The Night Before Christmas and The Nights After

December, 19, 2017 | 26 Comments


  1. The con of the century was the genius line from pharma and regulators.

    It’s a line littered throughout the patient information leaflets and, In America, one littered throughout the drug commercials.

    It’s the one line that grabs a watching public and it’s a line that takes the heat off the drug companies once you purchase their product via the very same entity that is featured in the line. It’s a line that is used as a defence in litigation, as we recently saw in Dolin Vs GSK.

    It’s a line that diminishes the responsibility of the manufacturer and the regulator. It’s a line that makes it extremely difficult to prosecute drug companies.

    The line is simple and it’s the hook to get you to buy and the hook so you and I won’t ever question the manufacturers, if you do so, the manufacturers, once again use the line.

    Once you do, your doctor can either tell you how wonderful the drug is (because drug reps told him/her so) or, they can inform you that the adverse reactions are not drug-related (because drug reps told him/her so). It’s a line that can be used as an excuse when you bring any adverse event to the attention of drug regulators too.

    “Talk to your doctor.”

    Simple yet genius marketing.

    • Bob, the compliments of the Season to you –
      this comment of yours, the genius line ‘Talk to your doctor’ is genius in itself. Every person we have ever told about the devastation caused to our son, our family, by RoAccutane-isotretinoin, reacts with wide eyes, horror, and then says, ‘but surely no doctor would ever prescribe such a dangerous life ruining drug!’ But why would they assume this? Because…..
      Doctors rule. Doctors know it all. Doctors are our last trusted port of call in all adversity. So, Bob, YES, you have it in one, bang on the money, as DH might say. ‘Talk to your doctor’ and he/she will make all things right, good, sorted, QED.

      A small analogy. I wanted an electric fire that looked like a log stove, to place in the fireplace in our bedroom, so that when we woke in the cold mornings, with a remote control, we could switch it on without venturing out of our warm bed, and a cheery simulated glow of light as flames behind pretend logs, would greet us. We didn’t want to spend an enormous sum on this. We bought one from UK Homebase, brought it home, unpacked its box and read the safety instructions -(its PIL equivalent). ‘Do not use it if there is anything within 150cm of its back and sides, or 50cm in front of it.’ I measured the hearth. If I couldn’t stand it reasonably near the wall under the mantelpiece , it would stick out into the room and be within 50cm of the bed. So it wouldn’t conform to safety requirements.
      ‘Ah,’ said my husband, (a surveyor of some mathematical brilliance), they mean 150mm but they’ve written in centimetres by mistake.’ But no, they’ve stressed it several times in the booklet on safety, written in good clear English. So we took it back to Homebase who refunded our money. They admitted that the instructions are correct! So what you are buying is a product you cannot possibly use with strict adherence to their safety guidelines, and if you deviate from them and the thing melts (as apparently one did) and your house burns down etc etc, the manufacturers are not liable under your or their insurance.

      Isn’t this just like the benzodiazepines discussed in DH’s post? So long as you take them in homeopathic doses for say, 4 weeks max, you may be ok. If not, on your head be it when you, like the fire, go beyond safety instructions nowadays and possibly go into meltdown.

      I have to declare my bias here. When I was 30 and suffering what I now know to be AKATHISIA from an unwisely prescribed hormone pill (which I only took for 2 or 3 days but the result was dramatically dreadful) and was overcome with a weird sense of terror and anxiety which seemed to come from nowhere, no rhyme or reason for it, I was prescribed, much against my will but as a last resort, some Valium. But I only took this diazepam for several weeks. I was against it in the first place, I didn’t trust it, and was determined to stop it by a certain point. But, It DID work for me. The fear gradually went – I did the best paintings I had done in years, my concentration was almost bizarrely fantastically improved, and I stopped trembling and pacing. But I started tailing off again within 2 weeks, as I felt for my own protection I must. And I eventually came back to myself again, after a further 6 months of lessened terror, thank heavens. But most people would not find that such a short window of use was possible for them, so they’d go on for longer and end in the danger zone of difficult withdrawal. And some might have got addicted within a week, unlike me, because our receptors are all different, and I was just lucky. But I see where DH is coming from here, in his post, and from personal experience I have to agree with him because I also saw what SSRI Seroxat did to my son, and I’d rather he’d only ever had a bit of Valium. He died by suicide in the end, and here I am still 5years on, trying to explain to family why. The combination of RoAccutane-isotretinoin and an SSRI can cause suicide attempts when the person is temporarily made slightly psychotic by the synergy of these two medications. So, ‘talk to your doctor’. Yes, we did, over and over again, but he didn’t believe us, till it was too late, and I guess he still wouldn’t dare admit what those drugs do to the susceptible brain. And what magic could he have pulled out of his stethoscope at the time anyway, the damage was done. And so, like Bob says, ‘the con goes on’. Merry Christmas Big Pharma…..

      • As I’ve said before, Heather, ‘It’s a merry-go-round that isn’t very merry at all.’

        Both relative and absolute contraindication are largely ignored by prescribing physicians, even when the patient that sits in front of them is a gibbering mess.

        This, obviously, needs to change.

        Earlier this year I told my GP (a new one) that I had a phobia of needles and was dreading an up-and-coming blood test, I mean **really** dreading it.

        He offered me a benzo to “take the edge off” my fear.

        I think it’s the only time I’ve ever used the line, “Do you know who I am?”

        • Bob – I’d love to know the GP’s reaction to your “Do you know who I am?” line! Bet it was similar to the medical world’s reaction in our area when we mention Dr. Healy’s name – “heard the name but don’t know anything about his work”.

          • Mary,

            I also have mentioned David Healy’s name and his book Pharmageddon to a Psychiatrist who replied “Oh he is part of that anti-psychiatry movement” – as he wrote prescriptions for more drugs he snapped “I too know something about psychiatry”…

            Today I was shouted at by a close very well educated member of my family “I do not want to hear of you talking or writing anything about such things on line again – I am sick of hearing of David Healy – conspiracy theorists are all in your head – there is no consipiracy – would you go and talk to someone even to a Parish Priest?”

            I answered well our local Parish Priest robbed his Parish in the US – lived the high life in Casinos etc and spent 4 years in prison – on release came back to Ireland and was given a home, car and a whole Parish – The close family Member retorted by “Mmmm – maybe not him then” I mentioned I might go to a Psychologist and the response was “At least once a week” I thought to mention David Healy’s post on Calvary but dared not…

            As the conversation went on “if you continue to write on line in any way email etc., I will not come down here to see you next Christmas…” It was then I snapped and said “Do what you want – I am 63 years old and tired of being oppressed” So that Healy man and Goetzche man cannot be mentioned again in this home…as for Dr John Hall…on his book a “New Breed” I was told “subtle” and why buy such a book for an extended family Member

            Another remark “Mmm, You are Mischievious”

            All things moved on and I said my goodbyes with hugs for another year…..

            Back into my box of oppression!

            Dr Healy’s Book Pharmageddon stands proudly on my book shelf…there are more to add to in 2018 Please God…

            Blessings for a Peaceful Joyful and Pharma-Free 2018 to all….

            Ireland is more oppressed than one could imagine even within the confines of one’s own “Family”…

            “I didn’t know I was a slave until I found out I couldn’t do the things I wanted to do” -Frederick Douglass

  2. I guess if one were required to choose a rapist, they might choose the best looking one, but Valium? I’d rather die a sudden cardiac death than experience what a benzo put me through (and is still putting me through post-quit). After more than a decade of being invalidated and dismissed by just about everyone, a sleep specialist finally reassurred me that I was correct, the years of adhearing to medication compliance guidelines set for me (not really like benzos give you a choice), left me with what is thus far a permanent inability to really settle and experience anything that resembles long winters nap.

    “It happened,” he said, more than once. I was so shocked to hear this truth from a doctor I had to write the words down. “It happened.” Yet he was upbeat and reassuring. He said there were things we could do. Enter stage left: Belsomra.

    If there is a Santa, her name might be cannabis.

    • Laurie, I know you have been hurt so much as many have been but I do not agree with your first line of “If one could choose a rapist” that could also mean if one could choose their drugs. No one asks for Rape or chooses it or deserves to be Raped in any way.

      Whether sexually or medically Raped – Rape is an intrusion of the body, the soul and the mind Rape leaves scars that sometimes heal but Pharmaceutical rape and Medical Rape never heals because it is not allowed to heal – Doctors and Pharma go to criminal lengths to cover up their crimes against the body, the soul and the mind – Pharma literally does Follow the Patient in their Mobile Labs – Read up on Dr Healy’s Post in Sense about Science “Follow the Patient” it is really the facts about what does/is happening.

      It is good you at last feel that you have engaged with a good doctor – they are rare.

      Blessings to you….

  3. In today’s Express, Frank Bruno says that medications he was given made him suicidal. I was amazed to see the sentence included in the story! He was explaining about his mental health problems – the incidents that we all read about some years ago – and said it again – that the meds he was given made him suicidal. No naming of the medications but it was obvious to anyone that he was talking about psychiatric drugs. Is this a slight breakthrough with the press I wonder – or is it considered so vague that they chanced including it anyway?

  4. Mary, do read Frank Bruno’s book, ‘Let Me Be Frank,’, it is, frankly, amazing. What a brave, gentle, open account of the life of a remarkable man. He tells the story of his struggles with mental health difficulties and the problems, thrust on him in his life, that he feels caused them. He also describes how he gradually managed to tail off the anti depresants and anti psychotics forced on him, and how he’s started a Foundation to help those who suffer as he did. He is a great inspiration to me, in that maybe our Foundation can do something similar.

  5. The most compelling editorship in this movie is David Carmichael’s bemused expression when asked “what would you say to GSK now?”

    His measured response came later

    Letters from Generation Rx

    So much revealed .. and it is mind numbing that too many other psychiatrists make no effort to find out how they work and you wonder how it is they have so many followers .. when actually they have nothing to follow .. and there is nothing to learn from the endless waffle .. sad and disappointing
    and not a position they should be proud of

    ‘…the cavalier use of these powerful psychotropics created a new class of disability, in addition to an avalanche of other devastating consequences…’

    David Healy ..

    Holocaust Denialism .. ‘after the drugs hit the market’ ..


    Today’s NHS advice, widely covered by the media is: –

    Before trying to consult your doctor, please consider using safe internet health advice platforms for information which may allow an appointment to be saved.

    NHS Choices was recommended as a reliable option.

    I followed an almost negative search for AKATHISIA by “discovering” some intriguing
    “KEY FACTS” about one specific SSRI.

    “It usually takes 4 to 6 weeks — to work”.

    “Side effects such as feeling sick or sexual problems are common. They are usually mild and go away after a couple of weeks”.

    Further “reliable” clarification is provided regarding “Sexual Side Effects”:

    “The good effects —– may, after a while, improve your sex life and relationships again”.

    It is then warned:

    “Some of the possible negative effects include”:

    “men getting painful erections, problems with getting an erection and problems ejaculating”

    “women having some vaginal bleeding and might not reach orgasm the same way as before”

    “a lower sex drive”.

    Then the reader is reassured:

    “Sexual side effects should pass after the first couple of weeks.
    If they don’t, and this is problem for you, go back to your doctor to see if there is another antidepressant you can try”.

    Now – “Talk To Your Doctor” appears to have returned full circle?

    You then have the option to complete the NHS Choices customer satisfaction survey.
    Should you embark on this, you are given the opportunity to record your free text observations.

    I felt a compelling and urgent need to alert them to all SSRI adverse drug reactions.
    What about PGAD, legacy PSSD lasting for years, misdiagnosed akathisia and antidepressant induced psychosis?

    I needed them to genuinely acknowledge SSRI induced suicidality and to learn of the lives destroyed by SSRI – ADRs “managed” by coerced admission, detention and forced drugging in cruel, hope-destroying “hospitals”

    I wanted to ask them to look at the RxISK PRIZE and understand its importance.

    But I couldn’t:

    Even with the support of a collection of medical degrees and diplomas,
    even with a GMC Registration Number confirming that I am a Registered Medical Practitioner – it was an opportunity that could not be seized.

    I could not afford those presenting such “information” credibility, nor my trust, nor my expectation of their Duty of Candour – (albeit – I should emphasise, this was based only and entirely on looking for SSRI/AKATHISIA information).

    What chance for understanding – (of psychotropic drug toxicity) – for those who write so courageously, who share their suffering and terrible loss on this Blog, and yet still find the courage to repeatedly “Speak To Your Doctor”?

    If your doctor’s awareness of psychotropic drug toxicity, ADRs and prescription drug induced morbidity and mortality is reflected in this allegedly reliable, professionally derived SSRI “information” displayed on NHS Choices, surely it can only hurt further?

    Some of us do have doctors who try to understand and who are empathetic.
    We are indeed fortunate.

    Perhaps a campaign to appeal for consultations which are both staffed and funded to return to Sir William Osler’s wisdom would do more to restore both patient safety and medical staff morale?

    “Listen To Your Patient, he is telling you the diagnosis”. (Even when the diagnosis is PGAD).

  7. Clarification re “TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR”

    Immediately after submitting this post a return to the recommended website alerted me to the individual SSRI site being: – “testing a new page”.

    My comments above should have identified this small print, and also that the customer feedback is in fact a request to “Help us to improve this site”.

    I am sorry that I was confused by my first visit to this website.

    Perhaps I was more at liberty to forward my concerns than I had understood.

  8. Well, Bob and Tim, I can only think that we are doing really well if we are causing such a stir by the very mention of one person’s name or the name of an SSRI that has caused us so much pain. The mere fact that they respond in this way, in my opinion, means that they are very much aware of the growing acceptance of the harms caused to so many and are running scared of the possible consequence of this – which could, of course, see more patients refusing their precious prescriptions and actually researching the pros and cons before committing themselves to the possible side effects, resulting in a need for the doctors to really listen to their patients. In many cases, this seems an impossibility for some reason! We know of time restraints – but surely, sorting a way forward for, and with, the patient means less time spent with the said patient in the long run and better job satisfaction.
    We know that ‘all drugs have side effects’ but what seems to be hidden so well by the majority, is the possible severity and consequences of these ‘side effects’. Any mention of a severe side effect is immediately met by either an accusation of an instability within the person who suffered or a finger pointed at ‘another substance’ ( often alcohol) also used by the person during their ‘crisis’. How easy it is to pull a broken person to bits – the very person who had probably repeatedly asked for support which may have worked better than the SSRI. If they are so knowledgeable, how is it that they fail to properly monitor their patients when they hand over these prescriptions? Why are proper warnings not given, by GPs, to patients’ families of the fact that ‘ all drugs have side effects’?
    Another fact that I find annoying is the ‘high and mighty’ attitude of many of the patients lucky enough to cope with these drugs. Their attitude is to push those who have suffered into a sub-section not worthy of notice. This is disgusting – they push for parity between physical and mental health, as we all should, and yet ‘mental health’, in their eyes it seems, only counts provided you are not damaged by psychiatric drugs. What a ridiculous situation. Let’s all hope that 2018 is the year when the Rxisk Prize is awarded and the much needed ‘cure’ works so well that the majority of ills caused by these drugs are found and accepted as the reality of the situation as it stands.

    • Mary, this is so well put. Especially the bit about people who tolerate these meds well, putting down the others who don’t.

      I was reading ‘Prima’ magazine in an osteopath’s waiting room today and came upon an article on Depression by the magazine’s doctor contributor. Needless to say, the imbalance of serotonin brain chemicals was blamed for it again, and when you read it, so ‘expertly’ explained, it seems so credible and acceptable. I mentioned this to the osteopath, but she countered with the story of a darts player (I forget the name) who had suffered severe up and downs of behaviour but when given Prozac, became steady at last. When he stopped the drug, the ‘up and down’ behaviour began again. So apparently this proves, in the case of a celebrity for us all to see, that Prozac works.

      I just can’t see how we will ever get the world to see that the chemical imbalance thing re serotonin is wrong. Although she did add that when cortisol surges (caused by stress) then serotonin levels fall, in blood tests? Is this correct?

  9. Have now cleaned my glasses and can see that my recent comment ( not yet up) should have mentioned Bob and TERI – not Tim as I’m pretty sure I named. I’m sure Tim would also be in agreement with much of what was said.

    • Entirely in agreement Mary.

      I am also deeply moved by the impact of your vital observation which underlies terribly haunting experiences relived constantly, day and night, year after year.


      This poor beautiful soul was only broken following misdiagnosed, intense SSRI induced akathisia.

      SSRIs not given for depression, but peddled for normal life stresses, for which a few words of encouragement alone would have been entirely “safe and effective”.

      Subsequently coerced and then enforced to suffer, and be terribly injured by a cascade of grotesquely toxic psychotropic drugs.
      Then, in addition, bullied and ridiculed by “M.H.” staff for “coercive behaviour” resulting from early onset tardive dyskinesia.

      I could never have imagined that such ignorance and denial of
      psychotropic-induced, life-destroying adverse drug reactions might exist amongst those who consider themselves to be members of my own profession.

      It remains unbelievable that those responsible could not differentiate a common, life threatening adverse drug reaction from “Serious Mental Illness”, and would then, in denial, proceed to systematically “pull a broken person to bits”.

      • Tim, your sentence,
        ‘SSRIs, not given for depression but peddled for normal life stresses, for which a few words of encouragement alone would have been entirely “safe and effective”….
        Is the key to so many broken lives. These words of yours absolutely explain the core of the appalling problem so many people are now stuck with. If ONLY the consulted doctor had used a little common sense and invested some compassionate time in listening to the patient, I would put money on the likelihood that our dead son would now be here, functioning, and living his rightful life to the full. How sloppy is it for a doctor to hand out these poisons automatically, (for poisons they indeed are), as a cure for all life’s stresses! And then for the loved ones’ carers to be left to pick up the pieces of the irrevocably damaged soul, or bury their dead.

        Anger is not good for us. We are told not to bear grudges. But for as long as this situation goes on and on, with its own Groundhog Day in fact, and we feel powerless to change it, I am consumed with frustration and anger. And feeling daily even worse, because how will we ever get extended family of the sufferer to understand the heinous crime that has been committed? They will close their ears because, guess what ‘a trusted doctor did it, so how can it be a crime?’ !!

        • Heather, – How indeed “will we ever get the extended family of the sufferer to understand the heinous crime that has been committed”?

          We know exactly why, when and how our loved ones were taken from us.

          We have “lived” the endless days and nights of despair, disbelief and incredulity that our doctors, and our children’s doctors could be so gullible.

          How could these once-trusted doctors become martyrs to the marketing propaganda which has created such false belief in the “safety and efficacy” of psychotropic drugs?

          Unquestioning credibility afforded to other psycho-toxic or neurotoxic medications, prescribed with grotesque overconfidence, dogma and refusal to countenance the hard science endorsing our experienced reality of their killing and maiming toxicities.

          Today’s press carries howls of self-righteous anguish from the psychiatric establishment in response to Johann Hari’s “extreme skepticism of the effectiveness of anti-depressants” in his new book.
          (No declarations or denials of financial/pharma conflicts of interest noticed amongst the pages of indignation!)

          Your powerful and important words Heather identify yet another torment for those of us whose lives and families have been torn apart by the almost complete lack of awareness of prescription drug induced akathisia with its tormented agony – unrecognised, ignored, and/or malignantly misdiagnosed as serious mental illness.

          This further torment which you identify is our isolation and ex-communication from friends and family who simply cannot resist the relentless daily disseminations of the M.H. Propaganda Industry.

          Propaganda which is truly unceasing, as well as successful in the extreme.

          Friends and extended families are force-fed ceaseless messages of the wonder-science and unstinting benevolence of drug-dependent, mainstream psychiatry.

          Those friends and extended family once cherished and close to us, physically and spiritually, are programmed to think that our desperate efforts to prevent others from suffering the devastation which these unnecessary drugs unleashed upon our loved ones is proof positive that we too are “deranged” with our own chemical imbalances and self-evident psycho-genetic vulnerabilities.

          Thus we struggle with our grievous losses, torment and bereavements whilst we are increasingly cut off from those who would otherwise be part of our coping and surviving.

          For the Third Reich, Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels observed:

          “If you tell a lie that is big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it”.

          The group wishing to promote the big lie must also:

          “Use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie”.

          I too share the frustration and anger you record.

          I find today’s indignant and voluminous use of all of mainstream psychiatry’s powers “to repress dissent” moves anger to outrage.

          What has happened to the integrity and the necessary humility and open-mindedness, which, together with a need and willingness to listen to our patients, formed the basic tenets of ethical medical practice?

          Were mainstream, propaganda-based, psychotropic drug induced, physical, psychological, social and economic death and destruction to be replaced via restoration of these basic humane and compassionate medical tenets: –

          Would so many be waiting almost endlessly on trolleys to eventually be attended to by “The Few” who risk their own health working in our understaffed, under-resourced and vital NHS Accident and Emergency Departments?

          • Tim, what a marvellous summary of this secondary aspect of drug damage. It isn’t just the direct sufferer, as if that were not bad enough, it’s the demolishing of the credibility of the caring relative or spouse, who battles on to save the damaged loved one, against a barrage of taunts and sighs and raised eyebrows when we try to put articles about the drug damage, under their noses. So we carers are entirely alone, regarded as mad ourselves in some cases, as we fight this unequal battle to defend and heal our terribly injured party before it is too late. The fear we have to carry, on all fronts, is almost unbearable day to day. Then, if we lose the battle, we are left broken at first and then boiling with anger later. But feeling impotent, because apart from DH, and a few others like him, not forgetting all the like minded contributors to these Blogs, who can we turn to for support?

            I try not to think about a close in-law family member who was high on the non medical admin side of the NHS when other family members suggested in 2002/3 that he might be helpful in getting our son’s psychiatrist to listen (we having been summarily dismissed) when we raised concerns about what RoAccutane-isotretinoin and SSRIs including Seroxat (prescribed for the low mood the former drug had triggered). What we really wanted was to meet other carers in a similar situation to us, to learn from their experience the best way to get our point across to the very disgruntled busy psychiatrist. We had been denied the chance of talking directly more than once with the psychiatrist, who also refused to read letters or faxes from us. He did not believe in reading and being concerned about the PILs of drugs, saying they were just for extremely rare cases. All the time, our son, previously fine in body and spirit apart from worry about his acne, was sinking into what seemed to be psychosis. No one would listen.

            This relative apparently rang our local MIND, no doubt explaining how high ranking he was in the NHS so his opinions would carry weight. He could have made an enormous difference, by explaining the truth, as WE knew it, of the situation and thus asking the MIND guy to open a conduit with the medical team for us, or at least, giving us credence and support. But no, instead, this relative, puffed up with self importance but little genuine knowledge, implied, with his ‘little words here and there’ that I was the problem, I was over protective, unhinged, as no doubt of course I would be, because my father was manic depressive… I was summoned to meet MIND’s psychologist and treated with cold contempt. Our son’s medications were not stopped, but we were banned from seeing him where he was in hospital as a voluntary patient, deluded into thinking he was the Devil by the cocktail of unnecessary drugs. Not seeing us at all made him distraught, thinking we hated him and had abandoned him.

            I write this to amplify Tim’s point, about not being believed. Had our family member known then what he apparently knows now, about the terrible mental side effects of the acne drug, he might have helped us to save our son. But he held to his bias and he actually worked against us. And worse than that, he spread these falsehoods around our son’s father’s family, and even our son’s sibling, so we were totally estranged from all of them, and regarded as stupid and misguided. And even now, after 15 years, if they meet us, they adamantly do not want to hear from us what actually happened. They just want to draw a line under the hell of it all,including our son’s death, and move on. So how will lessons EVER be learnt? How will the attitude of the public EVER change? Groundhog days persist.

  10. Talk to your Dr !!!!!
    Only if their name is Dr Google….and don’t the Medical Profession hate us looking things up on the Net (The assumption being that we might jump to the wrong conclusion )
    I have tapered off Benzodiazepines in spite of what they tried to do…It has taken me 30 months and I have used The Ashton Manual. Professor Heather Ashton is extensively quoted in the NICE guidelines as being an expert, Her invaluable patient centred advice and extraordinary devotion to doing what is right has earned her the admiration and devotion of thousands if not millions of online benzo dependent People. Professor Ashton is 88 now and in poor health yet still she receives greetings and thanks from people all over the world. She published The Ashton Manual online with no gain to herself. Most GPs have never heard of it……believe you me I tried to educate them. People like me and others are sick of the lies….’ The chemical imbalance ‘ The ignorance ‘ It will take 2-4 weeks to come off Sertraline!!!! Anti-depressants are ‘ Safe and effective ‘…. Its ok to take Tramadol to help with Withdrawal headaches……Now Ant from Ant and Dec seems cured from his very public addictions. Most of us cannot afford to take 6 Months off and rely on an adoring public to stand by us. I have been unable to earn very much the last couple of years as I battled to taper benzodiazepines. Just as DH is an acknowledged expert on anti-depressants Professor Ashton is the ONLY expert on benzodiazipines but at 88 is hardly accessible to patients. I have already decided to taper myself of Sertraline and Tramadol and NO I will not talk to a doctor until I am able to trust they will ‘ First do me no harm ‘

  11. You really think its as strong as that?


    Canada CBC Releases A Prescription for Murder

    A Prescription for Murder? – James Holmes

    The Passionate Eye

    January 3, 2018

    Could a pill turn you into a killer? Canadians are among the world’s biggest users of antidepressants. For most, these drugs are very helpful, but this investigation reveals the devastating side effects some antidepressants have on a small minority that can lead to psychosis, violence, and possibly even murder.

    I calmly called 911 and reported a homicide

    called Paroxetine ..

    ‘that doesn’t make any sense’

    Psychotic Delusion

  12. It might also be that this sleeping pill is more beneficial for certain population groups than others but that this was not looked at in the studies as a generic sleep aid. There is evidence that orexin-receptor antagonists may be of enormous benefit to (the many millions of) menopausal women who are suffering from insomnia related to low oestrogen and a corresponding rise in orexins. It may also reduce their hot flushes and sweats which are worse and most deleterious at night. I don’t feel that your researchers were very thorough by not studying the pathways through which this works and the other publicly available research on orexins. This would also explain why it does not work for people who do not have elevated levels of orexins but other causes of insomnia.
    Suvorexant/Belsomra acts very specifically and is the first drug of this class and may prove to be invaluable to menopausal women experiencing a whole set of quality of life and health problems. I would like to see more research on this drug for problem symptoms for menopausal women who have suffered too much too long.

    Equally, I can see why it may not be suitable for many other people who do not have excess orexin. Furthermore, because orexin activates the parasympathetic nervous system and many key autonomic processes, suppressing it could have severe consequences. I note that the instructions say to take with at least 7 hours sleep time still available. This is not zolpidem. Doctors need to make patients extremely aware of the risks of many sleeping aids, whether long-acting sedative antihistamines that are not even prescription medicines, or short-acting ones that can cause balance, confusion and memory loss like some of the z-drugs. They all carry risks if mis-used.

    We are in an age when medicines are becoming increasingly tailored with enormous benefits for many. My only question would be whether Merck is hoping to get additional sales as a sleeping pill for the masses by marketing broadly when the consequences of this may be to relegate a potentially break-through medicine to dusty shelves closing down a potentially seismic breakthrough treatment for at least one enormous group it might actually benefit.

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