On the Threshold of Eternity

There was recently a class action law suit filed against GlaxoSmithKline, the makers of Paxil, because “controlled release” tablets made between April 1, 2002 and March 4, 2005, contained a manufacturing defect that caused them to split apart.

Patient’s prescribed these drugs may have received the entire dose at once, or the time release portion of the pill without the active ingredient.

You should be concerned about Paxil side effects whether you took the pill back then, or you’re taking it today minus the manufacturer’s defect!

On March 22, 2004 the FDA issued an extraordinary Public Health Advisory that cautioned about the risks associated with the new generation of  antidepressants

  • Prozac
  • Zoloft
  • Paxil
  • Luvox
  • Celexa
  • Lexapro
  • Wellbutrin
  • Effexor
  • Serzone
  • Remeron

The warning followed a public hearing at which dozens of family members of victims testified about suicide and violence committed by individuals taking these medications.

From agitation and hostility to impulsivity and mania, the FDA’s litany of antidepressant-induced behaviors is identical to those induced by:

  • PCP
  • methamphetamine
  • cocaine

(Drugs known to cause aggression and violence.)

These older stimulants and most of the newer antidepressants cause similar effects as a result of their influencing brain levels of the same neurotransmitter, serotonin.

A new FDA warning issued on January 31, 2008 declared that yet another group of chemical agents used to treat mood disorders carried the risk of “symptoms such as anxiety, agitation, hostility, mania and hypomania” which “may be precursors to emerging suicidality.”

This time the culprits are antiepileptic drugs – medications used to control seizures.
Because they cause sedation, these drugs are commonly used in psychiatry as “mood stabilizers.”
As a result of an orchestrated psychiatric campaign to diagnose children with “bipolar disorder,” increasing numbers of children are being given these drugs.
Be aware that all of these drugs work in the same way.
Paxil is contraindicated for patients younger than 18 because Paxil side effects are just too dangerous.  (Look it up!)
Is the profit to be made by creating addicts very early in life causing the irresponsible recruiting of young people?
This group of anti-seizure medications includes:
  • carbamazapine (brand names Tegretol, Equetro)
  • gabapentin (Neurontin)
  • lamotrigine (Lamictal)
  • topiramate (Topamax)
  • valproate (Depakote)

All of these drugs are being prescribed for varying psychiatric purposes, including the treatment of anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder.

Shortly after the release of the Public Health Advisory the FDA and GlaxoSmithKline notified healthcare professionals of revisions to the WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS sections of Paxil labeling to alert healthcare professionals that patients with major depressive disorder, both adult and pediatric:

“may experience worsening of their depression and/or the emergence of suicidal ideation and behavior (suicidal tendencies), whether or not they are taking antidepressant medications.”
In the most recent edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision  under Differential Diagnosis it states:
“Serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitor antidepressant medications may produce akathisia . . .” “Akathisia may be associated with dysphoria (restlessness, depression & anxiety), irritability, aggression, or suicide attempts.”

So you tell me,

Was it ethical for the FDA and GlaxoSmithKline to calm worries about these drugs by stating that worsening symptoms may occur with or without the medications?

Let’s talk side effects!

First let’s talk about common side effects.  These are the side effects that are to be expected.  They are not rare or unusual.

  • constipation
  • decreased sexual desire
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • dryness of mouth
  • headache
  • increased sweating
  • nausea
  • problems in urinating
  • trembling or shaking
  • trouble sleeping, insomnia
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting
  • male sexual dysfunction

In fact they say these side effects usually get worse before they get better.

Next let’s talk about the side effects that might actually cause your doctor concern.

  • anxiety or nervousness
  • blurred vision
  • change in sense of taste
  • decreased or increased appetite
  • decreased sexual ability
  • tingling, burning, or prickling sensations
  • weight loss or gain
  • absence of or decrease in body movements
  • difficulty in speaking
  • inability to move eyes
  • incomplete, sudden, or unusual body or facial movements
  • low blood sodium (confusion, convulsions [seizures], drowsiness, dryness of mouth, increased thirst, lack of energy)
  • red or purple patches on skin
  • serotonin syndrome (confusion, diarrhea, fever, poor coordination, restlessness, shivering, sweating, talking and acting with excitement you cannot control, trembling or shaking, twitching)
  • talking, feeling, and acting with excitement and activity you cannot control
  • agitation
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • muscle pain or weakness
  • skin rash

I have personally seen life threatening dehydration in an emergency room setting that resulted from serotonin syndrome.  You’d be surprised that the patient was not advised to stop taking this medication.

As a matter of fact, I heard his doctor say that “it could get worse before it gets better”.

I was hoping the poor man lived near the emergency room if he continued on his present course of treatment!  His side effects were life threatening!

If you are being over dosed with these meds, the symptoms are very similar to the common side effects:

  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • dryness of mouth
  • flushing of face
  • irritability
  • large pupils
  • nausea
  • racing heartbeat
  • trembling or shaking
  • vomiting

So how do you OR your doctor know if you are experiencing normal side effects, or that you are being over dosed?

Good question!

Okay, let’s talk withdrawal.

When you and your doctor decide that it is time to stop serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitor antidepressant medications the danger increases dramatically!

What type of symptoms should you expect while you are withdrawing from these drugs?

  • agitation, confusion, or restlessness
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • headache
  • increased sweating
  • muscle pain
  • nausea or vomiting
  • runny nose
  • trembling or shaking
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vision changes

If you are considering drugging your feelings, please take the FDA’s warning seriously.

When I discuss this subject with many health care providers, they seem to think that the only alternative to drugs is electro convulsant therapy (ECT).

Are there really alternatives to antidepressant medications?

YES!  And they do NOT come with laundry list of side effects!

For starters, your conscious breath is your most powerful tool for dealing with anxiety and depression!

Find out how your breathing is making you sick and what you can do about it.

Click on the link below and find out about the most important book you will ever read!

Address Depression Without Drugs!


Many blessings,

Carrie Tucker, RCP

The Life Breath Coach

Heart Failure Solutions


PS– Remember everyday:

  • Relax and Release tension
  • Exhale Slowly
  • Be active in a way that adds Joy to your life
Plus pure water ~whole foods~sunshine~and laughter
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