September 21, 2010
by Dr. Phillip Leveque
Afghanistan by Tim King Salem-News.com
(MOLALLA, Ore.) – I’m sure some people will take umbrage at my title. Keep on reading. First of all there are about 30 of them – why? It’s easy, most don’t work. In fact placebos (fake sugar pills) frequently work better.
Another point, their adverse side effects are horrible. Some even cause worse depression and even suicide. The main side effects are nausea, insomnia, anxiety, restlessness, decreased sex drive, dizziness, weight gain or loss, tremors, sweating, sleepiness, fatigue, dry mouth, diarrhea, constipation, headache, et cetera. Who needs that stuff?!? They also screw up ones head and balance with falls and fractures. If one stops taking them, the withdrawal symptoms sound worse than heroin. In addition to all this, some are addicting and it is very difficult to stop taking them.
This kind of drug or drugs has an extremely interesting origin. Around 1950 the first drug in this class was actually an anti-tuberculosis drug Isoniazid. For some reason it also acted as a brain stimulant, much like amphetamine. When this side effect was published by the T.B. doctors, other doctors decided to try it on depression patients. Prior to this certain Morphine-like cousin drugs and amphetamines were used for depression. They had severe addiction liability.
Isoniazid, the T.B. drug, was used on an experimental basis and the patients brain function improved dramatically. The psychiatrists who read about this tried Isoniazid on their depression patients and they coined the word ANTI-DEPRESSANT.
From then on starting about 1957 the Tricyclic drugs were born. They were relatives of anti-histamine drugs and they did combat depression. I think the first well known one was Elavil which is still in use. This type of drug drifted around quietly for several years searching for a disease all of the sudden it erupted – CLINICAL DEPRESSION. The first REAL drug Fluoxetine or PROZAC came out in 1988 by Ely Lilly & Co. It was heavily advertised and we soon had a epidemic of clinical depression spread all over the world.
I’m not going into a recital of the various kinds of anti-depressants. I think there is enough to indicate that at least 500,000,000 prescriptions are written per year and for the 14 or so leaders, each is worth up to several billion dollars to the drug companies.
As I said in the beginning placebos, or fake pills, work about as well as these chemicals and exercise or just plain talking to a psychologist may work as well. The drug companies advertise heavily in the millions of dollars to sell these drugs to doctors and patients. It is worth it. The anti-depressants bring in billions of dollars.
A side comment is that the drug companies have sold the idea to the Veterans Administration and they prescribe these drugs by the ton to PTSD Veterans. The evidence is that they don’t help much and cause a lot of harm.