August 29, 2005

Seroxat linked to increased suicides

In a story mainly reported in The Times London (UK) and the Daily Mail, one of Britain's most widely prescribed anti-depressants, Seroxat, has been linked to a seven-fold increase in suicide attempts. An analysis of trials by Norwegian researchers found that suicidal thoughts were more common among those taking the drug. This is relevant to people with mental illness, because many take anti-depressants in addition to anti-psychotic medications.

Seroxat is manufactured by British pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline.

The paper said an analysis carried out by Oslo University on Seroxat involving more than 1,500 patients found seven suicide attempts among those taking the drug and only one among those taking a placebo.

It said suicidal thoughts were three times more common among those taking Seroxat (paroxetine).

Almost 2.4 mln prescriptions for the drug were issued in the UK last year, the Times said.

The study, first published in the British medical magazine BMC Medicine was carried out before Seroxat was first licensed in 1990.

It said that the company and the British Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency have defended the drug, saying its benefits outweigh the risks.

Campaigners including the charity Mind have called for the drug to be withdrawn from sale, but its maker, GlaxoSmithKline and the Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency have defended it, arguing that its benefits outweighed the risks. The MHRA said that while a modest increase in suicidal thoughts could not be ruled out for those on SSRIs, there was insufficient evidence to conclude that there is any marked difference between different SSRIs, or between SSRIs and other antidepressants.


MHRA - In whose Interests?

The recent TeGenero drug trial debacle was an accident waiting to happen. As long as the Pharmaceutical Industry continues to suppress clinical trial data the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) will walk blindly and feed the British public false information.

News this week that GlaxoSmithKline knowingly withheld clinical trial data from the MHRA regarding the top selling anti-depressant drug Seroxat will add further fuel to the fire and hopefully push for an independent review into how the MHRA could be duped into believing that a drug they have reviewed on numerous occasions was safe.

The MHRA are made up of medical experts, some of whom are former employees and shareholders of the pharmaceutical companies they grant licenses to. Surely this is wrong and at the very least there is the suspicion of a conflict of interest?

For too long now the MHRA have been hoodwinked by the Pharmaceutical Industry. Lawsuits for damages in respect of harm caused to patients are popping up all over the place, but avoid media and public scrutiny because they are usually settled out of court on the proviso that evidence is not made public.

A public enquiry is needed to examine how the MHRA is run and why former Pharmaceutical Industry directors are allowed onto the board. Would a convicted drink driver be allowed to adjudicate on a road safety panel?

The MHRA need to pull the plug NOW on their close associations with the Pharmaceutical Industry. The British public expects and naively assumes impartiality and not a regulatory authority whose main interest seems to be one of ‘delivering jobs for the boys.’

Mr Robert Fiddaman (Group Moderator of the Online Seroxat Support Group)

Birmingham, UK

Posted by: ROBERT FIDDAMAN at April 6, 2006 01:01 AM

My daughter was on Seroxat when she was 14 or 15 years old. she was on it for a long time about a year at least.She suffered depression and anxiety attacks. She seem to be coping better. Then she came off them on her own, she did not seem to have any withdrawals. But as she started to have boyfriends,and if the relatioship went wrong, or if something important to her was not going right she be came very emotional,and hysterical,threatens to kill her self, she has taken some pills,but quits when she calms down, never enough to harm herself, then she worries. Her temper is awfull she never seem very happy, she has wreck rooms in the house she has some strength.Has there been any reports on effects after a person comes off this drug? She is 22 years old now, I seen the artical on this drug and thought maybe there is a reason for all this.
from a very concerned Mother

Posted by: Lillian at January 30, 2007 04:31 PM

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