So what makes the latest adverse effects of SSRI antidepressants so special? What makes sexual dysfunction any different or more important than suicide, homicide and birth defects? Why the outrage? Will sexual dysfunction be the final nail in SSRIs coffin, or will we in the Western world die out while the unmedicated masses take over the world? Okay, I’m being a tad facetious here but it’s not entirely outside the realms of science considering the increasing numbers being prescribed pharmaceutical drugs.
According to Dr David Healy ‘All drugs that cause sexual dysfunction can also cause birth defects’. Not surprisingly he further states that ‘Sexual-DEATH not uncommonly leaves death by suicide, marriage break-up, job loss and other serious problems in its wake’. He states that treatment-emergent sexual dysfunction can start as early as a week after exposure to these drugs and can last for 5 or 10 years, or sometimes permanently.
So what percentage of consumers will suffer from sexual dysfunction? According to a study funded by Eli Lilly ‘Antidepressant-Induced Sexual Dysfunction and it’s Management’, treatment-emergent sexual dysfunction is a common occurrence with SSRI antidepressants and can affect between 30% to 70% of users. Peter Gøtzsche of the ‘Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry’ has said the number is around 50%. According to RxISK, certain doctors have reported the number to be almost 60%.
In fact SSRIs are not alone. Many widely prescribed drugs can cause sexual dysfunction; e.g. Statins, Acne Medication, Blood Pressure Medication, Hair loss Medication, Antipsychotics, Benzodiazepines, H2 blockers and Epilepsy drugs. Last year a consultant vascular surgeon, Sherif Sultan, was gagged by Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) for stating that statin medication can do more harm than good in healthy individuals. Mr Sultan’s paper entitled “The Ugly Side of Statins; Systemic Appraisal of the Contemporary Un-Known Unknowns” stated that “An additional side-effect of statin therapy is erectile dysfunction, which is 10 times more in young men taking the lowest dose of statin”. The HSE gagging order was eventually lifted but remains unexplained.
The latest emerging prescription drug which causes sexual dysfunction is a hair loss drug Finasteride (Propecia). Tragically, Finasteride, just like SSRIs, are being prescribed to children. Dr. Maurice Collins, a surgeon in the Blackrock Clinic, admitted on the Derek Mooney show here (at 3.20 mins) that he put a 14 year old child on Finasteride. Strangely, contrary to emerging evidence, he said in his experience once the medication is stopped “in 100% of cases the side-effects disappear” here. Paul tells a different story. His Finasteride story was publicised on ITV’s This Morning recently.
What untold harm are these drugs doing to innocent children? It remains to be seen whether this reckless prescribing is creating a sexless, depersonalised generation. One thing is for sure, there’s an awful lot of unhappy people walking around. See Paul’s ITV interview below: