminal investigation to find out which employees leaked Dr. Mosholder's report. Apart from the FDA's... [read more]
August 12, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger
Paxil, Zoloft, Xantax - Drug Induced Violence
23 August 2004 - The New York Times reports on the Murder case of Christopher Pittman coming up for trial. The 12-year-old has shot his grandparents and put their house on fire, but he says it was the effect of the drug he was on at the time - the antidepressant Zoloft. The case comes amid widespread allegations that antidepressant drugs cause many to commit suicide, a charge hotly denied... [read more]
August 26, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger
FDA Orders Antidepressant Suicide Warnings Over Psychiatric Association Resistance
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has been strangely resistant to the idea of warning patients of an increased risk of suicides when taking antidepressant drugs or SSRIs. One would think that psychiatrists should be the first ones to call for such warnings, but perhaps they fear to "lose ground" to natural alternatives in the treatment of mental disorders, which they have been persecuting for decades, concentrating their treatment efforts nearly... [read more]
October 16, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger
Bush To Impose Psychiatric Drug Regime
Plans to screen whole US population for mental illness According to a recent article in the British Medical Journal, US president George Bush is to announce a major "mental health" initiative in this coming month of July. The proposal will extend screening and psychiatric medication to kids and grown-ups all over the US, following a pilot scheme of recommended medication practice developed in Texas and already exported to several other... [read more]
June 23, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger
Prozac Approval Flawed: Suicide Link Was Known Before FDA OK
The British Medical Journal has apologized to Eli Lilly for implying in a recent article that scientific documents about Prozac's side effects had "gone missing" during a legal case some years ago, as reported by BBC today. But here is the important data that almost get drowned out by the noise over a largely irrelevant point: Eli Lilly, as the maker of Prozac, has been aware of serious side effects... [read more]
January 28, 2005 - Sepp Hasslberger
Investigator Exposes Pharma Corruption - Loses Job
An investigator with the Pennsylvania Office of the Inspector General was removed from his post and sent home after he talked to the press about his discovery of a black bank account fed by pharma companies Janssen and Pfizer and apparently used to pay off FDA officials in charge of approving drugs. The story is reported in the British Medical Journal.... [read more]
May 15, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger