ANTIDEPRESSANTS ARE FAR FROM ALONE IN DANGERS! & BEWARE OF DRUG ADVERTIZING!

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org):
The following article on drug advertising, “Side Effects Include Denial” is an
EXCELLENT article on how the public is brainwashed into using drugs without a
thought. This is how we have ended up on all of these new “Designer Drugs” that
seem to be more the norm in our society now than the abnormal. When I was
growing up someone who was ill was out of the ordinary. Most we well. Now it
seems the exact opposite with even the very young discussing their serious
disorders – things we never saw in children before.

Although our site has focused on antidepressants for many
years, that focus has nothing to do with lack of concern over a myriad
of other deadly medications. The focus on antidepressants has been due to
the extremely widespread use of these drugs along with their potential to lead
the user to extreme out of character violence toward themselves or others
coupled with their potential to lead to many other drugs being prescribed for
the antidepressant side effects they suffer (new symptoms such as a
diagnosis for Psychosis or Bipolar Disorder, Panic or Anxiety attacks,
extreme insomnia, sleep apnea and other sleep disorders, Restless Leg Syndrome,
alcohol or nicotine use/abuse, diabetes, Fibromyalgia, thyroid problems,
headaches, IBS, MS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, ADHD, etc., etc., etc.)
Many of the newer medications out there were designed specifically for the
increase in patients with these “symptoms” that are nothing more than
antidepressant side effects which would subside upon the safe withdrawal of the
individual from the offending medication – the antidepressant. And far too many

of these new drugs are just remakes of antidepressantsfar too similar in
action to these drugs. One example would be Chantix’ similarity to Zoloft.
Sarafem, prescribed for PMS, is nothing more than Prozac with a new name and
different color capsule (pink to give it a feminine touch). Duloxetine
is the chemical name for Lilly’s Cymbalta and the name generally given to a
patient prescribed the drug for urinary incontinence so that they
remain unaware that it is really an antidepressant (antidepressants have LONG
been given to children for bed wetting). Yet another antidepressant is
prescribed for tuberculosis. Then there are all of the headache medications and
too many pain killers which all have serotonergic effects and can cause many of

the same serious adverse reactions that antidepressants cause.

WE URGE YOU TO USE EXTEME CAUTION, NO MATTER THE DRUG PRESCRIBED!!!
PRESCRIPTION DRUGS ARE KILLING FAR MORE NATIONWIDE THAN ILLEGAL DRUGS!! READ
ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING BEFORE EVER PUTTING A DRUG IN YOUR MOUTH!!! INSIST ON A
PACKAGE INSERT RATHER THAN THE SHORT HANDOUT ON THE DRUG PROVIDED BY THE
PHARMACACY WHCIH DOES NOT EVEN SCRATCH THE SURFACE IN GIVING YOU THE TRUE
WARNINGS REFLECTED IN THE PACKAGE INSERTS.
__________________________________________
But last July the Food and Drug Administration, which approved Chantix in
2006, said it had received 4,762 reports of “serious psychiatric events” —
including paranoia, homicidal thoughts, hallucinations, 188 attempted suicides
and 98 suicides — and it ordered Pfizer to put a “black box” warning on the
drug.
Pfizer’s not worried for the same reason that Bristol-Myers Squibb isn’t
worried about its Abilify ad, with piano music under, showing a happy family’s
outing to a pier, accompanied by a voiceover about seizures, thoughts of
suicide, risk of death or stroke. It’s why Sanofi-aventis, the manufacturer of
Ambien, doesn’t mind spending half an ad (sleeping lady, rooster, harp) warning
of side-effects like sleep-driving and sleep-eating. And it’s why
GlaxoSmithKline is unconcerned about undercutting the effectiveness of its Requip ad

for Restless Leg Syndrome (relaxing lady, crossword puzzle, strings) with
warnings about (this is my favorite) compulsive gambling.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marty-kaplan/side-effects-include-deni_b_463996.html

Marty Kaplan

Director, Norman Lear Center and Professor at the USC
Annenberg School
Posted: February 16, 2010 12:31 PM

Side
Effects Include Denial

Why would Pfizer spend $100 million on two-minute TV ads that use a minute of
that time admitting that their drug Chantix can cause “changes in behavior,
hostility, agitation, depressed mood,” “weird, unusual or strange dreams,” and
“suicidal thoughts or actions”?

Because they have to, and because it doesn’t matter.

With the patent on Pfizer’s cash cow Lipitor expiring next year, Chantix, a
smoking cessation pill, had been one of their big hopes for the future. Chantix
sales in 2007 approached $900 million; by 2009, it accounted for 90 percent of
smoking cessation prescriptions. But last July the Food and Drug Administration,
which approved Chantix in 2006, said it had received 4,762 reports of “serious
psychiatric events” — including paranoia, homicidal thoughts, hallucinations,
188 attempted suicides and 98 suicides — and it ordered Pfizer to put a “black
box” warning on the drug.

What to do? One tack Pfizer took was to launch a “help-seeking ad” that’s now running all over cable TV. You might easily mistake it
for a public service ad. As a voiceover reads sentences appearing on a black
screen, a match-flame turns the words to smoke: “You wanted to quit before you
got married… You wanted to quit before you turned thirty-five. You wanted to
quit when you had your first child.”

At the end, you’re invited to go to MyTimeToQuit.com, which takes you not to
the Surgeon-General or to the American Cancer Society, but to a Pfizer site that
in turn leads you to Chantix. There’s no legal requirement to include the
suicide warning on the faux-PSA, because it never mentions Chantix by name.

Pfizer’s other marketing tactic was to air a testimonial. We spend two
minutes getting to know Robin, a real-life success story. In her kitchen, over a
lovely soundtrack, Robin tells us how Ben, one of her boys, asked her to stop
smoking. Her doctor prescribed Chantix. As she and her family walk around a
neighborhood of gracious lawns and fall foliage, we hear what good support and a
good drug can do. Back at home, her husband makes coffee while she slices apples
and cheese for a snack at the kitchen table. Radiant, laughing, she says that
Ben finally tired of counting the days since she quit. At the end, an
announcer’s voiceover invites us to “talk to your doctor to find out if
prescription Chantix is right for you.”

But wait a minute — literally. During half the ad, that same announcer is
also telling us about the mental health problems that can be worsened by
Chantix. Not once, but twice, he says what should be alarming words: agitation,
hostility, depressed mood, suicidal thoughts or actions. The words appear yet a
third time in the same ad, in a boxed text at the bottom of the screen.

Why isn’t Pfizer nuts to spend so much money scaring us to death about their
product? While Robin is slicing that apple, why isn’t Pfizer worried that the
voice warning about suicidal thoughts or actions will make us fret whether it’s
safe to let Robin be around sharp objects?

Pfizer’s not worried for the same reason that Bristol-Myers Squibb isn’t
worried about its Abilify ad, with piano music under, showing a happy family’s
outing to a pier, accompanied by a voiceover about seizures, thoughts of
suicide, risk of death or stroke. It’s why Sanofi-aventis, the manufacturer of

Ambien, doesn’t mind spending half an ad (sleeping lady, rooster, harp) warning
of side-effects like sleep-driving and sleep-eating. And it’s why
GlaxoSmithKline is unconcerned about undercutting the effectiveness of its Requip ad
for Restless Leg Syndrome (relaxing lady, crossword puzzle, strings) with
warnings about (this is my favorite) compulsive gambling.

Pictures are more powerful than words. Language and logic don’t have the kind
of immediate access to our brains that images and instruments do. Feeling comes
before thinking. We can be as skeptical about marketing as we like, but media
literacy isn’t much of a match for music. No wonder Plato banished the poet in

The Republic: he couldn’t think of a curriculum that could protect people from
being enthralled by fiction, spellbound by illusion. The bards who sang the
Homeric epics were the ancestors of today’s Mad Men.

Robin’s harmless kitchen knife brilliantly neuters the suicide warnings, as
does the rest of her happy-ending story. In 2005, Duke University researcher Ruth Day presented a study to the FDA demonstrating how ads
can use distracting images and music to minimize attention to risk warnings. Her
infamous example: the fast-fluttering wings of the Nasonex bee (voiced by
Antonio Banderas) prevented viewers from remembering the side effects
information. Partly as a result, last May the FDA issued draft regulations declaring that ads will be judged by their
net impression as a whole, not just whether they’re technically accurate.

Pfizer denies that increased regulatory oversight led them to
raise the time devoted to safety warnings in its Chantix ads from 14 seconds to
a minute. I suspect they could run a two-minute crawl about suicide risks, and
it still wouldn’t distract from Robin’s heartwarming testimonial. We’re suckers
for mini-movies. No wonder the corporations just unleashed by the Supreme Court
to spend unlimited funds on campaign ads are salivating at the opportunity to
enthrall us.

This is my column from The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles.
You can read more of my columns here, and e-mail me there if you’d
like.

Follow Marty Kaplan on Twitter: www.twitter.com/martykaplan

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Ann Blake-Tracy

Ann Blake Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
(DrugAwareness.Org & SSRIstories.Net)
Author: ”Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare – The Complete Truth of the Full Impact of Antidepressants Upon Us & Our World” & Withdrawal CD “Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!”

She has specialized since 1990 in adverse reactions to serotonergic medications (such as Prozac, Sarafem, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, Celexa, Lexapro, Effexor, Serzone, Remeron, Anafranil, Fen-Phen, Redux and Meridia as well as the new atypical antipsychotics Zyprexa, Geodon, Seroquel and Abilify), as well as pain killers, and has testified before the FDA and congressional subcommittee members on antidepressants.

WITHDRAWAL WARNING: In sharing this information about adverse reactions to antidepressants I always recommend that you also give reference to my CD on safe withdrawal, Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!, so that we do not have more people dropping off these drugs too quickly – a move which I have warned from the beginning can be even more dangerous than staying on the drugs!

WITHDRAWAL HELP: You can find the hour and a half long CD on safe and effective withdrawal helps here: store.drugawareness.org And if you need additional consultations with Ann Blake-Tracy, you can book one at www.drugawareness.org or sign up for one of the memberships for the International Coalition for Drug Awareness which includes free consultations as one of the benefits of that particular membership plan. You can even get a whole month of access to the withdrawal CD with tips on rebuilding after the meds, all six of my DVDs, hundreds of radio interviews, lectures, TV interviews I have done over the years PLUS my book on antidepressants with more information than you will find anywhere else for only $30 membership for a month (that is only $5 more than the book alone would cost) at www.drugawareness.org. (Definitely the best option to save outrageous postage charges for those out of the country!)

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