Saturday, October 01, 2005

Killing us for profit

I’ve been away. Off-the-grid for a whole week. No newspapers. No radio. No TV. No Internet. (And no drugs, legal or otherwise).

Just downloaded a week’s worth of email messages. Among them all my various and sundry health story alerts.

Here are the headlines that caught my eye:

MedPageToday: Lilly to Include Warning about Suicidal Thoughts on Strattera Label

New York Times: F.D.A. Orders New Warning on an Attention-Deficit Drug

The gist of this new research is that kids who take Strattera to help treat their ADHD are more inclined to have thoughts of suicide than kids put on placebos.

The best quote in the New York Times article has to be this one:
"We believe Strattera is a safe and effective treatment option, and attention deficit disorder has its own risks for people who stop taking the medication based on something they hear," said Dr. John Hayes, vice president for Lilly Research Laboratories. "We are advising people who have concerns to consult their physician."
The risk of suicidal ideation is high enough to have the typically toothless FDA step in and demand a black box warning, yet the company that produces Strattera is messaging that it could be riskier to go off the drug…maybe, but the obvious spin made me dizzy.

MedPageToday: Manufacturer Warns of Potential Birth Defects with Paxil

Forbes: New Warning Issued on Paxil

The nut of this research is that pregnant American women who take the antidepressant Paxil in their first trimester are more likely to give birth to babies with major congenital malformations. A little side story is that a Spanish study found that babies born of moms on Paxil had the highest rates of neonatal withdrawal syndrome.

And no surprise, the makers of Paxil, GlaxoSmithKline, stand by their drug and caution that while there appear to be risks to taking Paxil while pregnant, there are also risks of withdrawing from using the drug while pregnant.

The solution seems pretty easy for both of these drugs and the risks of withdrawal effects: don’t take them in the first place.

If your kid is hyper, start by changing his diet. Replace some of his screen time with judo or soccer.

If your wife-of-child-bearing-age is depressed, talk to her…go for nice walks after a healthy dinner…work with her to determine why she’s unhappy and change the situation.

Is living a life without behaviour and mind-altering pharmaceuticals really that hard? Move to British Columbia if you’re having trouble kicking the legal drug habit. We’ll set you up with some nice, calming ganja... deep breath in ... ahhh ... deep breath out ... feels good.


Blogger Alisa said...

You write so accurately what I tend to just blurt out their. I may be your psychotic, ranting other Preach it sister, I love your blog. - Alisa

October 05, 2005  
Blogger Donna said...

I love that my psychotic, ranting other half is also a Jesus Freak! Wow! Although I have to say, when you get me in a room talking about this stuff, I can certainly hold my own in the psychotic, ranting department! It's called passion. Without passion, there is no hope for change.

October 05, 2005  
Blogger FDF said...

The absence of a warning for a given drug or anxiety combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient.

January 17, 2006  
Blogger FDF said...

Do not take Propecia if you are depressed or have suicidal thoughts; or have mania, bipolar disorder, or another psychiatric condition

January 21, 2006  

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