Cases, cipramil (celexa) stories,, lundbeck

A case of Involuntary intoxication?

Greta Dudko. Photo courtesy of Crime.ieThere are some very, very tragic cases being publicly played out in Ireland at the moment. Whether the use of medication was a factor or not in these cases has not yet been established, but the following unusual case came up in the Irish courts recently.

On 22nd of July Nurse Greta Dudko (pictured) pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of her mother ‘Anna Butautiene’ on Christmas Eve 2010. The jury failed to reach a verdict and a retrial was set for Oct 2014.

Ms Dudko, who is originally from Lithuania, had separated from her husband two weeks before the incident and was living with her mother and young son. Evidence was given of a litany of mitigating circumstances, including assault, both mentally and physically, resulting in the mother being struck twice over the head with a bottle by Ms Dudko. She said “I hit her on the face with the empty bottle twice because I thought she was going to ruin my life and just hated her,” She further stated she had no intention of killing her, “just to shut her up for the evening“.

Despite huge media coverage, only one newspaper reported that she had recently been prescribed medication by her GP, Dr Hassan Albayyari. On 15 December 2010 Dr Hassan prescribed Librium for alcohol withdrawal (9 days before Ms Dudko caused the death of her mother). Librium, a benzodiazepine, can cause, among other things: depression, thoughts of suicide, unusual risk-taking behavior, decreased inhibitions, no fear of danger, confusion, hyperactivity, agitation, hostility and hallucinations. There was further evidence of a prescription for Xanax in September 2010.

On December 22, 2010 (2 days before her mother’s death), she was prescribed Lexapro. Yes, Lundbeck’s Lexapro aka Escitalopram, found by a Brussels court to be the same as Cipramil aka Citalopram, here. Now, it is well established that this drug can cause ‘self harm and harm to others’, which at worst equates to suicide/homicide, so is this a prime example of involuntary intoxication? Dr Hassan said “Lexapro takes a minimum of three weeks to work”`. According to Professor David Healy who is an expert on SSRIs, that is wrong. In his paper entitled ‘Antidepressants for Prescribers‘ he states “This is completely untrue. These drugs produce benefits and harms within hours or days of first taking them. It may take several weeks for a clinical syndrome to lift but this is something quite different. The argument that the drug takes time to work is trotted out as part of the defense against claims that an antidepressant has triggered suicide or violence.”

So is Dr Hassan defending the use of Lexapro in this case? Who knows, but here is a list of some similar cases where antidepressant use was successfully used in an ‘Involuntary Intoxication’ defense, here.

There is also a further paper written on this subject by David Healy et al, entitled ‘Case Histories As Evidence’, here. Sadly, this paper refers to my son Shane (who is SC) and who suffered from involuntary intoxication of prescribed Citalopram. Is Nurse Greta Dudko another Lundbeck victim to add to the growing list, along with her mother?

Were antidepressants involved in the latest Irish Tragedy?

Evidence of Hair-Pulling in Murder Trial.

Nurse May Face Retrial.

Retrial Date Set for Murder Trial.

cipramil (celexa) stories,, lundbeck

Meet Larry..

Larry 1Meet Larry, 63. Larry underwent a ‘triple bypass’ operation last Christmas, which involved spending 26 days in the Mater hospital, Dublin. Open heart surgery is known to be a very serious procedure; not least because the sternum (which is opened during surgery) can take up to 12 weeks to heal. Cardiologists acknowledge that Heart surgery is life-changing, both physically and emotionally.

Larry was a good guy, the eldest of six. He was relaxed, funny, and easy-going, with a wife whom he knew since they were teenagers. He had 4 children and 7 grandchildren who adored him. Following Larry’s triple bypass, as is common following big operations, he started to feel a little down. He was prescribed an antidepressant Lexapro (Lundbeck’s poison and the same drug Shane was prescribed). He took Lexapro as prescribed for about a week. He told his son that his head felt like it was exploding, that it wasn’t in sync with the rest of him and that he was ‘all over the place’.

Larry went back to the doctor and his medication was changed, this time to a newer antidepressant, Valdoxan (AKA Agomelatine, manufactured by Servier) and the Benzodiazepine Xanax, another potentially dangerous drug. Larry was prescribed this drug despite recent reports that Valdoxan is associated with serious hepatotoxicity (liver damage) and that caution is advised when prescribing for overweight/obese patients. I’m sure Larry wouldn’t mind me saying that he was more like Pavarotti than Rudolf Nureyev. Either way, I’m not quite sure why any medical professional would prescribe this drug considering the doubts surrounding its efficacy and the possible dangerous adverse effects. Warning here.

According to Larry’s family, following the later prescription for Valdoxan and Xanax, he became manic, unable to function; the simplest of tasks became mammoth. He behaved bizzarely, for example: he wouldn’t allow his wife out of his sight, insisted on holding her hand at all times, seemingly afraid to let go. This was totally out of character for the usually easy-going Larry. As usual, this change was put down to the after effects and trauma of this huge operation, not the mind-altering drugs which are prescribed to unsuspecting patients, including Larry.

On 27th Febuary 2013, Larry took a rope into the garage of his old family home and less than the required 12 weeks it took for his sternum to heal, this easy going 63 year-old man was dead.

There are 2,370 suicides and 1,539 Cardiac arrests reported as a drug- reaction (of Xanax) in the RxISK website. Valdoxan (Agomelatine) is not on the RxISK website because it is not approved by the FDA in America. This drug has been called ineffective, potentially dangerous and ‘a dog’ and had 3 (acknowledged) suicides in clinical trials, before it was even approved. For more of Valdoxan’s dodgy trials and other dodgy dealings with this IMB approved drug, retired psychiatrist and scientist ‘1 Boring Old Man’ explains it here.

The Valdoxan patient information leaflet (PIL) has the usual IMB inadequate suicide warning, although directed at under 25s:

 A meta-analysis of placebo-controlled clinical trials of antidepressants in adult patients with psychiatric disorders showed an increased risk of suicidal behaviour with antidepressants compared to placebo, in patients less than 25 years old. Close supervision of patients and in particular those at high risk should accompany treatment especially in early treatment and following dose changes. Patients (and caregivers of patients) should be alerted to the need to monitor for any clinical worsening, suicidal behaviour or thoughts and unusual changes in behaviour and to seek medical advice immediately if these symptoms present.

The fact that the so-called psychiatric ‘experts’ in Ireland deny that these drugs can cause suicide, arguably negates the above warning. Even though Larry was aware of Shane’s case and the role that antidepressants played, he, like most people, trusted that the medical professionals knew better.

RIP Larry.

Lexapro PIL

Valdoxan PIL

Xanax PIL

cipramil (celexa) stories,, lundbeck, Newspaper and internet articles, psychiatry

Was Brennan McCartney let down by Lundbeck, his family doctor, or both?

Brennan McCartney was 18 years old. He did not have depression. He died by a drug-induced suicide 4 days after his family doctor gave him a sample pack of Cipralex/Lexapro. You can see this talented young man in a documentary in my older post here Link.

Professor Healy looked at Brennan’s case and said, “It seemed to be a very clear cut case. This was a young man, who if he hadn’t been put on the antidepressant that he was put on, wouldn’t have gone on to commit suicide.

These SSRI’s double the risk of suicide, so at the very least doctor’s should be aware of the difference between feeling sad and depression before prescribing them. It seems that Canadian doctors are not much different to Irish doctors, where in order to cover their own backsides, the patient will always be to blame. Of course, there is always the added advantage that they can’t answer back. The doctor who saw Brennan, who was suffering from a chest-cold, having never mentioned this in his initial notes, on further recollection, recalled Brennan as saying… “Oh, and I think I am depressed and need medication.” Does that sound like something an 18 year old would say? Blaming the patient doctor?

Brennan’s family doctor handed him a sample pack of Cipralex/Lexapro. This meant that Lexapro was not actually prescribed and therefore Brennan did not get to consult with a pharmacist. This lack of informed consent led to tragic consequences for Brennan.

Dr. Stephen Fleming, Professor of Psychology in the Faculty of Health at York University, Toronto, reviewed Brennan’s medical records and the family doctor’s response. He makes some crucial points regarding the importance of differentiating between grief and depression. He also makes an interesting observation; In the doctor’s initial notes, there is no mention of him giving Brennan samples of Cipralex.

In a later letter dated May, 2012, Brennan’s family doctor said “I recognize that my chart note for the visit (Nov, 2010) is inadequate. I realized this shortly after learning of Brennan’s death and on the advice of a peer, I wrote an additional note documenting what I remember happening.” He noted that he saw Brennan “because he was feeling ill with a cough, had a tight chest and difficulty breathing.” On examination, he diagnosed a bronchial infection, prescribed Biaxin and Symbicort, and urged that Brennan get a chest X-ray.  Then the doctor added material that was not in his original notes; He recalled that, as he was terminating the examination, Brennan stated, “Oh, and I think I am depressed and need medication.” In this later letter the doctor states that Brennan’s symptoms were consistent with a diagnosis of depression and noted the following symptoms: “Brennan was finding this time of year difficult as a cousin had died some years previous, He had ‘fairly recently’ broken up with his girlfriend, Brennan was ‘eating little’, tearful, was not sleeping properly, and he ‘felt terrible’. The doctor described all of these symptoms as ‘normal reactions’ and he reassured Brennan that he would ‘get through it’.

Dr Fleming: “In spite of the doctor normalizing his responses, apparently Brennan stated he just wanted to ‘feel better’. Brennan acknowledged the presence of suicidal ideation but added that he was not capable of such an act as he was close to his family.” Dr Fleming points out that although the doctor normalised Brennan’s responses, he still gave him samples of Cipralex. “It is crucial to make the distinction between a ‘normal’ reaction to loss (eg., the breakup of a relationship) and major depressive disorder” and said “on the basis of the doctor’s description of Brennan’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviour, it is my opinion that he does not meet the threshold for depression and ought not to have been prescribed an antidepressant.” He further stated “From the material made available to me, the doctor failed to distinguish sadness (the ‘normal’ response to misfortune) from major depressive disorder. Brennan’s symptoms are principally neurovegetative and can better be accounted for by grief associated with the loss of his relationship – in other words, a ‘normal’ reaction to his life circumstance as the doctor originally and correctly noted.”

The misdiagnosis of grief as major depressive disorder may result in the unnecessary prescription of antidepressant medications.


PS. I contacted Dr Fleming and asked if he would answer some questions regarding Brennan’s treatment. He’s a really nice man and very forthcoming…

Q. Do you think that Brennan’s doctor got it wrong.

A. I think Brennan’s symptoms were not consistent with a major depressive disorder.  He ‘got it wrong’.

Q. Do you think that Brennan received a sufficient ‘duty of care’?

A. The distinction between sadness and depression is critical.  I don’t know the definition of ‘duty of care’ – he wasn’t diagnosed correctly.  In fact, Brennan did not meet the criteria for any psychiatric disorder.

Q. Are you under the impression that the add-in “Oh, and I think I’m depressed and need medication” was an after thought put in by the doctor to cover his own backside?

A. In a word, yes.

Q. Do you think it’s a statement that Brennan would have said or a lie?

A. It sounds like an odd utterance coming from an adolescent male. 

Q. What would you have done in the same circumstances?

A. I would have listened carefully to what Brennan was saying, made the distinction between sadness and depression (in other words, look at the context of his symptoms), I would not have recommended anti-depressants but rather talk therapy.  And, if I didn’t have the expertise to help him, then refer him to someone who does.  He didn’t know what he didn’t know.

cipramil (celexa) stories,, lundbeck, Newspaper and internet articles

How safe is Lundbeck’s new drug LU AA21004?

Lundbeck’s PR department are going into overdrive at the moment. Due to the patents expiring on Celexa and Lexapro, Lundbeck are heavily reliant on finding the next block-buster drug. They seem to think they have found it in LU AA21004. This drug is also known as vortioxetine and according to Lundbeck, 8 out of 10 trials have shown the drug to be effective in depression. The information on Lundbeck’s proposed new drug on the Clinical Trials website include 5 clinical trials conducted in India, here.

It’s unfortunate that in the same week that Lundbeck are found to be flouting the rules by advertising their “anti-anxiety” drug Deanxit contrary to Indian law, it has also emerged that the company may have been ghostwriting their own material.

A report published this week by the Parliment of India has found; In case of sertindole (Serdolect of Lundbeck), an anti-psychotic drug, three experts located at three different places (a Professor and Head of the Department of Psychiatry of Stanley Medical College, Chennai; Professor of SKP Psychiatric Nursing Home, Ahmedabad and a Professor and Head of the Department of Psychiatry of LTM Medical College, Mumbai) wrote letters of recommendation in nearly word-to-word, identical language and not surprisingly all of them used the incorrect full form of DCGI in the address! Is such a coincidence possible unless the person behind the scene who actually drafted the letters is one and the same person?  Full report.

Now, one would have to consider, if Lundbeck are continuously using corrupt practices in India, as I have previously shown with the licencing of Deanxit here, how can their findings with LU AA21004 be relied upon?


Deanxit is another of lundbeck’s controversial and dangerous drugs and another example of Lundbeck committing corruption, deceit and fraud within the approval process.

Lundbeck lied to get approval for this drug by stating that at one meeting, 7 leading psychiatrists recommended that the drug should be registered for sale in Sri Lanka, when in fact journalist Anne Lea Landsted was able to prove that 3 of the psychiatrists had never even been at the meeting! Her letter can be found here…Link.  Lundbeck later apologised and offered to withdraw the drug from the Sri Lankan market, but surprisingly, it’s still there!


Carl Hugod is a medical expert who worked in the Danish National Board of Health. He was contacted by two journalists investigating Lundbeck’s Cipramil/Celexa. Carl agreed to look through the scientific papers which Lundbeck submitted for the licencing of this drug. What he found was that scientifically, the evidence was very poor and there was nothing to show that this drug was any better than other ssri’s and in fact could possibly be worse. He said that on a scientific level this work would not have been accepted in a university and was another case of Lundbeck doing whatever was needed to get a drug licenced, by fraud and corruption. Lundbeck manipulated the data from the Cipramil studies to show that this drug was better than other ssri’s when in fact it clearly wasn’t. Carl made a complaint to the board of scientific fraud and said“In my opinion the National Board of Health should never have been satisfied with this utterly disgraceful lack of scientific documentation concerning the drug’s effectiveness.” He publicly voiced his concerns that some professionals on the licencing board were being paid by “The Lundbeck Fund” which Lundbeck said was an entirely different company…! Link.


Lexapro was another dubious example of the way Lundbeck got through the approval process. This drug came about immediately after the patent for Celexa ran out. A Brussels Court found both to be the same product here. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism also raised questions whether the trial was truly independent or if Lundbeck’s connections with Arbacom, a Russian company that sponsored the ‘independent’ trial was an issue here. The BMJ reported that Lundbeck breached the UK industry ‘code of practice’ by claiming that its new offering, escitalopram (Lexapro/Cipralex), was more effective than citalopram (Celexa), even though the two drugs have exactly the same active ingredient here.

Then there is the small matter that Lundbeck is currently being investigated by the European Commission. The EC has opened a formal antitrust investigation to examine potential breaches of EU rules on restrictive business practices and on the abuse of a dominant market position under Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Link.

So considering Shane and all the other deaths associated with these drugs, can Lundbeck be trusted when they talk about the efficacy of their latest invention LU AA21004?

cipramil (celexa) stories,, lundbeck, Newspaper and internet articles

Are antidepressants the cause of the recent spate of murder/suicides in China? 抗抑鬱藥,最近接連發生在中國的謀殺 /自殺的原因?

抗抑鬱藥,最近接連發生在中國的謀殺 /自殺的原因?

Are antidepressants the cause of the latest spate of murder/suicides in China?

In the last year there has been a series of newspaper articles concerning recent murder/suicides in China. It seems that this kind of tragedy was virtually unheard of in China until recently. China is relatively new to the antidepressant market, I wouldn’t be too sure that the Chinese are aware of the dangers; I’m sure the various drug companies are not volunteering the information that these drugs can actually cause both suicide and homicide.

As you my be aware, my son killed himself and another young man in Aug 2009. I have the expert report which Professor Healy did for Shane’s Inquest, stating that, in his opinion, this was caused by Cipramil. For anyone that wants to read his report, I have blanked out the names of the other people involved but will attach it here…Professor Healy’s Report March 2010.

Back to China…

School attacks in the People’s Republic of ChinaWikipedia

A series of uncoordinated mass stabbings, hammer attacks, and cleaver attacks in the People’s Republic of China began in March 2010. The spate of attacks left at least 21 dead and some 90 injured.

Kindergarten killings are a turning point for ChinaThe Telegraph

The series of kindergarten murders that has swept across China marks a turning point for Chinese society.

In a country which reveres children – especially since the one-child policy was introduced in the late 1970s – it is difficult to imagine how any atrocity could be worse than the premeditated murder of innocent toddlers. Since March 23, when a mentally-unstable doctor stabbed eight primary school children to death, each copycat attack has added to parents’ fears.

Life on the margins of Chinese society has always been unfair and difficult, but it is near impossible to imagine the rage that must have driven these men to slit the throats of young children. Clearly, something is very rotten in China.

Exactly what is going on in China?? The Moderator

Exactly what is going on in China?

A rash of bloody, knife and meat cleaver murders of small school kids by adults have stunned China, a country where children are treasured. It seemingly matches the inexpicable killing sprees that peppered American history over the past few decades. The question is “why.” And the answer so far is: “no one knows” — but a lot of parents now fear.


The most widely-used antidepressants in China by the end of last year were GlaxoSmithKline’s Paxil/Seroxat (paroxetine) with a value market share of 18%, followed by Pfizer’s Zoloft (sertraline; 10%) and Eli Lilly’s Prozac (fluoxetine; also 10%). Lundbeck’s older drug Cipramil (citalopram), also sold by Xian-Janssen, and Lexapro had market shares of 6.5% and 3.0% respectively.

Soo,  the Chinese people have been introduced to Seroxat, Prozac, Zoloft, Cipramil and Lexapro which can cause suicide and homicide ideation and there has been a spate of murder/suicides. Now isn’t that a co-incidence.

Has it anything to do with Lundbeck’s recent marketing push on Lexapro in China?

Lundbeck to establish a strong, dedicated sales… FE Investegate

Lundbeck will substantially increase sales and marketing efforts behind Lexapro in China. Lundbeck already has a foothold in China and stands to benefit from the rapidly evolving Chinese CNS market.

Lundbeck sees China as land of opportunity for Lexapro…PharmaTimesOnline

Lundbeck has unveiled plans to double its sales force in China with a specific emphasis on promoting the blockbuster Lexapro in the growing antidepressant market there.

So it begs the question, considering all of the above drugs can cause suicide and homicide, how many of the perpetrators were on an antidepressant?

One worrying aspect is that Lundbeck have just launched Lexapro in Japan. So it remains to be seen if the next headlines will be “School attacks in Japan” and “Exactly what is going on in Japan”?

GSK have already trialed the notorious Seroxat on Japanese  7-17 year olds, despite the fact that ssri’s have been proven to be detrimental to children, even causing deaths. But then, what do you expect from a company with such dubious ethics (on an equal par with Lundbeck) who see no moral issue with doing drug trials on children as young as 7?  Link. 


Unhappy Citalopram pill at work again?


In Nov 2007  Dr Janet Wreglesworth was prescribed Cipramil/Celexa. She was dead by Feb 19th 2008.   

How many stories like this before Lundbeck and Forest actually admit a causal link? Here is a doctor who is off work with a chest infection, who took her two sons, aged 7 and 11, to the school Club and who gave no indication of her intention to end her life. She was discovered dead by her husband the same afternoon when he returned home from work. She had taken an overdose.

The previous evening she had been discussing holiday plans with her husband Brian and he said there was no indication of anything wrong before her death. After the inquest where the findings concluded Dr. Wreglesworth had committed suicide, her husband said “I’m shocked. It never occurred to me. None of it makes any sense. We’d just booked a holiday, everything was perfectly normal.”                                                                                   

Dr Janet Wreglesworth was described as kind and caring, absolutely devoted and adored by her patients…….so another person on Citalopram who commits an inexplicable suicide. The only thing that the papers could find that was slightly off in her life was frustration in work caused by long hours interviewing for a new doctor and practise manager!

Was her family told that the drug can actually cause a person to become suicidal? Was Lundbeck’s paid professors sitting at the back of the courtroom during the inquest? They said they follow up all reported cases of deaths with Citalopram, so is Dr. Janet Wreglesworth another statistic in the ever increasing data of Lundbecks’ and Forest Labs’  “pharmacovigilence” department?

Was this doctor told that at Yvonne Woodley’s inquest in the UK, Dr. Christopher Muldoon, representing Lundbeck, said the drug is faithfully used by millions of people but it could cause someone to take their life who had not previously thought of doing so.

Or was she told that at Charmaine Dragun’s inquest, Dr. Deborah Pelser from Lundbeck Australia was asked whether Lexapro could have something to do the symptoms exhibited by Ms. Dragun on the day she committed suicide and asked if they could have something to do with that drug.  She said most certainly, if it is in the product information, then yes it is possible.

Was she told of the reports of “Self harm and harm to others” with the same drug? I guess not!


Lundbeck’s says “Mind yourself”…If you don’t kill yourself first!

Lundbeck, out of the goodness of their drug company hearts, have developed this “Mind yourself” campaign for depression awareness.

OOPS, did they forget to mention that they also manufacture the antidepressants Lexapro/Cipralex and Cipramil/Celexa? This campaign is targeting most of the population, from students to the elderly and everyone in between.

So what’s next for Lundbeck in Ireland? Maybe a “Mind your toddler” or a “Mind your unborn baby” campaign.

Did I already mention the Lundbeck corruption, deceit, fraud, false advertising, hidden advertising and their admission that their drugs can cause “self-harm and harm to others”?

Lately, more and more coroners are trying to get investigations into this drug and on top of that there is an appeal to the courts involving Lundbeck’s behaviour with the acquisition of drugs used to treat patent ductus arteriousus (PDA), a heart condition affecting premature babies. In an internal e-mail the vice president of lundbeck said “We can price these almost anywhere we want given the product profiles”. His plan was to increase the price from $78 to $1,500 Nice Company?

Gaybo launches Lundbeck’s campaign…Link.

Of course there are the usual doctors and psychiatrists promoting their leaflets and Gaybo is not the first “Irish Celeb” to speak at one of their launches, but I would have to warn any prospective spokesperson to Google this drug company before linking their name to Lundbeck and just like starting on their medication, make an informed choice! The “mind yourself in later life” campaign didn’t mention these two Irish guys, Link or  Link or the 78 year old Robert Raines who shot and killed himself and his wife Elsie after 5 days on Cipramil/Celexa…no?

I could go on about the doctors and psychiatrists and conflict of interest’s here but don’t have the time at the moment as we are off to Denmark to find out for ourselves. Maybe our meeting with Lundbeck will explain how Cipramil and Lexapro can or cannot cause suicide and/or homicide!

Mind yourself…Student leaflet.

Mind yourself…At work.

Anxiety in everyday life.

Mind yourself…Keep on track.

Mind yourself…Overcoming depression.

Then there is Lundbeck’s “Lean on me”.

Mind yourself… Depression in later life

Antidepressants and antipsychotics can cause death, stroke ect in the elderly…

A friend sent me this interesting piece in the Irish Times today regarding psychiatry and it’s close relationship with the pharmaceutical industry… Link.


Harry Barry, the new Lundbeck puppet?

Nice badge Harry!

AH Harry – are you the new Lundbeck puppet? Exactly how many Doctors and Psychiatrists are on Lundbeck’s payroll?

I must say Harry, you really disappoint me, I thought you were a good guy! Have you moved over to the dark side or do you actually believe the pharmaceutical tripe that Lundbeck are feeding you?

An article today in the Irish Examiner states…Virtually everyone who presents with depression gets a pill. As severe depression is diagnosed in only 5% of cases, this means that 95% of patients are being given anti-depressants contrary to guidelines.

Basil Miller, a collegue of Dr.Corry’s, and who incidently is not being paid by any pharmaceutical company, said it is clear from the data that anti-depressants are grossly over-prescribed. This is largely down to inappropriate prescribing.

In relation to anti-psychotic drugs, usually prescribed for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or to manage psychosis, former mental health inspector Dr Dermot Walsh maintains that second generation anti-psychotics, such as the current most commonly prescribed olanzapine (better known as Zyprexa) — cause “substantial adverse effects, compromising life expectancy in psychiatric patients”.

Dr Walsh said that there is emerging evidence that some changes in the structure of the brain, previously thought to be the consequence of the schizophrenic process, may actually be treatment-related.


Back to Harry – Harry was one of three experts on the Late Late Show (Irish TV show) the night we were on, a few weeks after Shane’s death. We wanted people to know about the dangers of Lundbeck’s Citalopram. So tell me Harry, are you a new recruit or were you there on behalf of Lundbeck? Were you there as an expert to help awareness or as a representative for this drug company? You seemed like a nice guy Harry but you never mentioned working for Lundbeck, the company that manufacturers the drug that I’m blaming for Shane’s death, Cipramil/Celexa.

Dr. Barry says, “Common anti-depressants in 1990s were Prozac, he says. Now Lexapro, which he describes as a more modern and powerful form of Prozac, is more commonly prescribed”. Lundbeck also manufacture Lexapro.

Lundbeck and Harry again. The 2011 Lundbeck Mental Health Barometer indicates that more than two people in every five would not want to know if a loved one were experiencing major depression. The ‘barometer’ also showed that 70 per cent would find it difficult to discuss depression with a doctor. According to Dr Barry, it was “an extremely useful indicator of how we view major depression”.

Harry and Lundbeck, The Irish Times.

Harry even gets a mention in Lundbeck’s “Mind Yourself” leaflet.

Dr Harry Barry has some hard-hitting advice for people in the grip of a depressive illness at the launch of the Lundbeck Mental Health Barometer. He was the quest speaker for Lundbeck.

Lundbeck’s “Lean on me” website is also sponsored by Aware. Coincidently Dr, Barry is a board member of Aware, the Mental Health Charity.

So why is a mental health Charity and a pharmaceutical company that manufacture antidepressants (with known suicide risks), so closely involved? Why do we not have full disclosure for the payments that Doctors and Psychiatrists receive from the pharmaceutical industry here in Ireland just like in the U.S,  Dollars for Docs? Now that would be very interesting!

Incidently, we have a meeting in the Lundbeck offices of Valby Copenhagen, in 2 weeks, 2 years since this happened to our family and my lovely son. That should be interesting…will keep you posted!


Citalopram (cipramil/celexa) Escitalopram (Lexapro/Cipralex); Same product?

In 2003, an article in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) stated that the Danish drug company Lundbeck was found by the drug industry’s watchdog to have breached the UK industry code of practice. The breach was due to the way Lundbeck advertised  citalopram, the successor to the top selling Citalopram (Cipramil).
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.
Escitalopram reached the market in June 2002, just as citalopram’s British patent ran out and the first generic competitor went on sale in Germany.
The new drug is identical to the old one, except that an inert isomer has been removed from the formulation.
Critics contend that this practice is designed to win a new patent without the need to develop a genuinely new drug.
Lundbeck was called before the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority after a complaint from Dr David Pyle, a psychiatrist at Bronllys Hospital in Wales.
The company was found to have breached the industry code on five counts, notably by claiming that “Cipralex is significantly more effective than Cipramil in treating depression.” The company also attributed adverse effects to citalopram in its literature on escitalopram that were not mentioned in promotional material for the older product. Full article. Now there’s a surprise!
Strange then how Forest Labs (Lundbeck’s American licencee for both ssri’s) can send out  a “Dear healthcare professional” letter 5 years later warning of switching patients from Lexapro to a generic SSRI, including citalopram. The letter claims that the clinical profile of Lexapro and citalopram are distinct and there is clinical evidence for the greater efficacy of Lexapro vs. Celexa. Not only that, but the letter still claims that Lexapro/Cipralex was significantly superior to Celexa!
So two products with exactly the same active ingredient as each other, how can one possibly be significantly superior to the other? And how are Lundbeck and Forest Labs still getting away with fraud and deception?
You still there Howard? What about you Ulf?

Lundbeck and Lexapro

Does anyone else find it strange that this woman was battling depression for 10 years and it was only when she was switched to another of Lundbecks offerings (Lexapro) that she committed suicide? She was on Lexapro for 2 weeks!



 The combination of anti-depressant drugs prescribed to Channel Ten newsreader Charmaine Dragun was against a manufacturer’s recommendation, the inquest into her death has been told. Dr Deborah Pelser from Lundbeck Australia – maker of the drug Lexapro – said the company recommended one to two drug-free days if a patient was switching to the drug from another anti-depressant, Efexor.

 The inquest into Ms Dragun’s cliff jump death has been told that at the time of her death her usage of Efexor was being reduced at the same time as her introduction to Lexapro. Karen James, from Wyeth Australia – makers of Efexor – also gave evidence today that patients whose Efexor medication was being changed should be closely monitored for symptoms of “suicide ideation”.

The 29-year-old newsreader had a budding television career and was soon to be married when she drove to The Gap, in Sydney’s east, and jumped to her death on November 2, 2007. Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar. .End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.

The inquest at Sydney’s Glebe Coroners Court has been told she had been battling diagnosed depression for more than a decade. Counsel assisting the coroner David Hirsch has said one issue was whether Ms Dragun’s suicide may have been influenced in any way by the effect of the drugs. He said Ms Dragun, who had been on Efexor for three years, consulted a psychiatrist on October 16, 2007, her only visit to this doctor. It resulted in her dosage being reduced and, after 10 days while she was still taking Efexor, commencing Lexapro on October 27.

Ms James told the inquest that consumer information about Efexor was not contained on packets of the drugs, but patients should be offered it by a chemist when their prescription is filled and by the prescribing doctor. The production information says patients should “be monitored appropriately and observed closely” for worsening depression and suicidal thoughts when their dosage is increased or decreased.

Mr Hirsch referred to evidence that “around the ten day mark” after the Efexor was being reduced, Ms Dragun was seen to exhibit agitation, anxiety, confusion, impaired driving, nervousness and other symptoms. Such possible effects – which may be precursors to suicidal thoughts – are listed in the Efexor product information and Mr Hirsch asked if it was reasonable to conclude the drug withdrawal was the probable causes of them. But Ms James said she knew nothing about this patient to be able to answer the question.

Mr Hirsch also referred Dr Pelser to the symptoms exhibited by Ms Dragun, on the day she began taking Lexapro and asked if they could have something to do with that drug. “Most certainly, it is in the product information, so yes it is possible,” she said. The inquest is continuing before Deputy State Coroner Malcolm MacPherson.

  • March 12, 2010