June 22, 2009
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning a few years ago that pregnant women taking the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant paroxetine risk giving birth to infants with major birth defects, including heart abnormalities (http://www.naturalnews.com/021225_P…). Now comes word that the same drug (sold as Paxil, Paxil CR, Seroxat, Pexeva, and generic paroxetine hydrochloride) carries another danger that could keep babies from being born in the first place. A new study just published in the online edition of the journal Fertility and Sterility concludes as many as fifty percent of all men taking the antidepressant could have damaged sperm and compromised fertility.
New York Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical Center researchers followed 35 healthy male volunteers who took paroxetine for five weeks. Then sperm samples from the men were studied using an assay called terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) to evaluate whether there were missing pieces of genetic code in the sperm DNA. This condition, know as DNA fragmentation, is associated with reproductive problems.
The results? The percentage of men with abnormal DNA fragmentation soared from less than 10 percent to 50 percent while taking the antidepressant. This is a crucial finding because DNA fragmentation has long been known to correlate with an increased risk of birth defects, poor fertility and unsuccessful pregnancy outcomes — even when high tech, extraordinarily expensive fertility enhancing techniques such as in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection are used.
The study, one of the first scientific investigations into the effect of SSRIs on sperm quality, also confirmed that paroxetine impairs sexual function. More than a third of the research subjects reported significant changes in erectile function and about half had difficulty ejaculating.
“It’s fairly well known that SSRI antidepressants negatively impact erectile function and ejaculation. This study goes one step further, demonstrating that they can cause a major increase in genetic damage to sperm,” Dr. Peter Schlegel, the study’s senior author and chairman of the Department of Urology and professor of reproductive medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, explained in a statement to the media. “Although this study doesn’t look directly at fertility, we can infer that as many as half of men taking SSRIs have a reduced ability to conceive. These men should talk with their physician about their treatment options, including non-SSRI depression medications.”
The scientists could not identify the exact way the SSRI caused the DNA fragmentation, but the evidence strongly suggests the drug slows sperm as it moves through the male reproductive tract from the testis to the ejaculatory ducts. When this happens, the sluggish sperm grows old and its DNA becomes damaged.
“This is a new concept for how drugs can affect fertility and sperm. In most cases, it was previously assumed that a drug damaged sperm production, so the concept that sperm transport could be affected is novel,” Dr. Schlegel stated.
The study contains some good news for men currently on Paxil and related drugs who may be concerned about their fertility. All the changes the researchers found appeared to be totally reversible. Specifically, normal levels of sexual function and DNA fragmentation both returned to normal one month after discontinuation of the drug.
June 21, 2009
Fears the recession is affecting the mental health of the nation appear to be borne out by new figures that show prescriptions of antidepressants are soaring.
Last year in England there were 2.1m more prescriptions of antidepressants than in 2007, leading to concerns that doctors are increasingly supplying the drugs as a “quick fix” without attempting to address the underlying cause of the problems. In total, 36m prescriptions were given out, an increase of 24% over the past five years.
“The increase in the number of people being prescribed antidepressants is deeply disturbing,” said the Liberal Democrats’ health spokesman, Norman Lamb, who obtained the figures. “England has become a true Prozac nation.”
Lamb said it appeared the economy was a major factor in the increase. “The figures raise serious concerns over the impact of the current recession on people’s mental health,” he said. “Ministers have acted far too slowly to ensure that support is put in place to help people through these difficult times.”
FDA Approval of Antipsychotics for Children Mirrors Bayer, AMA Approvals of Heroin as Cough Medicine for ChildrenJune 11, 2009
June 11, 2009
Today an FDA advisory panel approved the prescribing of powerful mind-altering chemicals for children. Seroquel, Zyprexa and Goedon have now been approved by the advisory panel to be prescribed to children as young as 10 years old to treat a fictitious disease invented by psychiatrists and given the name “bipolar disorder.” (There is no such thing as a bipolar disorder disease. It is merely a name assigned to children demonstrating the predictable side effects of correctable dietary imbalances.)
In light of this disturbing decision, it is instructive to remember the history of pharmaceutical medicine and children. One hundred and ten years ago, Bayer marketed heroin to children as a non-addictive alternative to morphine. Did I say “non-addictive?” Yes, it’s right from the company’s own marketing materials. It just goes to show you that drug companies have been lying to the public (and poisoning the children) for well over one hundred years.
Much like the FDA’s present-day endorsement of antipsychotic drugs for children, the American Medical Association endorsed Bayer Heroin for kids, touting its ability to ease coughs. Heroin definitely eases coughs. And so does smoking meth! In offering this endorsement, the AMA apparently borrowed some of the FDA’s screwy logic, which claims “The benefits outweigh the risks.”
This means, of course, that the benefits to the drug companies outweigh the risks to the children!
During all this, of course, the AMA utterly failed to inform parents that heroin was a highly addictive narcotic drug. So parents were dosing their babies with heroin — all with the full approval of the American Medical Association!
Today, the FDA spearheads the promotion of drugs to children, doing its best to promote toxic synthetic chemicals that artificially alter brain chemistry while outlawing any mention of natural remedies that work much better (like omega-3 oils, which are natural brain chemistry stabilizers). The FDA also utterly fails to ban toxic chemical food ingredients known to destroy healthy brain chemistry (like MSG and artificial food coloring).
July 9, 2007
Dr. Ronald Dworkin tells the story of a woman who didn’t like the way her husband was handling the family finances. She wanted to start keeping the books herself but didn’t want to insult her husband.
The doctor suggested she try an antidepressant to make herself feel better.
She got the antidepressant, and she did feel better, said Dr. Dworkin, a Maryland anesthesiologist and senior fellow at Washington’s Hudson Institute, who told the story in his book “Artificial Unhappiness: The Dark Side of the New Happy Class.” But in the meantime, Dworkin says, the woman’s husband led the family into financial ruin.
“Doctors are now medicating unhappiness,” said Dworkin. “Too many people take drugs when they really need to be making changes in their lives.”
For Dworkin, the proof is in the statistics. According to a government study, antidepressants have become the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States. They’re prescribed more than drugs to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, or headaches.
June 9, 2009
Editors Note: Even though the FDA says antipsychotic drugs are effective, this site and many other sources have chronicled the very dangerous side effects like depression, hallucination, and heart disease, just to name a few. Also, the FDA’s credibility is non existent after it came out that directors were paid millions to cover up the BPA scandal.
ADELPHI, Maryland (Reuters) – U.S. advisers began considering on Tuesday whether the makers of three blockbuster antipsychotic drugs should be allowed to promote them for children and teens with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
Eli Lilly and Co’s Zyprexa, AstraZeneca’s Seroquel and Pfizer’s Geodon are approved for adults and already used to treat children. But the companies need Food and Drug Administration approval before they can advertise them specifically for youths as young as 10.
Winning FDA clearance for wider use may boost sales, which already top a combined $10 billion annually.
Reviewers at the FDA agree the medicines appear effective for treating symptoms, Dr. Thomas Laughren, director of its psychiatry drugs division, told a panel of outside experts. The agency wants the advisers to consider the risks of weight gain, sleepiness and other reactions before deciding whether to recommend approval in younger patients, he said.
Side effects “are of particular concern in pediatric patients primarily because these are lifelong disorders, and these children would face many decades of taking these drugs,” Laughren said.
The drugs are members of a family called atypical antipsychotics. Two similar medicines, Johnson & Johnson’s Risperdal and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co’s Abilify, already are approved to treat youths with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.
The medicines under review already are widely used. Zyprexa is Lilly’s top-selling drug, with sales of $4.7 billion. Seroquel is the second-best-selling product for AstraZeneca, with 2008 sales of $4.5 billion. Sales of Pfizer’s Geodon topped $1 billion in 2008.
Laughren said it was “important to acknowledge that both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are serious illnesses in pediatric patients” and place burdens on families. Schizophrenia causes hallucinations, delusions and disorganized thoughts, while bipolar disorder causes dramatic mood swings from manic episodes to depression.
AstraZeneca data showed children “are susceptible to the same risks seen of (Seroquel) for adults,” Liza O’Dowd, a vice president of the company, told the panel. The risks “can be monitored and managed” and are described in the drug’s prescribing instructions, she said.
Lilly and Pfizer were scheduled to speak to the panel later on Tuesday. In summaries released before the meeting, both companies said their drugs’ risks were acceptable, given their benefits for treating serious mental illnesses.
The FDA advisers were expected to vote Wednesday on whether the medicines were effective and acceptably safe for various age groups. The agency will make the final decision, but usually follows panel recommendations.
AstraZeneca and Lilly are seeking approval for treating acute episodes of both schizophrenia and bipolar mania. Pfizer’s application asks for approval only in bipolar disorder.