Our story., Random, Shanes story.

Me dear darling Leonie

It has always amazed me that three years after Shane died, I still get lovely letters from his friends. This one is a bit different; it’s from my friend. For background and clarity; he works as an actor and is currently masquerading as a viking (in a film being shot around Dublin and Wicklow).


Me dear darling Leonie, I have to let you know about a special moment in time but have to ask you to try and imagine the scene…………..

We were asked to do a scene on Friday. The setting was in a Viking family house which had 3 or 4 open fires inside it, as it was minus 20 outside the animals were brought in too, goats hens sheep all happily sitting on the floor, and around each fire were 4/5 village members wives and children of the Vikings, the huge room was smokey but not uncomfortable and we drank and talked of all things while keeping warm by the fire.

At my family group I brought up your lovely son Shane and out of us all, everybody knew of him and spoke in the most beautiful way about him. They had never met him but were aware (in amazing detail) of all things relevant and there were tears by the fire that day. I just wanted you to know that, bloody choked me up the whole way home, but to listen to and be part of his legacy was so beautiful. It meant the amazing work you’re doing, has people not only aware of ssri’s, but also has folk sending positive messages out about Shane, missed by many who didn’t know him, but would have loved to have met him.

Your friend x

Random, Shanes story.

Dear Leonie

I receive e-mails occasionally from people looking for information on SSRI’s. Usually they’re from people with stories like mine with tragic endings but sometimes, just sometimes, there are nice stories of people who have survived their experience. Here’s one from a reader who would like to share; she wants to address the importance of an informed decision. Sadly, in Ireland, denial of the dangers of SSRI’s by the majority of the medical profession means that most Irish consumers will not be informed. I’m so glad that this one had a better outcome….

Dear Leonie,

I needed to let you know that your blog and Shane’s journey have had a profound effect on me since the moment I read the first post. Knowing depression/anxiety and mental illness has run in my family I was very aware of the subject matter and read your blogs and links with due diligence. Little did I know that the knowledge I was gaining would play a part in saving my own son from the brink of despair and possible great harm. I live in America; my son is 21 and has been away at college for several years. He was doing terrific, grades were great, involved socially in great things, fund-raising for worthy causes, it seemed everyone loved him and he loved life. Then my mother’s instinct kicked in. I knew something had changed, he had broken up with a girlfriend (not a serious relationship), his grades were dropping and he was not as involved in social events as he had been. We lost several close family members and friends in the last few years, he took each loss badly. Then a friend of his died from a combination of illegal drugs. I heard my son break on the phone when I called to tell him the news. I travelled to him regularly, each time worrying more than the last, offering him “options” to leave college, to change his life, any support I could. I hesitated to advise him to take anti-depressions based on Shane’s story, and found lots of natural remedies/ over the counter stress relievers but none seemed to have any long term support. All the time he was a 3 hour drive away from me. It was nerve raking.

To cut a long story short, one day in April I got a heart wrenching call from my son. Thankfully a friend had recognized he needed help and brought him to a hospital. He had voluntarily checked himself in to a clinic to help him with severe anxiety/depression. He had been self-medicating with drink and anything he could to escape his personal pain.

After several conferences with medical/clinical staff and my son, it was highly recommended that he go on an anti-depressant. I spoke to his caregivers (privately) and explained my concerns. Here’s the shocker when I said “I am aware that SSRI’s can heighten anxiety and actually give the patient suicide and homicidal thoughts” the answer was immediate and blunt “ooh that’s only with people who have already had those thoughts before taking them”. I quickly responded with a ton of knowledgeable medical research quotes and cases (thanks to your blog) and told them of Shane’s journey. I could tell by the silence (it was a phone call) and immediate empathy that the social worker had learned something valuable from my words.

That being said, I knew my son needed help beyond hand-holding. His situation was real and serious and I had no doubt from my visits with him at the clinic that he was a suicide risk. So I advised him of the risks to taking SSRI’s, told him I would support him with in whatever he needed but I felt he needed full medical supervision while he started the medications. Thankfully he and his team agreed. To say his first week on the meds was the longest in my life would be an understatement. However I felt comforted by the fact that he was in counselling, being monitored closely and I prayed, crossed my fingers, and even asked Shane to look out for him! Within a week my son was a different young man. He starting talking in a hopeful manner, by week two he was calmer. Months later he is now off the anti-depressant (they had put him on the lowest dose possible), and he attends group therapy and has made changes to take a lot of pressure away from himself. He’s closer geographically now, and my mother’s instinct has relaxed (although I’ll always be on alert!). I knew in my heart he needed help both in meds and support. If it hadn’t been for you sharing Shane’s journey I know I would not have been so insistent he got the level of supervision, the lowest dose possible, nor the full support of follow-up. Depression is a real illness, and it needs more than a ‘happy pill’ to treat it. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for allowing me to be an informed Mother, I was scared, and did the best I could with what I knew. Just as you did. That’s all we Mothers can do. Thank you for giving us more information to make more informed decisions/give advice to our young adult children. I’ve already thanked Shane, so now it’s time for me to thank his Mum.

Thanks Leonie.

From one Grateful Mom.

cipramil (celexa) stories,, lundbeck

Brussels court finds Escitalopram/Citalopram to be the same product.

BE – Ratiopharm (Teva) and Tiefenbacher v. Lundbeck (escitalopram)

Brussels court holds escitalopram to be the same product as citalopram under Articles 3(c)-(d) of the SPC-Regulation, Brussels Commercial Court, 3 October 2011 Link.

When the licence for Citalopram (Cipramil, Celexa) was coming to an end, Lundbeck launched their new wonder drug Escitalopram (Lexapro, Cipralex) and marketed this supposed new drug as a better and superior version of Citalopram. This has been proved once again to be fraudulent. So having been proved guilty of lying again and making billions from a product that was fraudulently licenced (without getting into how many people have died from its suicide ideation side effect) will the EU be taking a case against Lundbeck? What about the FBI? Will they be investigating Forest Labs who market Citalopram and Escitalopram in the US and incidentally have numerous ongoing cases for people who have suicided on this drug?

As far back as 2003, this had been reported in The British Medical Journal…

“The Danish drug company Lundbeck breached the UK industry code of practice in the way it advertised the successor to its top selling product, the antidepressant citalopram (Cipramil), the drug industry’s watchdog has ruled. The company claimed that its new offering, escitalopram (Cipralex), was more effective than citalopram, even though the two drugs have exactly the same active ingredient”. Link.

It didn’t take a genius to work it out either…


Lundbeck have a habit of lying and it was no surprise that they had lied to us at our meeting in Copenhagen. I have said already that we were shocked when we questioned Dr. Madsen and Mr. Schroll about the drug trials that they are doing on children as young as 7, their answer being that Lundbeck were mandated to do drug trials on children, even for adult medication. Well, I e-mailed the Danish Medicines Board about my concerns and surprise, surprise, Lundbeck were lying!


Leonie                    Why are you testing this drug which is well-known to be detrimental to children on children as young as 7 years of age in a drug trial? Citalopram and Escitalopram?

Dr. Madsen               Em, we have done a number of trials and will do a number of trials. Eh, by one I can speak to the situation now, em, we’re mandated to investigate em, pharmaceutical effects in children also in order to advance the understanding of em, this treatment mortality, also on children.

Leonie                       So you actually intend to keep doing trials on 7 year olds, yeah?

Mr. Schroll                We are not able to get approval of new drugs if we don’t test it in…

Leonie                       So you have to test them on children? Oh, of course you are looking for U.18’s as well, aren’t you, to make more money Yeah?

Dr. Madsen               I think that is …..a certain out of this but per, per, eh, the Medicines Board, we would be mandated to do eh, trials, clinical studies in children.

Leonie                       So you’re still going to do them then, yeah?

Dr. Madsen               If we want to have eh, drugs approved in Europe, then we will probably have to, yes.

Leonie                       You have to? That’s if you want them, want them approved for U.18’s you mean?

Dr. Madsen             No.  Also if you want adult drugs approved.

Leonie                       If you want to have a tablet or medication approved in an adult population, you have to, eh you have to trial them on 7 year olds?

Dr. Madsen               Correct

Oct 11, 2011

Danish Medicines Agency – “Pharmaceutical companies are only required to conduct clinical trials in children for marketing approval of a drug if it is intended for use in children”.


lundbeck, Our story.

Don’t forget my son paid for his medication (With his life!)

After a lot of persistance and quite a few phonecalls  I eventually spoke to Claus Braestrup who was the CEO OF Lundbeck Copenhagen until 2008 . I was hoping he would tell me whether he knew about the side effects or were they just burying their heads in the sand.  While he was polite to me and seemed nice enough, he just kept repeating the same sentence (I’m so sorry, I can’t help you). He advised me to contact Lundbeck Ireland which I did and also sent the same e-mail to Lundbeck Canada for good measure.


E- mail below..


dateSun, Aug 8, 2010 at 1:04 PM
Letter from Shane’s parents…

Aug 8  2010
To whom it concerns,
Could someone answer my question?
My name is Leonie Fennell and my sons name was Shane Clancy. He was on celexa for three weeks when he killed himself and another young man.
He was very sad over a break-up with his girlfriend. He didn’t have a violent bone in his body. The jury at Shane’s inquest returned an open verdict (rejecting a suicide verdict).
Lundbeck made this statement on RTE..
Statement – Cipramil (citalopram)

15th April 2010 – In response to inaccuracies stated today at an Inquest held in the Wicklow Coroner’s Court, Lundbeck dispute the evidence given and claims made about Cipramil (citalopram).

It was stated at the Inquest that citalopram may have caused the behaviour and actions of Shane Clancy that resulted in his self-inflicted death, that of xxxx xxxx  and the wounding of two other people.

Extensive scientific studies have shown that there is no evidence linking citalopram to violent behaviour.

There are trials which show that citalopram has the potential to reduce, rather than provoke, irritability, aggression and violent behaviour.  In a trial of patients with schizophrenia, citalopram was shown to reduce aggressiveness in chronically violent patients.  In another trial of elderly patients, it was shown to reduce symptoms of agitation, restlessness and irritability.  In the treatment of patients with depression, significant improvement was reported for irritability and indirect aggression.

The data available on overdose with citalopram also shows no evidence of violent behaviour.   A paper published in 2009 by Hayes et al in the Journal of Emergency Medicine which retrospectively reviewed approximately 370 citalopram patients with overdose reported no aggressive or violent behaviour.

Depression is associated with an increased risk of suicide and this may be particularly evident in the early stages of treatment.   A review of all available data for citalopram (that from clinical trials and that collated after the medicine was made available) shows no increased risk of suicide.

Citalopram has been used in an estimated 130 million patients worldwide.
It  contradicts this statement made in Canada by Lundbeck,

As you can see in the Adult and Pediatrics: Additional data section..it clearly states self harm and harm to others as one of the side effects of these drugs!

So my question is; how can two countries make completely opposite statements about the same drug?
Am I missing something here?

cipramil (celexa) stories,, lundbeck, Our story., psychiatry, Shanes story.

Shane, cipramil and Timothy Dinan..

My name is Leonie and my son’s name was Shane Clancy. He Killed himself and another young man on Aug 16th 2009.

Shane was prescribed Citalopram (cipramil /celexa) 17 days beforehand. He didn’t have a violent bone in his body. I know without a shadow of doubt that the drug caused Shane to behave like this. The jury at Shane’s inquest returned an open verdict (rejecting a suicide verdict).
Professor David Healy who was the expert witness at the inquest clearly stated that this can happen to a small minority of people who can have a terrible adverse reaction to these anti-depressants.
This becomes a major problem when there are millions of people across the globe being treated with these drugs!

After my son’s  inquest Lundbeck (the makers of cipramil) stated on RTE news that their drug could not have caused this and there was no evidence to support our claim. The Irish college of psychiatry came out to defend Lundbeck, dismissing what we and Professor Healy were saying.
The Irish Medicines Board say that the patient information Leaflet give sufficient warning and we dont need a black box warning here like they have in canada and the usa.

Timothy Dinan who has been the most vocal about disputing our claims, is a member of The Irish college of psychiatry. He is also a committee member for The Irish Medicines Board and receives honoraria (payment) from Lundbeck… so what does this tell you?

Is there corruption going on?

What do you think? This is taken from Lundbeck’s website…

“In order to ensure that the Brain Explorer is accurate in terms of content, the Lundbeck Institute has created a team of advisors who have contributed to the content of this web site. “

“All the advisors are experts in their chosen fields, have published their research findings extensively in peer-reviewed journals and have considerable experience in clinical practice and/or teaching. “

Brian Leonard
Francois Borgeat
Herman van Praag
Timothy Dinan
Bruno Dubois
Simon Lovestone
Poul Jennum
Manuel Cuesta
Jerzy Landowski
Jes Olesen