ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Ineffective & Can Increase Cardiovascular Death W/Beta Blockers

Paragraphs 15 through 18 read:  “Dr. Bertram Pitt, a
cardiologist at the University of Michigan School of Medicine, co-wrote an
accompanying editorial in the journal and notes that the relationship between
cardiovascular disease and depression poses intriguing research
questions.”

” ‘The current therapy of depression doesn’t seem to be
doing that much for depression, and certainly hasn’t broken the link between
depression and cardiovascular disease,’
he said in an interview
from Ann Arbor.”

“In fact, he said there’s some evidence that
certain antidepressants increase cardiovascular

death when they’re taken with betablockers.”

” ‘So we have sort
of a real challenge that the current treatment of depression doesn’t seem to be
that effective’.”

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5gUXXTGCUSLny-RfZ24BUGVERK5zQ

Happy people have lower likelihood of heart attack, Nova Scotia study
indicates

By Anne-Marie Tobin (CP) – 17 hours ago

TORONTO ­ We
hear the advice “Don’t worry, be happy,” and “Smile, smile, smile” in upbeat
song lyrics. And when it comes to the health benefits of a sunny disposition,
they might be on to something.

A 10-year study that tracked more than
1,700 adults in Nova Scotia suggests people who are usually happy, enthusiastic
and content are less likely to develop heart disease.

The study,
published Thursday in the European Heart Journal, is believed to be the first to
show an independent relationship between clinically assessed emotions and
coronary heart disease.

“Being happy means you have less likelihood of
having a heart attack 10 years later,” said psychologist Karina Davidson,
director of the Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health at Columbia
University Medical Center in New York.

“What we don’t know yet is if
you’re not a happy person and you were to get an intervention to help you

increase your happiness, would that offset your risk?”

The team looked at
the association between positive affect – defined as the experience of
pleasurable emotions such as joy, happiness, excitement, enthusiasm and
contentment – and cardiovascular events in 1,739 adults in the 1995 Nova Scotia
Health Survey. Trained nurses interviewed the 862 men and 877 women.

“We
taped as they talked about their daily lives, what stresses them, how they
handle those stressors, and we then coded whether they had a lot of positive
affect,” said Davidson, who hails from Vancouver and began the research in 1995
while she was at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

“We had to wait quite a
few years as these people had heart attacks, and then we looked to see whether
being happy predicted fewer heart attacks, and indeed it did.”

The
researchers found that over the decade, participants with no positive affect
were at 22 per cent higher risk of heart attack or angina than those with a
little positive affect, who were themselves at 22 per cent higher risk than
those with moderate positive affect.

But Davidson notes that this is an
observational study, and rigorous clinical trials are needed to support the
findings.

A study would need to follow people with low levels of
happiness, and randomize them so that some receive usual care while others would
receive intervention from a trained professional to help identify ways to
increase joy and excitement in their daily lives.

“The key to adding
pleasurable or enjoyable activities to one’s life is that they also be heart
healthy,” Davidson noted.

“So if you can learn to enjoy going for a walk
after dinner, or going to the gym to do a regular routine, or you always enjoyed
hiking in your younger years and so you go on some hikes on a regular basis,
that will surely improve your heart health.”

One problem, she observed,
is that some people enjoy smoking, eating ice cream or other activities that
aren’t considered heart healthy – so they’d need to be steered away from
those.

Dr. Bertram Pitt, a cardiologist at the University of Michigan
School of Medicine, co-wrote an accompanying editorial in the journal and notes
that the relationship between cardiovascular disease and depression poses
intriguing research questions.

“The current therapy of depression doesn’t
seem to be doing that much for depression, and certainly hasn’t broken the link
between depression and cardiovascular disease,” he said in an interview from Ann
Arbor.

In fact, he said there’s some evidence that certain

antidepressants increase cardiovascular death when they’re taken with
betablockers.

“So we have sort of a real challenge that the current
treatment of depression doesn’t seem to be that effective.”

The study by
Davidson is important because it points out there may be some new approaches, he
said.

“I think if you can be happy and do things that make you happy, you
certainly can‘t lose, and you may have a great advantage in reducing your

cardiovascular risk in the future.”

Copyright © 2010 The Canadian Press.
All rights reserved

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Just off Paxil

“…hope someone like me reads this first and investigates all avenues before swallowing a pill a doctor (who may be very well meaning!!!!) prescribes.”

Hello:

Please post this anonymously. Thank you. I feel it is important to pass on this information.

Over a two year period I was laid off my permanent part-time job as a social worker in a hospital due to cuts in services. Five months earlier my Dad had been told that he had terminal cancer. He died just three weeks short of a year after receiving the news. It was devastating and remains the most difficult experience of my life… I miss him everyday and find the grief at times unbearable.

Since Dad’s death, there has been friction with my sister given our different coping mechanisms… I’m very sensitive and emotional and she holds things in and is on the surface very practical. I had become quite distraught on a couple of occasions and my sister became distant and we had little contact for about six months; this was just another horrible sadness for me and I felt punished rather than supported…

At the same time my other job as a casual social worker in community healthnity was very stressful. We were also experiencing cuts in service and my job was to go and cut people off their home support (including 90 year old women…. still disgusts me). My doctor says it was breaking my heart! Anyway, long story, but the final straw came when my Mum ended up in Emerg with a suspected heart problem and was put on Beta Blockers… I was to be back to work and that morning before leaving I had a difficult time waking her – I was scared… she did wake up but I was quite worried leaving her, but thought the worst is I turn around after work and return… as a result was late…. called in to explain why and that I was on my way (excellent work history prev.)… I made the trip on the ferry (1.5 hours and then 1 hour drive into work)… anyway… my boss flipped out… and as a result I said I’ve had it and I’m going home…. I’m just exhausted and I don’t need this. I couldn’t believe the lack of compassion!!!! All this said, I went to the doctor and she signed me off work for stress leave and I started trying (much to my chagrine) several SSRI’s.

Celexa (20 mg.) was the first. Called the ambulance…. an hour after swallowing… felt like I was losing consciousness and suddenly couldn’t see and starting vomiting violently and crying into the phone, “hurry, I’m dying”…. the end was that the ambulance attendant (one of them) asked me how long I had been thinking of taking it before I swallowed it…. implication that it was psychological… I now know different. I had a horrible few days recovering from that episode.

Effexor was the second…. tiny dose of pill (quartered it) and was taken off after doctor saw my shaking and pale hands!

Then Paxil…. worked up slowly and only got as far as 7.5 mg. For a short time I seemed calmer and a little better, but usually felt quite wierd starting early evening… later started feel nauseous every morning and just crappy. Doctor surprizingly said I don’t think you should continue, so suggested I just stop. I said I thought I heard you had to taper off slowly and she said well you can do it in a week at your dose. This made not much logical sense to me given my sensitivity to meds and this small dose …. wouldn’t it be equivalent to someone on a larger dose but experiencing similar feelings. I tapered down starting with 5 mg and noticed a problem right away. I had been walking for half an hour daily with my dog and the first day I went on this amount I was feeling off balance and dizzy and found I couldn’t do my walk… Anyway I have been off now 10 days and am beginning to feel a little better, but it has been horrible. Still feel dizzy and off when I walk, but a little better. I also had felt like someone has been turning a switch on and off in me and have felt like I just might stop!… hard to explain. My heart rate was 100 bpm when I went in to see her last week and I have what I am concerned is some heart irregularity. She said I might have some extra beats but I shouldn’t worry about it. I have been insisting to her, to the point of annoyance today, that I have never had this feeling, that it is not the same as anxiety symptoms as before and she said it will go away…. I hope so. Also, haven’t been able to stop crying… feel so bad but am hopeful this will end. I know my doctor is a little reluctant to believe me and suggested I take some Ativan … was taking a tiny amt of clonazepam which helped symptoms going on Paxil, but has made me feel worse with withdrawal symptoms.

Today doctor gave me a new prescription for Amitriptyline (sp?) and said I could start. I told her I read I should be off Paxil for at least two weeks … she said only if it is another SSRI. This is another family. I said I would do some research on it first. Anyway, I think I’ll probably not fill it… am too scared right now of these drugs and am just hoping that my heart isn’t damaged … hopefully as the doctor said it will go…. not soon enough for me. A counsellor said that some people just cannot tolerate these drugs… I think I am one of those people!!!! I feel so much for anyone on these drugs… it would be wonderful for some relief from grief and suffering, but I’m not convinced these things are the answer.

What a long story… hope someone like me reads this first and investigates all avenues before swallowing a pill a doctor (who may be very well meaning!!!!) prescribes.

All the best to everyone!

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