Same dangerous drugs, different warnings!

FDA

Antidepressant drugs come with different warnings in Ireland and the US. In the US these drugs come with a black-box warning due to the increased risk of dangerous adverse effects, including suicide. In my opinion, the difference between the Irish Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) and the American PIL is criminal. The failure to warn here is negligent; don’t be another statistic, make an informed decision.

Here’s a quote from an article in the Irish Times in Oct 2009. The article concerns Shane’s case and our ‘allegation’ on RTE that antidepressants can cause suicide and homicide. Justin Brophy, president of the Irish College of Psychiatry, stuck his oar in: Some people believe doctors and the pharmaceutical companies work hand-in-glove to suppress the evidence. Says Dr Brophy: “If there was any implication of concealment of the truth, the IMB would know it. The facts are very open and accessible. No one is trying to conceal anything. . . . To imply [we] are beholden to the pharmaceutical industry is a misrepresentation. We don’t prescribe based on any information from the pharmaceutical industry – we get it from the IMB.”  The article (or Justin Brophy) failed to mention that the IMB is almost fully funded by the pharmaceutical industry. Is this the reason for the discrepancies in the PILs Justin?

D Walsh and J BrophyInterestingly, this picture is from Irish Psychiatry’s Summer 2010 News Bulletin, which also refers to Shane’s case. The picture is of Justin Brophy with fellow Psychiatrist Dermot Walsh. Dr Walsh had this to say in the British Medical Journal (BMJ): “In the context of the current debate on the efficacy of antidepressants the following may be of interest. Ireland’s suicide rate has risen threefold since antidepressants became available with the greatest increase occurring following the introduction of the SSRIs.” Did you not read that Justin?

For the thousands of people on these mind altering drugs in Ireland, here are the PILs for the same drugs in Ireland and the US (Courtesy of the RxISK website and Medicines.ie):              

  US                                        Ireland

Citalopram:    Celexa                      Cipramil/Citalopram/Cipager

Sertraline:       Zoloft                        Lustral/Depreger

Paroxetine:     Paxil                         Seroxat

Fluoxetine:     Prozac                      Prozac/Gerozac/Affex

Escitalopram: Cipralex                  Lexapro  (Same product as Celexa/Cipramil)

Fluvoxamine: Luvox                      Flaverin

Venlafaxine:   Effexor                     Efexor/Venlofex

Duloxetine:     Cymbalta                Cymbalta/Yentreve

It is not recommended that anyone should stop taking these drugs without consulting a (good) doctor. The problem is the risk of suicide, violence, mania and worsening depression which can occur upon starting, discontinuing and dosage change (up or down). If required, information on withdrawal can be found here.

Antidepressants for takers.

Antidepressants for prescribers.

Abnormal hearth rhythms: Citalopram and Escitalopram warning.

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3 thoughts on “Same dangerous drugs, different warnings!

    1. Yes it is, and yet the defenders of these drugs can be so sure that they are safe and effective. Burying their heads in the sand will only block the truth out for so long. Ignorance or actively protecting the drug industry?
      “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” Winston Churchill

      Like

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