American Woman 2

April, 23, 2012 | 4 Comments


  1. Ah, the old ‘talk to your doctor’ line. Spewed out by the likes of the FDA, The MHRA and pharmaceutical companies alike. Mentioned more times on a patient information leaflet than a pharmaceutical litigation lawyer can say ‘objection your honour!’

    This is a particular gripe of mine so allow me to have this rant please:

    Hard to know who is responsible for allowing this to happen. One goes around in circles when trying to find information about the side-effects of a drug.

    We, as consumers, can go visit the regulatory websites…if we can be inclined to battle through the labyrinths to find exactly what it is we are looking for…even when we do find a list of side-effects they are downplayed or under-reported [thank goodness for] <—shameless promotion!

    Contacting the pharmaceutical companies is a particular avenue that has been road-blocked, apparently, in the UK at least, by the ABPI, that's the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.

    Apparently, they have some sort of ruling that prohibits pharmaceutical companies talking to patients/consumers, at least that's the reason GlaxoSmithKline gave me when I wrote and asked them if Seroxat [Paxil] was a teratogen [1]. On quoting the ABPI ruling they then told me to 'talk to my doctor'

    It was hypothetical in any case seeing as I'm a male and wasn't with child.

    Another instance of GlaxoSmithKline using the APBI 'protection' can be found on my blog. [2] A woman had contacted me, she was struggling withdrawing from Seroxat. Over a period of time I helped her taper, her doctor couldn't…he didn't know, or rather failed to see that his patient was suffering an adverse reaction to Seroxat, namely feelings of depression again and a wave of 'up and down' emotions were seen as a 'return of the illness'…an illness that was originally a form of mild depression.

    This same woman wrote to Glaxo, she was, like me, given the ABPI runaround and told to 'talk to her doctor'.

    This happens all the time, to every single patient/consumer. Question is, why?

    Well, Glaxo don't know how to help people coming off Seroxat because the clinical trials only ever ran for short periods – they never ran trials for 3,4,5 year periods let alone 10 years plus.

    So, patients on Seroxat, after many years, decide to stop. They read the patient information leaflet and are told not to suddenly stop taking their medication. At the same time they are told to 'talk to their doctor'…the same doctor who cannot spot the signs of withdrawal opposed to an 'original illness returning'

    It's classic pharmaceutical spin by proxy. It's beautifully crafted and has made companies, like GlaxoSmithKline, bucket fulls of cash.

    In Britain the regulator [MHRA] sit and twiddle their thumbs, occasionally offering patients to air their views…then doing nothing about those views aired. Their recent foray into GP's surgeries is the SSRi Learning Module, a module that really isn't a module at all, it's more of a buck-passing tool designed to make the regulators feel better about themselves.

    The buck-passing this time comes in the form of non-existent SSRi specialists, whom the MHRA recommend doctors to send their more 'severe' withdrawal patients to. [3]

    They don't exist – Fact.

    On asking the MHRA for a list of such specialists I was, unbelievably, told to 'talk to my doctor'.

    And so this merry-go-round, that isn't very merry at all, continues to spin.

    Talk to your doctor if you are depressed or feeling anxious and the likelihood is that you will be leaving his room with a prescription for an SSRi. Talk to him when you are struggling severe withdrawal problems from the very same drug he prescribed you all those years ago and the likelihood is that he will tell you that you are still depressed.

    Patients who fall foul of depression are told they have a chemical imbalance. The 'pill' will correct that chemical imbalance.


    The 'pill' is more than likely the cause of their chemical imbalance…pharma just haven't come up with a cure for that yet…other than taper slowly.

    If one could bottle psychiatry and pharmaceutical spin, one could retail it in garden centres around the world – be sure to place the bottles in the fertilizer section.

    Former Seroxat User

    [1] The evidence, however, is clear…the Seroxat scandal [Chipmunka Publishing]

    • The withdrawal symptoms resulting from ceasing to use SSRI’s and other anti-depressants are awful. Besides rebound depression, there are physical symptoms too, really miserable ones. It isn’t a minor nuisance, nor is it comparable to the discomfort and distress from abruptly stopping use of cigarettes/ nicotine or coffee/ caffeine. No, it is MUCH worse than that, depending on dose and duration of treatment.

      Pharmacists seem to be more compassionate. Perhaps because they see the effect in patients? But they aren’t authorized to do anything about it.

  2. She was lost but now she is found!!

    David, Bob Fiddaman has found her.

    For his piece of brilliant investigative work I say Bob Fiddaman for a knighthood.

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