Former Pharmaceutical Rep.
July 19, 2009
People often go through times of depression due to job loss, relocation, loss of a loved one, divorce, and many other situations that cause us to feel insecure. Our bodies do have natural ways of dealing with these emotions especially if people use healthy means including adequate sleep, exercise, healthy eating and emotional support from friends and family.
SSRI/SNRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors/Selective Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors) are antidepressant drugs that interfere with the body-mind’s normal functioning. These drugs are literally mind-altering. They can cause people to terminate loving, supportive relationships with family and friends, the very relationships that are extremely important to helping people recover from depression. The drugs can cause hallucinations, paranoia, and mania.
There is a direct correlation with the increase of antidepressant drug use and the rise in extreme, senseless violent acts. There are experts who have been trying to bring this to the attention of physicians, the FDA, and the public for more than a decade. Depression is not the problem. The drugs are the problem.
In 2001, GlaxoSmithKline was ordered to pay $6.4 million to the surviving family members after 60 year old Donald Schnell flew into a rage and killed his wife, daughter, and granddaughter only 48 hours after he began to take Paxil.
“I keep asking, when is somebody going to see this? But we’ve been so brainwashed about drugs. We think legal means safe,” Ann Blake Tracy, Ph.D. explains. “Most people don’t know that LSD once was legal and prescribed as a wonder drug. That PCP was considered to have a large margin of safety in humans. Most people don’t know that ecstasy was prescribed and sold for five years to treat depression.”
The adverse effects of psychiatric drugs are regularly misdiagnosed as more signs of depression, anxiety or some other created-by-vote psychiatric disorder. Then patients are prescribed additional psychiatric drugs or the dosage is increased. That was the case of California teenager Dominique Slater. Only 14 years old she was on several antidepressants including Celexa and Wellbutrin. When her erratic behavior worsened her doctor prescribed double dose of Effexor. Fifteen days later she killed herself. She was barely a teenager yet she was prescribed multiple antidepressant drugs at high doses. The year was 2003. Britain had already sent letters to all physicians sternly warning against the use of any of these drugs in anyone under the age of 18 years. It took the FDA another year to issue a warning of increased suicide in youths under 18 years old. No letters were sent to physicians. And the drug companies created marketing campaigns specifically to get antidepressants into the offices of all types of physicians, not just psychiatrists.
More than 10 million prescriptions for antidepressants are issued each year for children younger than 18 in the U.S. Any physician, not just psychiatrists, can write prescriptions for psychiatric drugs. The age of children being given these powerful mind-altering drugs continues to get younger. Ohio physicians in the month of July 2004 prescribed psychiatric drugs for 696 babies aged newborn to 3 years old covered by Medicaid.
“It’s shocking,” said Dr. Ellen Bassuk, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “These medications are not benign. They can have dangerous side effects. Who is being helped by children being drugged, the babies or the caregivers?”
Scientific Evidence of Antidepressants’ Effects on Newborns
“When we put pregnant women on antidepressants, they can’t get off them,” an unconcerned gynecologist told my friend C. when she told him she had spent years trying to get off the antidepressant he had prescribed to her. Three years before this callous physician’s comments to C., the extreme health risks to the fetus had been reported in medical journals.
A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in February 2006 reports pregnant women taking antidepressants have babies who are 6 times more likely to have primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH) or a developing lung disorder. PPH is extremely serious. A baby’s organs such as brain, kidney and liver are stressed due to lack of oxygen. PPH requires neonatal intensive care. PPH can be fatal and for babies who do survive there is often long-term health problems including breathing difficulties, seizures and developmental disorders.
Women taking SSRI/SNRI drugs during the first trimester of pregnancy are at 60 percent greater risk of their babies having heart defects and 40 percent greater risk of their babies suffering malformation.
“In conclusion, our results suggest that maternal exposure to fluoxetine (Prozac, Luvox, Sarafem and Symbyax) during pregnancy and lactation results in enduring behavioral alterations… throughout life,” a study reports in Pharmacology, spring 2007. Although the study was done with mice the physiological systems are similar to humans. There is nothing preventing drugs a pregnant woman takes from going directly into the bloodstream and then all the tissues of the fetus. And as this study indicates, antidepressants are also transferred to the baby through the mother’s milk.
As of February 2009, the drug companies, using their puppets and financial influence, are lobbying the U.S. Senate to pass a bill called the Mothers Act. This insane bill has already passed the U.S. House of Representatives. Supposedly this bill is meant to address postpartum depression. The truth is that it’s the drug industry influencing legislation in order to have more taxpayers’ money flow into drug companies’ profits. The 1,200 drug industry lobbyists on Capitol Hill are greasing the skids well so that this dangerous legislation that will harm, not help mothers, babies, and American families will easily pass. It’s about money, not health.