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, Our story., psychiatry, Shanes story.

Doctors differ and patients die; Dr McManus, O’Brien and Coetzee differed, Shane died.

As we in Ireland know, secrecy is rarely a good thing. When we made a complaint about the treatment Shane received from the 3 doctors in the last 17 days of his life, we were surrounded by secrecy and confidentiality. This got seriously ridiculous when we were denied access to Professor P.J. Cowen’s report that he did on my son’s death for the Medical Council Complaint. The IMC came to their decision based on the “INDEPENDENT” report furnished by P.J. Cowen of Oxford University and yet denied us access to this report because Professor Cowen had written “In Confidence” on it. A report done on the death of my son that I can’t see, how extremely arrogant and fundamentally flawed. Then again, it seems that Professor Cowen has “previous” with Professor Healy and may be holding a bit of an academic grudge:

It is worth a mention that Professor Cowen admitted to the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in 2002 that his grip on reality was never particularly strong.

So, Professor Cowen has “previous” with Prof. Healy trying, unsuccessfully I might add, to discredit him and has a long and I’m sure profitable association with Lundbeck and he is deemed to be independent?

Then, despite Professor Healy being a world renowned expert on SSRI’s and my insistance on forwarding the IMC a copy of his report which stated that, in his opinion, the drug caused Shane to behave as he did, they decided there was “not sufficient cause” to go further with our complaint. The deaths of Shane and another were considered “not sufficient cause”? Considering the close relationship that the IMC have with Irish Psychiatry, the fact that Professor Casey felt the need to come along to Shane’s Inquest (barrister in tow) and Irish Psychiatry’s involvement before, during and after the Inquest. it would make you wonder what they are trying to cover up?? The fact that these drugs cause suicide/homicide maybe?

I am mindful of the fact that other families are involved in our tragedy but as for the treatment Shane received in the last 17 days of his life, there should be no secrecy afforded.

Shane talked to 3 doctors in his last 17 days and strangely enough, they all said they did the right thing in treating Shane. Their recollection of my lovely son include a copious amount of lies, innuendo and misinformation from all 3 doctors.

I would think that the treatment Shane received from all 3 doctors is self-explanatory, considering after 17 days of this treatment, he was DEAD!!!

These 3 Doctors, in my humble opinion, deserve a special place in Professor Healy’s “Model Doctors“. One surprising fact (or not) is that Irish doctors do not take the Hippocratic oath.

Here is my letter to the Medical Council following the 3 doctor’s explanations/excuses:


Medical Council

Kingram House

Kingram Place

Dublin 2


Dear Ms McGuiness

Formal Complaint Regarding the Treatment of Shane Clancy

I refer to your letter dated 17 November 2010. I also refer to the formal responses you have kindly provided from Dr Eimear O’Hanlon dated 15 October 2010, Dr Johanna Coetzee dated 5 November 2010 and Dr John McManus and Dr Tony O’Brien, both of which are dated 16 November 2010. While I have set out below my further comments on the above responses, I have not commented on the report from Dr Eimear O’Hanlon as her treatment of Shane did not form part of my original complaint.

Dr John McManus – date of consultation: 27 July 2009

I take serious issue with Dr. McManus and what is considered to be normal practice for a patient who has previously expressed suicidal thoughts.

Why and indeed if it is considered to be normal practice to give a depressed patient a months supply of what has proven to be a lethal dose of any drug, did nobody put a stop to this madness?

It is clear from review of the leaflet contained in each packet of Cipramil and from various information leaflets sourced from the internet that suicidal thoughts and/or depression may be increased when first starting a course of anti-depressants. The information leaflets also state that suicidal thoughts are more likely to occur if a patient has previously had such thoughts as well as with adults aged less than 25 years. Dr McManus recorded in his consultation notes that Shane had previously had thoughts of self harm/suicide. In the circumstances the appropriate treatment plan should have been for Shane to return to Dr McManus for review on a weekly basis for the first 2 weeks at least rather than for review after three weeks only as requested by him.

In my original letter of complaint I commented that Dr McManus should have considered alternative treatments and/or psychiatric review prior to prescribing antidepressants. Despite his consultation notes not referring to having suggested to Shane that he consider psychiatric review, Dr McManus now claims in his letter in response that he advised Shane that he should consider a referral to a psychiatrist. Dr McManus’s consultation notes do not refer to this advice having been given and so I believe that his response on this issue should be considered in light of this.

Given the serious risks associated with Cipramil I stated in my letter of complaint that Shane should have had a much fuller examination prior to being prescribed the medication and should have been advised of any of the potential side effects of the drug. Significantly the consultation notes of Dr McManus do not reflect that he discussed the side effects of Cipramil with Shane and in his response Dr McManus does not claim that he did so. Instead, he relies on Dr O’Hanlon having done so during her consultation with Shane on July 18. With respect to Dr McManus, it was his decision ultimately to prescribe the medication to Shane and should therefore have been his duty to describe in detail to Shane the side effects of the medication. Dr O’Hanlon may have explained some of the side effects to Shane (as her consultation notes reflect) but it is accepted by Dr McManus that Shane had declined the treatment when raised by Dr O’Hanlon and so a much more comprehensive discussion should have been initiated by McManus during his consultation with Shane.

Dr Tony O’Brien – date of consultation: 31 July 2009

Dr O’Brien spoke with Shane on the evening of 31 July 2009 following a telephone call which Shane had made to the Carlton Clinic earlier that evening. At the time Shane had been taking Cipramil for 4/5 days and was extremely agitated, could not stay in the same place for too long and had a swollen tongue. While Shane had called to speak with Dr McManus, he was unavailable. Shane was contacted that evening by Dr O’Brien with a consultation conducted over the telephone. Dr O’Brien confirms that he reviewed the notes from previous consultations conducted by Dr O’Hanlen and Dr McManus. Dr O’Brien explains that after speaking with Shane he considered his swollen tongue to more likely be as a result of Calvepen which Shane had previously also been prescribed for a sore throat.

As I have previously stated, I am surprised and disappointed that Dr O’Brien considered it acceptable that a judgment as to how a patient was coping with medication was not only left to the patient themselves but that it was acceptable for such a consultation to be conducted by way of phone in the face of the patient’s known history and the known side effects of the medication in question. The fact that one of the significant side effects of Cipramil highlighted in the leaflet contained in each pack of the drug is a swollen tongue, an urgent physical examination of Shane would have been appropriate.

Dr Johanna Coetzee (Buys) – date of consultation: 7 August 2009

While there are a number of factual matters contained in the report from Dr Coetzee that I do not agree with, my substantive comments below focus on those issues directly concerning her actual assessment and treatment of Shane.

A key issue relied on by Dr Coetzee to explain her treatment of Shane is the suggestion that Shane had advised her that he had been taking Cipramil for ‘’a few months’’. It is clear from Dr Coetzee’s response that she (perhaps, more so now) understands the very real risks associated with Cipramil, and particularly in the first 2 weeks of treatment. With the greatest of respect to Dr Coetzee I cannot accept her statement that Shane had advised he had been taking Cipramil for the length of time Dr Coetzee now claims. Shane had only been taking the medication for a total of 11 days when he was examined by her. If Shane had been asked directly how long he had been taking the medication he would have, I am sure, have confirmed exactly when he first started the course of anti-depressant medication. Unfortunately with Shane’s death we now have no means of challenging the statement of Dr Coetzee and the importance of the dosage change can not be excused by saying Shane wanted to discontinue the medication. As Shane was only on the medication for 11 days at that stage and had no idea of discontinuation syndrome, he would simply not have gone back to the doctor if he had shown a desire to stop the medication of which I can assure you , he didn’t! Significantly, the actual record of Dr Coetzee’s consultation with Shane (attached to my original letter dated 13/08/2010 ) do not record him having been asked the length of time he had been taking Cipramil or that Shane advised her that he had been taking the medication for the period of time now claimed.

Shane was an intelligent and (as Dr Coetzee notes) well spoken young man. I cannot accept Dr Coetzee’s suggestion that he was unable to advise her of the name of the doctor who had originally prescribed the Cipramil. At the very least, Shane knew the name of the clinic which he had originally attended and if requested to do so, would have given this information. Dr Coetzee would then have been able to urgently consult with the clinic to verify Shane’s previous medical history and/or to confirm the various assumptions (including the incorrect assumption that Shane was being monitored by a psychiatrist) which she appears to have made in her assessment of him. Given that Shane had presented to her 48 hours after having tried to commit suicide by taking 21 Cipramil tablets (in addition to other medication), immediate verification of his medical history would have been the very minimum course of conduct required. In the circumstances I am particularly dismayed not only with Dr Coetzee’s ready acceptance of Shane’s assertion that he had no intention of self harm but also of her conclusion that Shane showed no signs of distress. Shane was unable to focus or concentrate on anything, was extremely agitated and was shaking so much I commented to my husband prior to driving him to see Dr Coetzee that he looked as though he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

In the circumstances I believe that the reasonable course of action for Dr Coetzee to have adopted would have been to urgently contact Shane’s doctor or at the very least to have identified the clinic at which he had been originally treated and to have contacted the clinic accordingly. As I noted in my original letter of complaint, given Shane’s attempted suicide and the condition in which he presented to Dr Coetzee, clinical tests and an onward referral for immediate specialist treatment would have been the very minimum of care that Shane was entitled.

I firmly believe that there should have been greater responsibility taken for management of Shane’s treatment during the initial 2/3 week period. Why did no doctor take responsibility for monitoring my son when he first commenced treatment? Despite the countless ‘’red flags’’ that could/should have been identified by all the doctors, no consideration was given at any stage to either alternative treatment or, more importantly, the close monitoring of his condition. My family (as well as other families directly affected by the tragic events of 16 August 2009) will never fully come to terms with our loss. What happened to Shane and the inadequate treatment which I believe he received should never be repeated.

Yours sincerely,

Leonie Fennell


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

1 boring old man and his experience with Citalopram.

There is a really great blog by a retired Psychiatrist called 1 boring old man here. His latest post mentions an incident he had with prescribing Citalopram. It involved a young guy that he had given Citalopram to and the consequences.


“I’m not a big medication person, but I gave a few depressed adolescents SSRIs without much problem [or success].

Then came a young guy, 16 or 17. He was really depressed. Mom had remarried a retired drill sergeant [really], and he was driving them both crazy with his controlling ways and his drinking. The boy saw his way out – a Diesel Mechanic school out of state – but it was over a year away and he had become hopeless.

He got called for an interview at the school, and I was afraid that he was so depressed that he wouldn’t be able to rise to the occasion, so I put him on Citalopram [$4/month at Kroger]. After just a few days, he became “crazy” and like a “madman.” He couldn’t sleep and progressed to delirium. It cleared in a day and a half off the medication. “I was jumping out of my skin. I wanted to kill, me or someone else,” he said later. I learned my lesson.

The end of the case? Mom got a divorce and her son went off to school this fall. Both are doing well, and I’m the wiser. I’ve seen and heard in retrospect other cases, but that’s the one that stuck in my mind. It’s like the Paxil Withdrawal syndrome I was talking about a few days ago. You just have to see it once to become a true believer. Nowadays, the only adolescents on SSRIs prescribed by me are kids with OCD, and they and their parents are explicitly warned before starting the medication”.

Full post here.

The reason I chose this picture is because a Brussles Court has found Citalopram/Cipramil/Celexa to be the same product as Escitalopram/Lexapro/Cipralex; the same product that this retired Psychiatrist is talking about. Some medical professional thought it was OK to give this depressant to a flippin 7 year old boy which resulted in suicide. Poor child! Could he even spell suicide ideation?

Brussels court holds escitalopram to be the same product as citalopram under Articles 3(c)-(d) of the SPC-Regulation. Here.

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

Chris Benning, another Citalopram statistic?

Another Inquest yesterday detailed the death of Chris Benning, 30, who was diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia at the age of 15. His sister Juliet said his use of cannabis, in particular skunk, from such a young age was a major catalyst in his development of schizophrenia.

But the inquest heard Mr Benning’s death was “out of the blue”, because despite his mental health problems he had only ever shown “fleeting thoughts” of committing suicide. A few weeks after Citalopram was introduced, he hung himself in Hatchett Woods.

In the weeks prior to his death he was prescribed the anti psychotic drug citalopram which, the inquest heard, can lead to patients suffering suicidal thoughts as a side effect and his family had expressed concerns at the new drug.

Speaking after the inquest, Mr Benning’s sister Juliet said: “Although we are aware that there may be little statistical evidence to prove the antidepressant citalopram may lead to a heightened risk of suicide, we have gathered enough anecdotal evidence to prove otherwise.

We would ask that any prescription of the drug made by those in the health authorities is done so with a warning of these risks.”

As one of the comments on this Article states “This man had a 16 yr history of cannabis use, yet within weeks of starting on citalopram he starts to exhibit symptoms that disturb his family. The drug is known to be dangerous, the enclosed notes state as much”… Full Article.

How many people have Lundbeck killed today then? Don’t let it be your family; be informed.

Still not enough deaths for the IMB or the Minister for Health to initiate an investigation? Just how many do they need?

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

Woman 73, dies by suicide after 19 days on the depressant Citalopram.

Julie McGregor 73, a retired practice nurse, 19 days on Citalopram; result, suicide by drowning. C’mon, how many more? This article states that this woman had a history of depression; 20 years ago? C’mon! No mention of the suicide ideation that can accompany the drug then?

Did anyone inform her husband of the dangers and was Mrs McGregor informed? Maybe as an ex-nurse this poor woman believed the dangerous propaganda and lies that Lundbeck dish out to the unsuspecting public! This picture is from their “Mind yourself for older people” campaign; no mention of suicide ideation here either. Did this Coroner not hear about Birmingham coroner, Aiden Cotter, who ordered an urgent investigation into this same drug after Yvonne Woodley’s Inquest? Link. Or this other Coroner who blamed Citalopram for Mr. Fox’s death…Link

9 November 2011

A WOMAN who died after drowning in a lake at Harrold Odel Country Park had a history of depression.

 Julie McGregor, a retired practice nurse, who lived in High Street, Harrold, took her own life after a depressive illness which she had suffered from 20 years ago returned earlier this year.

An inquest on Tuesday heard how on July 31 this year the body of Mrs McGregor was pulled from the right hand lake at the country park.

Evidence was given by Charles Pavey, of Thurleigh who noticed the body at around 10.35am when he visited the park and sat on a bench close to the scene.

The inquest was told how Mrs McGregor had visited her GP on July 12 complaining of depression but that she did not report any suicidal thoughts.

She was prescribed the antidepressant citalopram, therapeutic levels of which were found in her system when she died. The court also heard how she had refused to take part in any further treatment claiming that she would be fine.

No alcohol or illegal drugs had been taken.

During the inquest the coroner expressed his sympathies to her husband and heard evidence from PC Paul Grieve.

PC Grieve attended the scene and was responsible for dealing with the identification of the body and the subsequent investigation.

He said that there was no sign of a disturbance at the scene and he was satisfied that no third party had been involved in Mrs McGregor’s death.

Delivering his verdict Coroner David Morris said: “From the circumstances given to me I have no alternative but to record unfortunately that she took her own life.

“But I would add that she took her own life while suffering from a depressive illness.”

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

Another Citalopram death and the medicines regulators still doing sweet F.A.

There are other people besides me who totally believe antidepressants kill people, this woman says it all. Rest in peace Keith! Link to her blog.

Another cipramil related suicide. When will it stop??

Posted on June 24, 2011 by liberty
No GravatarThis morning I will be attending Keith’s funeral. He was a lovely man, a beautiful, gentle soul, by all accounts, happy-go-lucky, easy-going and good-natured. Deeply sensitive, he was a brilliant artist, an animal lover, and extremely sentimental. And now he has become a suicide statistic.He was not prone to depression until recent months when work troubles, health issues and life in general began to take their toll. His doctor wrote a prescription for anti-depressants and handed it to him without a word about possible side effects.Within weeks, he told his young wife that he didn’t feel right, he “felt numb, didn’t feel anything at all” and wanted to go off the meds. His doctor advised weaning him off the drugs but by then, suicidal ideation had begun.This was a first for this man. Never in his life had a suicidal thought entered his mind. Never had he uttered a word about wishing himself to be dead. Not until he took Citralopram.After one failed attempt with pills, he spent just a couple of days in hospital and was released with little follow-up. Eleven days later, he sat in his doctor’s office for a five-minute check-up, during which she later reported that he was “chirpy” and seemed fine.But just hours later, his wife found him dead in their home.

For several years, this drug (Citralopram, Celexa or Cipramil) has been reported to cause suicide. In fact, it has become such a prevalent problem in children and teens that it is no longer given to anyone under the age of 18.

Prozac is another anti-depressant known to cause suicides and as far back as 2004, there were studies that indicated children and teens who took it had a 50% higher risk of suicidal thoughts and attempts than those who took placebos. Mirtazapine is another anti-depressant that can cause suicide, especially in anyone under the age of 24. This is not an exhaustive list. But I’m sure you get my point.

What’s worse is that the suicidal thoughts and behaviour can continue even after coming off the drugs.

There have been lawsuits by shocked and grieving family members who have attempted to make someone accountable, yet governments are still allowing doctors to prescribe these deadly medications because they say the benefits to many outweigh the risks to a few. I wonder if they’d say the same if someone they loved was one of the few…

At the time of Keith’s failed attempt, the hospital and the doctor should have known about suicide being a side effect of this drug, and that one attempt could very well mean that there would be another – and one which he would be sure to get right. The doctor should have known that his cheerful smile just eleven days after an attempt on his own life was a big, red flag, as suicidal people become quite happy when they’ve worked out a plan and they know relief is imminent. Many people who are not health professionals are aware of this; how could a doctor miss it, just days after a previous attempt??

It’s bad enough that this lovely man was released from hospital so soon, that there was virtually no follow-up, that he was told he couldn’t see a counsellor for three months, that every medical professional he saw, from the writing of the prescription to the moment of his death, chose to ignore the potential for this terrible tragedy at several significant points along the way.

And of course, it is horrific to think about him having taken his own life. But it is too much to bear, thinking that if he hadn’t taken this bloody drug, he would, in all likelihood, still be alive.

How many more deaths will it take before pharmaceutical companies stop producing drugs that kill people? Before governments stop allowing these prescriptions? Before doctors and other health care professionals realise that just because the risk may be small, it is still too great if there is any potential at all for suicide?

When will people start finding other ways to resolve their depression, or treat their anxiety? What about self-help? What about psychologists who help people deal with emotional issues that cause depression and anxiety? What about alternative treatments like reiki, acupuncture, homeopathy and many others? When will we stop popping pills in a futile attempt to fix problems caused by our culture? When will we take our well-being into our own hands, instead of listening to doctors and automatically swallowing their advice, never questioning, never seeking alternatives, just blindly accepting their authority and thinking they know bloody everything? Because I can assure you, they don’t!

There is no proof that chemical imbalances in the body cause depression – the “reason” given for prescribing drugs. Certainly, those imbalances may exist, but perhaps it is the depression that causes the imbalances, as the body is very much affected by the mental and emotional aspects of a person. When we work at changing our thoughts, eventually it changes our feelings. I’ve been there, done that and so have many people I’ve met in my life.

We have a lot more power over depression and anxiety than doctors and drug companies have led us to believe.

Money, power and ego run the conventional medical communities and its affiliates such as pharmaceutical companies. I don’t think those are very good reasons to listen to their advice – not without asking a million questions, not without thorough investigation about options, not without making absolutely certain that it really is the best course of action.

As a culture, we have given up our power to medical professionals and their authority. For more reasons than just this tragic suicide – and so many others – I think it is well past time we took it back.


Vigabatrin/Sabril (which can be used in infants), can cause blindness, suicide ideation and aggression.

Targeting infants now? Leave them alone!!!
Last week I came across a blog for pharmaceutical reps and employees, it was called Cafepharma and it allows people employed in the Pharmaceutical industry to post messages on a Message Board. Link. I thought this was an interesting answer to a query posted by a prospective employee of lundbeck…

What’s it like to work for Lundbeck?
Please give me the good, bad, and the ugly. And pleeeeease…no snide remarks like CP posters often give. I’ve been approached to apply for a position (a product that is for intermittent seizures in infants). Anyone have any insight about the company and/or the product’s popularity/pros and cons of promoting it?
Thanks in advance to any serious posters.
Vigabatrin in the product. Serious side effects like making kids go blind. You better go speak with some child neuro`s in your area to get the real info. It is an end of the line product with very limited usage due to severe side effect risks. Be very careful with this company. If you`re asking for anonymous advice, I`d stay clear of it unless you just have been unemployed for a very long time and need a pay check.


The message board didn’t paint a pretty picture of lundbeck and subsequently I googled lundbeck’s product Vigabatrin, and sure enough it can cause irreversable blindness! It is an anti-epileptic drug that can be prescribed for intermittent seizures in infants. As far as I’m aware, you cant die from epilepsy so why would anyone prescribe this for an infant, when it’s possible that they can end up being blind as well as epileptic? Then if the child is old enough he/she might commit suicide or an act of agression, totally as a side-effect of the drug and the people that are left behind will never be informed of this! Surely there is a better alternative?
This is what it says on lundbeck’s own website… “Sabril causes permanent vision loss in infants, children and adults.  The onset is unpredictable and can occur within weeks of starting treatment, or sooner, or at anytime during treatment even after months or years.  Because of this risk of permanent vision loss, Sabril approval is accompanied by an FDA-mandated Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) and is available only through a special restricted distribution program called SHARE (Support Help and Resources for Epilepsy)”. Link

This drug Vigabatrin is marketed as Sabril® in America by Lundbeck Link and in Europe by Sanofi-Aventis. Link

Suicidal ideation and behaviour have also been reported in patients treated with anti-epileptic agents including this drug, along with congenital defects  increasing 2 to 3 fold in children born from mothers treated with an antiepileptic; the most frequently reported are cleft lip, cardiovascular defects and neural tube defects.

Listed side effects are…

Common: agitation, aggression, nervousness, depression, paranoid reaction.

Uncommon: hypomania, mania, psychotic disorder

Rare: suicide attempt

Psychiatric reactions have been reported during vigabatrin therapy. These reactions occurred in patients with and without a psychiatric history and were usually reversible when vigabatrin doses were reduced or gradually discontinued.

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

HEY LUNDBECK….Leave our kids alone!

Just wanted to give you an up-date on my last post. As I said, DR.DK are doing an exposé on lundbeck and the side-effects of their nasty drugs. This is Denmark tv going after their own homegrown company, so it’s a huge thing over there as you can imagine. The interviewer told me they had all the facts backed up with evidence so lundbeck won’t squirm out of this one too easily! There will be lots more to come from this tv station and this programme…

Link to first programme…21sondag                                                                     

Link to our bit on the Danish news yesterday (And of course Professor Healy)…News

I know people will say antidepressants work for some people, and that’s great if they do, but my issue is with “when they don’t” and they certainly didn’t work for my son and lots of other sons and daughters. These drugs are killing people and I have no intention of letting lundbeck off the hook until they give out the same warnings over here, as they do in other countries. I haven’t even started! At least if suicide ideation, homicide ideation and agression is on the box, patients might have some chance. Do any of us “normal people” know the meaning of akathisia? (The condition associated with suicide/violence and written on the patient information leaflet).

They Cause 40,000 Deaths a Year – But They’re Handed Out Like Candy… LINK

Our story., Shanes story.

My son’s experience with 3 doctors in 17 days..There was no 18th day!

I presume you didn’t see this Dr.McManus when you sent my son off on his merry way with his first prescription which was for a months supply of cipramil? (despite the fact he told you he was having suicidal thoughts)



(See pontential association with behavioural and emotional changes, including self-harm under warnings)

Or the other doctor at your practise, Dr Tony O’Brien…

Did you not see this before you spoke to my son on the phone after he rang the Carlton clinic a few days later and complained of a swollen tongue and that his mouth felt “funny” ?


 Serious side effects
 Stop taking Cipramil and seek medical advice immediately if you have any of the following allergic reactions:
Swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat that causes difficulty in swallowing or breathing.
Or the last locum doctor in Ashford who “cared for Shane”, Dr.Johanna Coatzee…


Did it not occur to you that it he was probably having an adverse reaction to citalopram itself when he told you he had just taken an overdose two days beforehand and not send him off with another prescription for the same medication, Albeit for a lessor dose?
Dr.Michael Corry…I would stake my reputation on the fact that Shane Clancy would not have done what he did, if the wasn’t on anti-depressants!
Professor David HealyIt’s the medication that can cause the problem!



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