Glaxo Said to Have Paid $1 Billion So Far to Settle Various Paxil Lawsuits

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy:

Excellent article! Many would still be alive and many more
would have avoided being damaged had they been able to see this coming as
clearly as I did years ago when I began warning about these drugs. But it is not
over! There will tragically be many more losses due to the ability of drug
manufacturers to buy the silence this doctor from Tufts says below should
not happen. These settlements need to be made public!

The one glaring omission in this article is a case I am very
familiar with Tobin vs Glaxo. This Paxil-induced murder/suicide
case was allowed to go to court, rather than being settled by Glaxo.
And after hearing all the evidence the jury ruled
that it was clear that Paxil was the main cause of this tragic
murder/suicide that cost 4 lives in one WY family. They ordered Glaxo to pay
$6.3 Million – in my opinion a very small amount for four lives!

But it will not be the end of these types of cases being filed.
The authors did not figure the losses Glaxo will face from those cases
of murder/suicide so their losses could be far greater than detailed
below.

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
Author: Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin
Nightmare & Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepresant!

The company hasn’t specified in regulatory filings
the number of suicide, birth-defect and addiction cases settled.

“It’s important to disclose such settlements because
it raises the red flag for both doctors and patients that there might be a
problem,” said Dan Carlat, a psychiatrist at Tufts University School of Medicine
in Boston who writes and edits a
blog and a monthly

Psychiatry
Report
. “It would motivate
doctors to dig into the literature even more before prescribing these
drugs.”

  • About 450 suicide-related Paxil cases were settled. Only about a dozen
    haven’t been, the people said. The $1 billion total doesn’t include more than
    600 claims that Paxil caused birth defects.
  • A Philadelphia jury on Oct. 13 found the drugmaker should pay $2.5 million
    to the family of Lyam Kilker, a 3-year-old boy born with a heart defect after
    his mother took Paxil while pregnant. Based on that outcome, an analyst
    estimated the company may potentially face additional verdicts in birth-defect
    cases waiting to be tried in Pennsylvania.
  • 600 More Cases
  • “A liability totaling $1.5 billion is possible,” wrote Savvas Neophytou, a
    Panmure Gordon analyst in London, in a note to investors the day after the
    Kilker verdict.
  • In comparison, Pfizer Inc., parent of Wyeth, the maker of diet-drug
    combination fen-phen, has had to set aside about $21 billion to resolve about
    200,000 personal-injury claims over that medicine. Merck & Co. agreed to
    pay $4.85 billion to resolve more than 48,000 claims over the withdrawn
    painkiller.
  • Harris Pogust, an
    attorney for Paxil plaintiffs, couldn’t confirm the total. He said the amounts
    are confidential.
  • The suicide settlements included a suit over the death of a 14-year-old
    boy who had been taking Paxil for two months. The parents of Scott Cunningham,
    of Valparaiso, Indiana, sued after the boy hung himself in 2001. They alleged
    Glaxo suppressed evidence that Paxil use was linked to the risk of suicide
    attempts by adolescents. Glaxo denied the allegations, according to court
    papers.
  • The family settled its suit in May, according to court filings. Family
    attorney Bijan Esfandiari confirmed the settlement, saying the amount was
    confidential.
  • About 150 cases over suicides by Paxil users were settled for an average
    of about $2 million, and about 300 over suicide attempts settled for an
    average of $300,000, they said. Some of the claims were resolved before suits
    were filed, according to the people familiar with the matter.
  • Glaxo has settled about 10 birth-defect cases, Sean Tracey, a
    Houston-based lawyer who represented the family of a child victim, said in
    court Dec. 2. The settlements averaged about $4 million, the people familiar
    with the cases said.
  • Glaxo paid an average of about $50,000 per case to resolve about 3,200
    claims linking Paxil to addiction problems, the people familiar with the cases
    said.
  • In its 2008 annual report, company officials noted they had reached a
    “conditional settlement agreement” in January 2006 with Paxil users who
    alleged they suffered withdrawal symptoms after taking the drug. The case,
    filed in Los Angeles federal court, was marked closed in court records in
    February.
Glaxo Said to Have Paid $1 Billion to Settle Paxil

Lawsuits

By Jef Feeley and Margaret Cronin Fisk

Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) — GlaxoSmithKline Plc has
paid almost $1 billion to resolve lawsuits over Paxil since it introduced the
antidepressant in 1993, including about $390 million for suicides or attempted
suicides said to be linked to the drug, according to court records and people
familiar with the cases.

As part of the total, Glaxo, the U.K.’s largest drugmaker, so far has paid
$200 million to settle Paxil addiction and birth-defect cases and $400 million

to end antitrust, fraud and design claims, according to the people and court
records.

The $1 billion “would be worse than many people are expecting,” said Navid Malik, an analyst
at Matrix Corporate Capital in London. “I don’t think this is within the
boundaries of current assumptions for analysts.”

The London-based company hasn’t disclosed the settlement total in company
filings. It has made public some accords. Glaxo’s provision for legal and other
non-tax disputes as of the end of 2008 was 1.9 billion pounds ($3.09 billion),
according to its latest annual report. This included all legal matters, not just
Paxil. The company said 112 million pounds of this sum would be “reimbursed by
third-party issuers.”

The drugmaker has reduced its insurance coverage to contain costs, “accepting
a greater degree of uninsured exposure,” the annual report states. “Recent
insurance loss experience, including pharmaceutical product-liability exposures,
has increased the cost of, and narrowed the coverage afforded by, insurance for
pharmaceutical companies generally,” Glaxo said.

Glaxo Comment

Glaxo declined to confirm the $1 billion figure. “Paxil has been on the
market in the U.S. since 1993. Like many other pharmaceutical products, it has
been the subject of different kinds of litigation over the years,” said Sarah Alspach, a
spokeswoman for Glaxo, in an e-mailed statement. “It would be inappropriate and
potentially misleading to aggregate payments in these various types of
litigation.”

Chief Executive Officer Andrew Witty has moved
to replace revenue lost to generic versions of drugs such as Paxil. Worldwide,
Paxil generated about 514 million pounds in sales last year, or 2.1 percent of
the total. Glaxo closed up 5 pence to 1,303 pence in London trading Dec. 11,
down 8.8 percent from a year ago.

About 450 suicide-related Paxil cases were settled. Only about a dozen
haven’t been, the people said. The $1 billion total doesn’t include more than
600 claims that Paxil caused birth defects.

A Philadelphia jury on Oct. 13 found the drugmaker should pay $2.5 million to

the family of Lyam Kilker, a 3-year-old boy born with a heart defect after his
mother took Paxil while pregnant. Based on that outcome, an analyst estimated
the company may potentially face additional verdicts in birth-defect cases
waiting to be tried in Pennsylvania.

600 More Cases

“A liability totaling $1.5 billion is possible,” wrote Savvas Neophytou, a
Panmure Gordon analyst in London, in a note to investors the day after the
Kilker verdict. He still recommended buying Glaxo shares because a likely appeal
may reduce the amount paid by the company.

In comparison, Pfizer Inc., parent of Wyeth, the maker of diet-drug
combination fen-phen, has had to set aside about $21 billion to resolve about
200,000 personal-injury claims over that medicine. Merck & Co. agreed to pay
$4.85 billion to resolve more than 48,000 claims over the withdrawn painkiller.

Harris Pogust, an
attorney for Paxil plaintiffs, couldn’t confirm the total. He said the amounts
are confidential.

Paxil Is Different

Paxil’s been different from most drugs,” said Pogust, a lawyer from
Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, who is handling suicide and withdrawal cases.
“You’ve had three major personal injury litigations over one drug — the
suicide, the birth defect and the withdrawal cases. To have three significant
problems with one drug is really unusual.”

The company had $11.7 billion in U.S. Paxil sales for nine years starting in
1997, according to documents made public this year in a Pennsylvania trial. In
2002, the year before Paxil faced generic competition in the U.S., sales of the
drug there were $2.12 billion. Last year, U.S. sales had fallen to $129 million.
Through September of this year, sales were $52 million, down 52 percent from the
same period in 2008.

Since at least 2003, Glaxo has faced claims in U.S. courts that some Paxil
users were subjected to an undisclosed, higher risk for suicide and birth
defects.

A Suicide Settlement

The suicide settlements included a suit over the death of a 14-year-old boy
who had been taking Paxil for two months. The parents of Scott Cunningham, of
Valparaiso, Indiana, sued after the boy hung himself in 2001. They alleged Glaxo

suppressed evidence that Paxil use was linked to the risk of suicide attempts by
adolescents. Glaxo denied the allegations, according to court papers.

The family settled its suit in May, according to court filings. Family
attorney Bijan Esfandiari confirmed the settlement, saying the amount was
confidential.

About 150 cases over suicides by Paxil users were settled for an average of
about $2 million, and about 300 over suicide attempts settled for an average of
$300,000, they said. Some of the claims were resolved before suits were filed,
according to the people familiar with the matter.

Glaxo has settled about 10 birth-defect cases, Sean Tracey, a Houston-based
lawyer who represented the family of a child victim, said in court Dec. 2. The
settlements averaged about $4 million, the people familiar with the cases said.

Hasn’t Specified

The company hasn’t specified in regulatory filings the number of suicide,
birth-defect and addiction cases settled.

“It’s important to disclose such settlements because it raises the red flag
for both doctors and patients that there might be a problem,” said Dan Carlat, a
psychiatrist at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston who writes and
edits a blog and a monthly Psychiatry Report. “It would motivate doctors to dig into the
literature even more before prescribing these drugs.”

Glaxo paid an average of about $50,000 per case to resolve about 3,200 claims
linking Paxil to addiction problems, the people familiar with the cases said.

In its 2008 annual report, company officials noted they had reached a
“conditional settlement agreement” in January 2006 with Paxil users who alleged
they suffered withdrawal symptoms after taking the drug. The case, filed in Los
Angeles federal court, was marked closed in court records in February.

Glaxo did not admit liability” in the addiction settlements, the company’s
officials said in a March 2009 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission.

The Other $400 Million

In one of eight accords unrelated to individual suicide, addiction or
birth-defect claims, Glaxo agreed in 2003 to pay $87.6 million to the U.S. and
49 states over claims it repackaged and privately labeled Paxil and another
drug, Flonase, to a health maintenance organization at discounted prices.

Glaxo, denying liability, agreed in 2004 to pay $165 million to settle two
antitrust suits over allegations it engaged in sham patent infringement
litigation to stall approval of generic versions of the drug, court records
show. Of that total, $100 million was for direct purchasers of Paxil, such as
drug wholesalers, and $65 million was for indirect buyers, the records show.

In the same year, Glaxo agreed to pay $2.5 million to New York to resolve
accusations the company withheld safety data about the antidepressant. The
company, calling the claims unfounded, agreed to release safety studies on the
medicine’s effect on children.

In 2005, the company added a black-box warning to its Paxil label that the
drug increased the risk of suicidal thoughts among adolescents, following a
request by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to do so.

The Philadelphia case is Kilker v. SmithKline Beecham Corp. dba
GlaxoSmithKline, 07-001813, Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County,
Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).

To contact the reporters on this story: Jef Feeley in
Wilmington, Delaware, at jfeeley@bloomberg.net and; Margaret Cronin Fisk in
Southfield, Michigan, at mcfisk@bloomberg.net.

Last Updated:
December 14, 2009 00:01 EST

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UPDATE: ANTIDEPRESSANT: GA House Speaker Resigns After Suicide Attempt, Affair

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org):

Yet another government official is destroyed by the use of an
antidepressant. All the signs and symptoms of Antidepressant-Induced Bipolar
Disorder are clear – the infidelity, the lying, the divorce, the suicidal
tendencies, etc.
What a shame that no one involved seems to even have a clue what has
happened to cause this! One man’s use of an antidepressant and look how many
lives have been negatively affected! Another family and another leader
destroyed by the negative effects of these drugs.
Why does no one see these drugs are destroying our country, our
society, our families, our lives? Is profit really worth it? Does that make it
okay to destroy so many just for money and power? I will never understand that
mentality!
_________________________________________
“It has been a dizzying fall for one of Georgia’s most powerful political
figures. Sheriff’s deputies found him Nov. 8, slumped semiconscious on the edge
of the bathtub at his west Georgia home after he called his mother to say he had
swallowed pills. A suicide note and a silver .357 Magnum were on the counter
next to him. The contents of the note have not been released.
“Richardson has also been dogged by messy personal and ethical problems,
including a 2007 ethics complaint by House Democrats over the same alleged

affair ex-wife Susan Richardson accused him of on TV this week. In an interview
Monday with Fox 5 Atlanta, Susan Richardson said she had e-mails between her
ex-husband and the lobbyist for Atlanta Gas Light that prove the affair. The
couple divorced in February 2008.”


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/03/glenn-richardson-george-h_n_379093.html

Glenn
Richardson RESIGNS: Georgia House Speaker Out After Attempted Suicide, Alleged
Affair

Glenn Richardson


ATLANTA — Georgia’s powerful House speaker resigned
Thursday after a suiciide attempt and allegations by his ex-wife of an affair
with a lobbyist.

Glenn Richardson, the state’s first GOP speaker since
Reconstruction, had won sympathy from even his political enemies when he
revealed last month that he attempted suicide by swallowing sleeping pills.
But then his ex-wife went on TV and accused him of having “a full-out affair
with a lobbyist while they were still married.

Richardson did not
address that allegation in a brief statement issued through the House
communications office in which he said he will leave both his position as
speaker and his House seat on Jan. 1. He did mention his recent admission,
made in the wake of his suicide attempt, that he has grappled with
depression.

“I fear that the media attention of this week has deflected
this message and done harm to many people who suffer from this condition,” he
said in the statement.

House Republican lawmakers received the news
from an emotional Richardson during a conference call just before the
statement was released.

“It was very painful for those of us on the
listening end,” state Rep. David Ralston said.

The 49-year-old
Richardson, once thought to be a serious contender for governor, had gone
right back to shaking hands at chicken-and-grits fundraisers after trying to
kill himself. But he had been silent since his ex-wife claimed this week that
he slept with a lobbyist pushing a $300 million pipeline bill he was
co-sponsoring.

It has been a dizzying fall for one of Georgia’s most
powerful political figures. Sheriff’s deputies found him Nov. 8, slumped
semiconscious on the edge of the bathtub at his west Georgia home after he
called his mother to say he had swallowed pills. A suicide note and a silver
.357 Magnum were on the counter next to him. The contents of the note have not
been released.

Secretary of State Karen Handel, a leading GOP candidate
for governor in 2010, called Richardson’s personal turmoil “heartbreaking” but
said meetings at the state Capitol were grinding to a halt because he was
missing in action amid the worst state budget crunch in the state
history.

She and the Georgia Christian Coalition were among those who
had called Thursday for Richardson to resign.

Once Richardson steps
down, House Speaker Pro Tem Mark Burkhalter will become interim speaker, and
the Republican caucus will have 120 days to elect a permanent
replacement.

University of Georgia political science professor Charles
Bullock said Richardson is known for comebacks, but the latest round of news
may have finally damaged him beyond repair.

“Heading into an election
year, I think Republicans would rather not still be talking about the life and
loves of Glenn Richardson,” Bullock said.

Richardson was revered among
some conservatives for helping engineer a GOP takeover of the Georgia House in
2004 after decades of Democratic control. But his short temper has often left
him feuding with the state’s other leading Republicans. In 2007, a red-faced
Richardson accused Gov. Sonny Perdue of showing his “backside” after the two
feuded over tax cuts.

On Thursday, Perdue issued a statement saying
Richardson made the right decision, which should give him privacy that will
“enable him to recover fully and completely.”

Richardson has also been
dogged by messy personal and ethical problems, including a 2007 ethics
complaint by House Democrats over the same alleged affair ex-wife Susan
Richardson accused him of on TV this week. In an interview Monday with Fox 5
Atlanta, Susan Richardson said she had e-mails between her ex-husband and the
lobbyist for Atlanta Gas Light that prove the affair. The couple divorced in
February 2008.

In one e-mail, according to Fox 5, the lobbyist worried
that she would be fired if the affair became public. Glenn Richardson
responded by saying he would “bring all hell down” on Atlanta Gas Light if
that happened.

The 2007 Democratic complaint was dismissed by a
legislative ethics panel for lack of evidence, and a defiant Richardson used a
breakfast speech before a room full of Georgia business leaders to threaten
retaliation against those he said he said were trying bring him down with
“poison.”

The bad news, according to Richardson, “is that I survived.”
And, he continued, “I’m looking for those that manufactured that
poison.”

But Susan Richardson’s allegations have spawned a new ethics
complaint by a government watchdog this week, and Georgia Attorney General
Thurbert Baker’s office said Thursday it had begun looking into the
complaint

Glenn Richardson has not responded to the affair allegations
and a spokesman did not return a phone call on Thursday seeking additional
comment.

___

Associated Press Writer Greg Bluestein contributed
to this report.

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LEXAPRO: The Howard Stern’s Show’s Artie Lange Arrested for DUI: New York

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org): After specializing in antidepressant adverse reactions for 20

 lexapro

years I would say that Lexapro is one of the worst. Giving it, or any other antidepressant, to someone with previous substance abuse problems is criminal! These drugs produce OVERWHELMING CRAVINGS for alcohol and other drugs. They can take those who have never touched these substances before & turn them into addicts almost overnight. (www.drugawareness.org/book-excerpts/ssris-and-alcohol) Antidepressants are notorious for producing mania/bipolar. One of the forms of mania is described as uncontrollable cravings for alcohol.

Adverse reactions can be worse: the deaths of Brynn & Phil Hartman & Andrea Yates’ 5 children. Then there’s the man in Palm Beach who after years of a happy hetrosexual life ran off to NY for a sex change operation after starting an antidepressant. He returned to his wife extremely remorseful & with no idea why he did what he had done.

Paragraphs 2 & 3 read:  “ Artie Lange was noticeably quieter than usual on Monday morning’s broadcast, only peppering the on-air conversations with an occasional joke or cutting remark.  About two hours into the broadcast,Artie Lange finally broke his silence about Friday’s DUI.  After stating that: “for once I’m actually doing something sensible and listening to my lawyer and not talking about it,”  Artie Lange went on to tease the audience with a few details of the incident that catapulted him to the top of Google Trends on Friday, despite The HowardStern Show having been off air for a full two weeks.”

Artie Lange insists that he blew a 0.0 on the Breathalyzer test that he was given at the scene of the accident. Artie Lange also reported that he was also given a urine test at the police station.  Artie Lange states that there were no illicit drugs in his system, and that all the analysts will find that could possibly explain his erratic driving is the antidepressant Lexapro.”

http://www.examiner.com/x-11279-Howard-Stern-Examiner~y2009m7d13-Is-Lexapro-to-blame-forArtie-Langes-DUI

Is Lexapro to blame for Artie Lange‘s DUI?

July 13, 9:05 AM

At long last, The Howard Stern Show returned to the air live this Monday morning.  With the abundance of celebrity news to catch up on and current box office topper “Bruno” in the studio, Howard Stern Show fans really only wanted to hear about one thing: Artie Lange’s DUI.  After proclaiming that he had been clean and sober for months, ArtieLange was arrested on suspicion of DUI on Friday after a fender bender in Tom’s River, New Jersey.

Artie Lange was noticeably quieter than usual on Monday morning’s broadcast, only peppering the on-air conversations with an occasional joke or cutting remark.  About two hours into the broadcast, Artie Lange finally broke his silence about Friday’s DUI.  After stating that: “for once I’m actually doing something sensible and listening to my lawyer and not talking about it,”  Artie Lange went on to tease the audience with a few details of theincident that catapulted him to the top of Google Trends on Friday, despite The Howard Stern Show having been off air for a full two weeks.

Artie Lange insists that he blew a 0.0 on the Breathalyzer test that he was given at the scene of the accident.  ArtieLange also reported that he was also given a urine test at the police station.  Artie Lange states that there were no illicit drugs in his system, and that all the analysts will find that could possibly explain his erratic driving is theantidepressant Lexapro.

Artie Lange spoke openly about his struggles with depression in his recent bestselling book “ Too Fat to Fish.”  Inthe past, the comedian has rejected the idea of taking antidepressants to treat his mood, despite his willingness to dabble in the spectrum of illegal substances.

But could Lexapro really be to blame for Artie Lange’s DUI?  Fans, friends and family members of Artie Lange are all thinking the same thing: the whole story sounds too fat to fishy.  In Artie Lange’s defense, the official website forLexapro lists among the drug’s safety precautions: “Patients should be cautioned about operating hazardous machinery, including automobiles, until they are reasonably certain that Lexapro does not affect their ability to engage in such activities.”  Although Artie Lange did not state how long he has been taking Lexapro, he did report that he started it “recently.”

Artie Lange has stated that he has “a lot to say” about Friday’s DUI arrest, and that he is looking forward to talking openly on the subject once his lawyer approves it.  Artie Lange is scheduled to appear in court on Friday, July 17th.

Author: Liz Brown

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SSRI: 100-500% Increased Risk of Heart Birth Defects If Taken In Early Pregnancy

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org): This new study SHOULD stop the Mother’s Act dead in its tracks! The Mother’s Act is designed to medicate pregnant and nursing mothers for depression and we know what they medicate them with – these drugs that they have just shown amazingly damaging effects upon the heart of the fetus!

ANY YOUNG WOMAN WHO INTENDS TO HAVE A FAMILY SHOULD BE WARNED OF THIS POSSIBILITY OF SERIOUS LIFE THREATING BIRTH DEFECTS IN HER OFFSPRING BEFORE EVER BEING STARTED ON AN SSRI ANTIDEPRESSANT!! Marketing these drugs to this age group should be considered criminal when you look at what this study shows to be the risks to the children born to these mothers.

And if you think this does not affect you, think again. You need to see what these children go through (if they survived their mother’s use of these drugs) throughout their lives due to their mother’s use of these drugs! Who do you think ends up paying the bills for the numerous reconstructive surgeries, the lifetime of medications and medical treatment? We do. All of us in higher insurance rates, disability payments, etc., etc., etc.

PLEASE CAREFULLY EXAMINE THE FOLLOWING RESULTS OF THIS STUDY AND SHARE IT WITH EVERYONE YOU KNOW!!! Doing so may spare at least one baby from this horror.

Here is just one small example: http://bigpharmavictim.blogspot.com Manie’s mother was given Paxil and assured it would be okay as so many mothers are told. Her infant son, Manie, was born with Transposition of the Great Arteries and had to have open heart surgery when he was only 8 days old. The surgery lasted 12 hours.
___________________________

Paragraph one reads: “If you take antidepressants such as fluoxetine (marketed as Prozac) early in your pregnancy, you may be doubling the risk that your newborn will be born with a heart defect, according to a new study.”

Paragraph four reads: “Along with fluoxetine, sertraline (marketed as Zoloft) and citalopram (marketed as Celexa) seemed to increase the risk more than others, as did using more than one antidepressant at a time, according to the report in the September 25th Online First issue of BMJ.”

Paragraph six reads: “Sertraline [Zoloft] more than tripled the risk, while citalopram [Celexa] more than doubled it. Using more than one SSRI nearly quintupled the risk of the heart defect.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSTRE58O39F20090925

Antidepressants in pregnancy up heart defect risk
Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:58am EDT Email | Print | Share| Reprints | Single Page[-] Text [+]

By Anthony J. Brown, MD

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – If you take antidepressants such as fluoxetine (marketed as Prozac) early in your pregnancy, you may be doubling the risk that your newborn will be born with a heart defect, according to a new study.

However, the vast majority of children born to women who take such antidepressants – known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – do not have such defects, the researchers are quick to note.

Earlier studies have tied SSRIs during pregnancy to heart defects, but also to even more serious birth defects. According to the new study of nearly half a million children born in Denmark between 1996 and 2003, however, only heart defects are likely to be associated with the antidepressants, note co-author Dr. Lars Henning Pedersen, from Aarhus University, Denmark, and colleagues.

Along with fluoxetine, sertraline (marketed as Zoloft) and citalopram (marketed as Celexa) seemed to increase the risk more than others, as did using more than one antidepressant at a time, according to the report in the September 25th Online First issue of BMJ.

Overall, SSRI use in early pregnancy, defined as 28 days before to 112 days after conception, doubled the risk of a particular kind of heart defect involving a piece of tissue that separates parts of the heart.

Sertraline more than tripled the risk, while citalopram more than doubled it. Using more than one SSRI nearly quintupled the risk of the heart defect.

However, the number of children born with such defects was still quite small: For about every 250 pregnant women who did not take SSRIs, one infant was born with the defect, while about two were born with the defect for every 250 women who took one SSRI, and four for every 200 mothers who took more than one.

Pedersen told Reuters Health that the results surprised the team.

Still, in an accompanying editorial, Dr. Christina Chambers, from the University of California, San Diego, comments that doctors and patients “need to balance the small risks associated with SSRIs against those associated with undertreatment or no treatment.”

SOURCE: BMJ, online September 25, 2009.

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ANTIDEPRESSANTS & THEIR CONNECTION TO FALSE MEMORIES OF SEXUAL ABUSE

NOTE BY Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org): Mackenzie Phillips has accused her deceased famous father Papa John of the Mamas and the Papas of sexually abusing her when they were high on drugs. Now if they were both high on drugs it could be possible, but I don’t buy it because it is SO EXTREMELY COMMON for those on antidepressants to make false accusations of sexual abuse!

Her step mother said she does not believe these accusations of abuse. She was obviously far closer to the situation that any of us and perhaps when she mentions Mackenzie’s “mental illness” we should pay attention to the MIND ALTERING DRUGS they are giving her.

Antidepressants produce horrifying nightmares, often sexual in nature, that are so vivid patients often begin to believe they are “remembering” something that happened to them when it is nothing more than the elevated serotonin levels producing the nightmares.

Of course their doctors as usual did not warn them to watch for that adverse reaction and yet another family is destroyed or another father’s or mother’s memory destroyed. Wake up to the real nightmare of these drugs and their impact upon our world! www.drugawareness.org

A man that I admired my entire life for his great contributions to the world in many areas and had great respect for was accused the same way by his own daughter who ALSO went on The Oprah show to discuss her new book on what her father supposedly did to her.

It did not matter at all that the entire family told everyone this woman was nuts and had no grasp on reality. Why should that stop Oprah?

So the woman was allowed to shatter this incredible man’s last few months of life by going public with her antidepressant-induced accusations. She even kidnapped her ailing father to force him to publicly confess what he had done to her. (Her father was so busy doing so much for the world that he would not have had a minute to do what she had accused him of anyway!!)

How absolutely ironically tragic is that years before I had given this man the very first copy of my book when it came out which has an entire chapter explaining this adverse reaction of False Memory Syndrome – a term never heard before the introduction of Prozac on the market.

Ann Blake Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org & www.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!”

WITHDRAWAL HELP: You can find the hour and a half long CD on safe and effective withdrawal helps here: http://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.

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!

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: http://www.spinner.com/2009/09/24/radio-stations-wrestle-with-playing-john-phillips
Radio Stations Wrestle With Playing John Phillips

Posted on Sep 24th 2009 5:15PM by James Sullivan
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Oldies radio stations around the country are debating whether to continue playing the music of one of the quintessential ’60s groups, the Mamas and the Papas, in the wake of Mackenzie Phillips’ allegations that she had an incestuous relationship with her father, group founder John Phillips.

“I just had a long discussion with our morning show team,” said Jay Beau Jones, program director of Boston’s WODS, “Oldies 103.3,” a long-running CBS Radio affiliate. On Friday morning, disc jockeys Chris Zito and Karen Blake will invite their audience to call in and talk about Phillips and his musical legacy. “Obviously, this is a horrific, car-crash type of story,” says Jones. “If the station plays ‘California Dreamin” or ‘Monday, Monday,’ my concern is the audience will have a negative reaction and turn off the radio.”

In contrast, Dan Allen, creator of Clear Channel’s “Real Oldies” format, says he doesn’t anticipate any lasting boycott of the band’s music. “If we stop playing them, who are we going to hurt?” he says. “I don’t think we can punish John Phillips,” who died in 2001.

If true, Allen adds, Mackenzie Phillips’ claims are “abhorrent. I have two daughters myself. But I don’t think it’s going to cause a backlash.”

After giving PEOPLE magazine excerpts from her new memoir, ‘High on Arrival,’ Mackenzie Phillips appeared on ‘Oprah’ and ‘Today’ this week, repeating her claim that her father raped her while both were under the influence of drugs, and that the two had intermittent sexual relations during the next 10 years.

“My father abused me, but he wasn’t a monster,” she writes. “He was a tortured man who led a tortured existence.”

John Phillips, the son of a hard-drinking ex-Marine, grew up in Alexandria, Va., breaking into music on the folk scene of New York’s Greenwich Village in the early 1960s. With two fellow folk veterans, Canadian Denny Doherty and Baltimore product “Mama” Cass Elliot, and a young Californian named Michelle Gilliam — who would become his second wife — he started the Mamas and the Papas. The folk-rock quartet’s combination of exuberant group vocals, saloon-style piano and lush arrangements by some of the West Coast’s best session musicians, led by drummer Hal Blaine, made the group a key part of California’s emergence at the center of the pop world.

Phillips was instrumental, along with producer Lou Adler, in the creation of the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, which introduced the Who, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin to the American mainstream. He wrote and produced the Summer of Love anthem ‘San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair),’ recorded by his colleague Scott McKenzie (the inspiration for Mackenzie Phillips’ name), with whom he would co-write another huge hit, the Beach Boys’ ‘Kokomo,’ in 1988.

Scoring 10 Top 40 hits in two years, the Mamas and the Papas had a notoriously rocky relationship behind the scenes. Phillips wrote one of the group’s biggest hits, ‘I Saw Her Again,’ in response to Michelle’s affair with Doherty (which, curiously, Doherty sang lead on).

After decades of heavy drug use — Phillips once claimed he injected himself with cocaine and heroin every 15 minutes for two years — “Papa John,” as he titled his autobiography, had a liver transplant in 1992. He died at age 65 in March, 2001.

Sainthood is not exactly a prerequisite for election to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as the Mamas and the Papas were inducted in 1998.

“We don’t have any problem playing music by other people who have done heinous things,” says Clear Channel’s Allen. “Rockers ‘n’ rollers aren’t always good boys.”

Even so, few rock ‘n’ roll images have been tarnished quite as badly as John Phillips’ this week.

Michelle Phillips, the bandleader’s second of four wives, said this week that she does not believe her stepdaughter’s allegations.

“Mackenzie has a lot of mental illness,” she told the Hollywood Reporter. “She did ‘Celebrity Rehab’ and now she writes a book. The whole thing is timed.” (However, Michelle’s daughter, Chynna Phillips, has stated she believes her half-sister Mackenzie’s allegations.)

Cammy Blackstone, a longtime on-air personality on San Francisco’s KFRC who now works at San Francisco City Hall, had a similar reaction. Having interviewed Mackenzie Phillips on the radio, she wonders why the former child star of the ’70s sitcom ‘One Day at a Time’ would feel compelled to divulge her story now.

When Blackstone was on the air, there were numerous episodes involving core Oldies artists — Phil Spector’s murder case, James Brown’s domestic problems, accusations of child molestation against Michael Jackson and Gary Glitter. “I don’t recall any listeners every calling and saying, ‘Why are you playing that child molester?” she says.

WODS’s Jones also wonders where program directors should draw the line when it comes to unsavory news about popular artists: “Do you stop playing songs by Phil Spector or Elvis? Maybe our listeners want to hear ‘California Dreamin” and remember the Mamas and the Papas as the hit machine they were. We said, ‘Let’s let the audience decide.'”

Radio corporations do tend to reassess their playlists when news stories break, says Blackstone. “After 9/11, we didn’t play ‘Great Balls of Fire’ or ‘You Dropped a Bomb on Me.’ You do have to be considerate about people’s emotions over what’s happening in the news.”

But in the case of the Mamas and the Papas, although John Phillips was the group’s acknowledged mastermind, most listeners aren’t likely to “make that connection,” says Blackstone. “It’s the song more than the group.”

Allen agrees. “The face of the Mamas and the Papas without a doubt was Mama Cass,” he says. “And she did nothing wrong.”

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WELLBUTRIN, Valium & Painkiller: Death: Overdose: New York

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org): I do wish doctors would learn that antidepressants and pain killers DO NOT MIX!!! They are deadly together and yet are so often prescribed together.

“Robert Guskind, the prolific yet troubled force behind the Gowanus Lounge Web site, died of “an accidental overdose” from a combination of prescription medication, the city’s medical examiner said.

Guskind’s March death was caused by “acute intoxication from the combined effects” of a painkiller and two antidepressants. He was 50 years old.

It took the medical examiner several months to complete the toxicology tests that found the painkiller hydrocodone, bupropion [Wellbutrin/Zyban] often used to help adults quit smoking), and diazepam (the generic name of Valium), circulating at lethal levels in Guskind’s system.”

http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/32/35/32_35_mm_guskind_death.html

September 2, 2009 / News / Carroll Gardens–Cobble Hill

Gowanus Lounge’s Guskind OD’d

By Mike McLaughlin
 Robert Guskind's death from an overdoseThe Brooklyn Paper

The Medical Examiner’s office now says Robert Guskind’s death from an overdose was accidental.

Robert Guskind, the prolific yet troubled force behind the Gowanus Lounge Web site, died of “an accidental overdose” from a combination of prescription medication, the city’s medical examiner said.

Guskind’s March death was caused by “acute intoxication from the combined effects” of a painkiller and two antidepressants. He was 50 years old.

It took the medical examiner several months to complete the toxicology tests that found the painkiller hydrocodone, bupropion (often used to help adults quit smoking), and diazepam (the generic name of Valium), circulating at lethal levels in Guskind’s system.

The three drugs are central nervous system depressants. They lead to drowsiness and, at high enough intake, can stop breathing.

It was not clear if Guskind had prescriptions for any of the drugs, but according to the assistant director of the emergency room at Long Island College Hospital, it would not be unusual for a doctor to administer them to a patient simultaneously.

“In the short course, I frequently prescribe [hydrocodone and Valium],” said Dr. Brian Blaufeux. Patients with back pain, for instance, could get the hydrocodone because it alleviates aching, and Valium, because it’s a muscle relaxer. “It’s certainly not uncommon for these to be prescribed together.”

Yet an inadvertent overdose is not a likely risk if the patients observe their recommended dosage, Blaufeux said.

“These two should not lead you to stop breathing,” he told The Brooklyn Paper.

But that appears to be what happened to the journalist, who was best known for his impassioned opposition to overdevelopment and obsession with discarded couches, which he diligently chronicled in photographs on GowanusLounge.com. In particular, he was fascinated with the transformation of Williamsburg, Coney Island and the area around the Gowanus Canal.

According to many, his death and, with it, the disruption of his popular Web site, have left a gaping hole in Brooklyn’s blogosphere.

One of his prophecies came to fruition in August when a warehouse near the Gowanus Canal partially collapsed.

“This thing has wall collapse written all over it,” the late great journalist said. He urged, “Do not go near this thing.”

©2009 The Brooklyn Paper

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CYMBALTA & DESIPRAMINE: Death Threats Made Against Judge: GA

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org): WHEN are these judges going to learn that when they court order these guys into these so called “substance abuse programs” that all they do is put them on antidepressants or atypical antipsychotics that are more dangerous than the illegal drugs they have been on?!!! Maybe when enough of the judges get death threats from the fellows they are doing this to they will finally begin to realize they have made the wrong treatment choice???

Paragraphs 11 through 14 read: “The defense’s first witness, Delaney, said Koldewey’s destructive state of mind was chemically induced.”

He testified that just days before making the threats, Koldeway was prescribed a sleep medication that interfered with other medications he had been taking.

The drug, desipramine [an older tricyclic antidepressant], can cause sudden hostility, panic attacks and aggressiveness when taken in combination with cymbalta, which Koldeway was also using, said Delaney.

“When you use these drugs together, you’ve just got to be careful,” said Delaney. “Patients should be monitored for reactions on a day-to- day basis.”

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-09-01/story/death_threats_on_brunswick_judge_blamed_on_faulty_drug_mix

Death threats on Brunswick judge blamed on faulty drug mix

The man accused of threatening a judge had a medication interaction, pharmacologist said.

By Carole Hawkins
Story updated at 8:24 AM on Wednesday, Sep. 2, 2009
BRUNSWICK, Ga. A Brunswick man accused of making death threats against a judge was suffering from a toxic prescription drug interaction, a pharmacologist testified Tuesday.

Tallahassee pharmacologist Marland Delaney Jr. said Matthew Koldewey was being treated with a “laundry list” of drugs when he threatened to kill Chief Judge Amanda Williams and halfway house director Chad Waters.

In January 2008, Koldewey threatened to take Williams out with a rifle and also twist her neck with his hands, according to language in the indictment filed against him. Williams had ordered Koldewey into a substance abuse program in lieu of jail.

Koldewey made the threats during a counseling session with Dale Tushman, a counselor at Gateway Behavioral Health Services who was treating him.

He also said he wanted to slit Waters’ throat and burn down Alpha House, where Koldewey was living while in treatment.

Assistant District Attorney David Peterson said the specific nature of the threats suggested Koldewey was serious.

Waters, who runs Alpha House, testified Tuesday that he took safety precautions in response to Koldewey’s threat. His boss placed a restraining order against Koldewey, and Waters spoke to his family and other men at Alpha House about the threat.

Waters also said the threat came unexpectedly.

“I was shocked,” he said when asked his reaction. “[Koldewey] had never said an unkind word to me before.”

Defense attorney Robert Crowe said Koldewey’s threats were angry thoughts said in confidence to a counselor to whom he had gone for treatment.

The defense’s first witness, Delaney, said Koldewey’s destructive state of mind was chemically induced.

He testified that just days before making the threats, Koldeway was prescribed a sleep medication that interfered with other medications he had been taking.

The drug, desipramine, can cause sudden hostility, panic attacks and aggressiveness when taken in combination with cymbalta, which Koldeway was also using, said Delaney.

“When you use these drugs together, you’ve just got to be careful,” said Delaney. “Patients should be monitored for reactions on a day-to- day basis.”

Delaney criticized the drug regimen Koldewey undertook from the time he had been jailed as “very high higher than most full-blown psychotics are given.”

He said the symptoms were a “warning bell” that drug levels in Koldewey’s body had reached toxic levels.

After the incident, Koldewey was sent to Georgia Regional Medical Hospital, where a doctor took him off desipramine.

“Three days later, he was better,” Delaney said. “They turned off the faucet.”

Koldewey is charged with two types of terroristic threats. One for threats against Chad Waters and Williams as individuals, which carries a sentence of one to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. The second, for making threats in retaliation against a judge, which carries a sentence of five to 10 years and up to $50,000 in fines.

The trial is expected to begin Thursday.

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ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Four Soldiers From the 1451st Transport Co. Kill Themselves

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org): How many soldiers do we need to lose to suicide before we wake up to the fact that the FDA has warned about increased suicide in those in this age group who take antidepressants??!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Paragraph 38 reads: “Even if a veteran seeks out that help, it might not be enough. It wasn’t in Blaylock’s case — or, for that matter, in any of the cases of the four members of the 1451st who came home and committed suicide. Each of the four made at least some effort to get help from the VA, and each was prescribed an antidepressant.”

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090902/NEWS/909020387

Day 4: ‘Where’s the line between people’s rights and enforcing help?’

Military, VA confront host of thorny issues in trying to prevent veterans’ suicides

By Konrad Marshall

Posted: September 2, 2009Read Comments(6)RecommendE-mail Print ShareA A If there is something that might help returning soldiers better adjust to civilian life — something that might help tame the inner demons of war — it is mandatory, intensive and long-term counseling.

It wasn’t required when Sgt. Jacob Blaylock and three other soldiers in the 1451st Transportation Company returned home nearly 2 1/2 years ago and later ended their own lives. Although some are receiving more counseling now, that follow-up work still is not required and, for various reasons, might never be.

There are numerous obstacles, but these are foremost: It’s difficult to determine how likely someone is to commit suicide — an issue made more difficult because soldiers often don’t seek help or acknowledge and discuss problems. Also, requiring extensive screenings and follow-ups could infringe on the rights of veterans who are now civilians.

The military and the Department of Veterans Affairs are left to perform something akin to mental health triage — a focus on the most obvious and severe cases. For the rest, it’s a quick assessment and an along-you-go, hope-for-the-best.

That works fine for many. But the VA and military have no effective way to monitor and counsel those whose anguish is more subtle — or purposely masked — whose depression deepens over time amid the nightmares of war and troubles at work or at home.

The military puts most of its effort into its demobilization process, required of all returning soldiers. The process is designed to prepare soldiers for a return to civilian life and to assess their physical and mental health.

When Blaylock and his comrades in the 1451st demobilized at Camp Atterbury, it was a three- to five-day process. Today, it’s a five- to seven-day process in which soldiers undergo mandatory reintegration briefings and one-on-one sessions with mental health counselors.

But it is also during demobilization that two competing interests emerge. Mental health workers want to make sure soldiers are OK. Soldiers want to go home.

“They ask you, ‘Do you have any issues?’ You say, ‘No,’ because a soldier wants to get home,” said Staff Sgt. Robert Mullis, an active-duty commander with the 1451st in Boone, N.C. “All these things they ask you about, the answer is ‘No,’ because you want to get home. Then you get home and you have medical issues or employment issues, or you figure out maybe you should have had counseling.”

Lt. Col. Timothy Holtke, director of Personnel and Civilian Affairs at Camp Atterbury, said the Army understands that and is getting better about probing each soldier’s mind-set.

“We want to dig a little deeper than ‘Hey, soldier, how are you doing?’ ” Holtke said. “If they’re having an issue, we want to pull it out of them.”

That said, Holtke and others acknowledged that soldiers will try to placate clinicians in order to finish faster.

“We know soldiers do that,” said Dr. Marsha Rockey, the only psychologist with the Department of Behavioral Health at Camp Atterbury, where more than 7,000 soldiers are processed each year. “Do we catch 100 percent of them? I’m sure we don’t. But we tell them: ‘Our goal is not to keep you; it’s to keep you safe.’ ”

Staff Sgt. Brian Laguardia is a national advocate for returning veterans and one of five former soldiers who did a national public service announcement with Tom Hanks for the group Welcome Back Vets. He also was a member of the 1451st and a friend of Blaylock’s.

Recalling the 1451st’s demobilization at Camp Atterbury, Laguardia said, “They did as little as they could to hold us back, to keep us from going home. Really quickly, they had us out of there. There’s a real need to make the transfer slower, more than a couple of weeks even.”

But there is a practical concern: Bringing troops home earlier to give them more time to demobilize would require calling up other troops more quickly.

Holtke said that already is a problem.

“Nobody anticipated that these contingency operations would go on as long as they have,” he said. “You have reserve soldiers going on third and fourth tours, which was just inconceivable 20 years ago.”

Mullis said another issue is the timing of demobilization. He advocates going home for two weeks, then being required to report to the demobilization site, “so you know what issues you’re facing.”

Dr. Cheryl Sweeney, who works every day with veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, understands this all too clearly.

“We live in a society that wants to be about peace and friendliness and understanding, and combat veterans — especially fresh combat veterans — are about protection and defensiveness and sometimes a lot of anger and hostility,” she said. “It’s hard to mesh those two realities.”

Rick Blaylock, Jacob’s father, and many others said they think there should be mandatory check-ins and behavioral screenings long after deployment, whether quarterly or every six months, to detect and treat symptoms that appear over time.

As it is, once they leave the military, the onus is on individual veterans to seek help.

And that’s not always the way of a soldier.

“When you come back from overseas,” Mullis said, “you’re a different creature than when you left. Things change in a year. It’s hard. Life’s hard. People see stuff. They experience stuff that changes them. There’s personal guilt.

“I think some don’t seek the help they need soon enough. Pride gets in the way. All your military life you’re told you’re strong enough.”

At Camp Atterbury, there are signs that try to cut through that culture: “Never Leave a Fallen Comrade: Buddies Can Prevent Suicide” and “Not All Wounds Are Visible.”

Laguardia supports the VA but thinks the Army should make it mandatory for soldiers to register there.

“Check in on them. That’s why you’re in charge,” he said. “Just like when you’re a sergeant and you come off mission and you say, ‘I know you’re exhausted right now, but you have to clean your weapons.’ I think there’s such a stigma on going to a mental health screening that they have to make it mandatory.”

But can they?

“In some ways, we do wish that we were able to do that,” said Jan Kemp, the national suicide prevention coordinator for the Department of Veterans Affairs. “In other ways, veterans have truly left the military, and their control over their own lives is important. I think we walk a fine line there.”

Sweeney, who is the Seamless Transition psychiatrist with the Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Indianapolis, agrees.

“So where’s the line between people’s rights and enforcing help?” she said. “I wish there were no pain in the world. But philosophically — not to mention practically — you’re kind of stuck.”

Kemp noted that a number of systems are in place to help veterans through their problems, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which has taken more than 150,000 calls in two years; the suicide prevention coordinators put in place at all VA offices; and the Seamless Transition staff designed to deal with veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Army has its own programs, such as the Yellow Ribbon campaign and Military OneSource — tools for checking up on soldiers and dealing with the issues they face. But all the programs are voluntary.

“That’s probably my biggest concern,” Rockey said. “I wish there was some system set up, because they don’t know what issues they’ll have in 30 days, 60 days, 90 days or 180 days.

“We try to tell them where to go, what their resources are, but when they’re coming through here (during demobilization), you see it — ‘La la la.’ ‘What do I have to do?’ ‘What’s my next checked box?’ — so how much they retain is a big question mark.”

Even if a veteran seeks out that help, it might not be enough. It wasn’t in Blaylock’s case — or, for that matter, in any of the cases of the four members of the 1451st who came home and committed suicide. Each of the four made at least some effort to get help from the VA, and each was prescribed an antidepressant.

Blaylock’s medical records indicate he was suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and possible traumatic brain injury, and that he was talking and thinking about suicide. His father thinks that should have been enough to “keep him off the streets.”

Sweeney acknowledged that circumstances often suggest a suicide could have been prevented somehow.

“But how?” she asked. “The bottom line is that a veteran can only be forced into 72-hour supervised care if they are imminently suicidal. Not like, ‘Some day we think this could turn bad.’ More like, ‘Today. If we let you go home we’re afraid you’ll kill yourself today.’ ”

Although it may be difficult to know just when a soldier such as Blaylock becomes imminently suicidal, it was clear in his case that he had issues.

The psychologists at the VA knew. His friends, fiancee and members of his family knew. His fellow soldiers knew. He knew.

And it appears the Army knew, almost from the beginning of his service.

Blaylock entered the Army at age 17 and was discharged two years later after suffering from depression and being diagnosed with a personality disorder that was not discussed further in his medical records.

He was recalled for active duty four years later. But during training, more than one fellow soldier told Army mental health staff they had concerns about Blaylock’s state of mind.

Blaylock was deemed fit to serve, however, and by all accounts served his country well.

Ultimately, the more difficult question may be whether Blaylock was fit to return home. The timing of the explosion that killed his two friends — and left him riddled with guilt — couldn’t have been much worse.

In Iraq, he had developed close relationships with people he thought understood what he had been through. He was especially close to those, like himself, who were members of the Individual Ready Reserve — soldiers who were brought back to fulfill military commitments.

Leaving Iraq meant leaving the war, but it also ripped a fragile, sensitive young man from the people he trusted most — his IRR brothers — at a time when he needed them the most.

Sgt. Riley Palmertree, 29, served in the 1451st and was a friend of Blaylock’s. He is building a library of material for a documentary about the suicides. He has heard people ask whether it would have been prudent to keep the unit in Iraq for a month or two after the deaths of Sgts. Brandon Wallace and Joshua Schmit so close to the end of their deployment.

He even answers the question as part of a treatment he wants to submit to magazines:

“We could know the future no more than we could have stayed together forever in Neverland. I know for some it must be hard to understand, how such a hellish place could be likened to that, but it wasn’t the place; it was the IRR. We were the place. I do know that with us, Jackie was safe. Of that I am certain.”

Palmertree likened the situation to “boys at camp.”

“I think Jackie craved that as much as I did, as much as the rest of us did,” Palmertree told The Star. “He loved it, every moment of it, every time we wrestled with him. He was like a little dog nipping at our heels.”

Sweeney said there is no simple solution to the problem — that keeping a unit together for the sake of one at-risk soldier, even for a few weeks, could put other soldiers at risk.

“Who’s to say the best thing for a given soldier might not be to go home?” Sweeney said. “That’s the challenge that command faces.

“You’ve got to keep in mind you’re dealing with millions of people, and automatically that means you’re dealing with thousands of answers. What’s right for one person is going to be the worst possible thing for someone else.”

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DEPRESSION MED: Heat Stroke: Death: Arizona

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org): I grew up in Arizona and can tell you that this was clearly negligent homicide, if not murder, whether she was on antidepressants or not. But the antidepressant use would have made her more susceptible to both dehydration and to the heat.

Another thing that should be noted is that since she had been treated for mental illness for years the Parkinson’s she was being medicated for was likely antidepressant-induced. Parkinson’s symptoms were the very first reaction ever seen with the use of SSRI antidepressants.

Paragraph five reads: “The report also turned up traces of medication in Marcia Powell’s blood for treating Parkinson’s disease and depression.”

http://www.kpho.com/news/20656048/detail.html

Autopsy: Heat Killed DOC Inmate

Marcia Powell’s Core Temp. Rose To 108 Degrees, Report Says

POSTED: 4:39 pm MST August 31, 2009
UPDATED: 8:57 am MST September 1, 2009

PHOENIX — An autopsy performed on a state prison inmate who died after spending nearly four hours in the Arizona heat said it was heat exposure and dehydration that killed her.

Marcia Powell, 48, died last May, about 10 hours after she collapsed in an outdoor, unshaded holding cell at the Perryville prison in Goodyear.

Her body’s core temperature had risen to 108 degrees, according to the newly-released autopsy report.

The autopsy revealed Powell had first and second-degree burns on her face, chest and arms.

The report also turned up traces of medication in Powell’s blood for treating Parkinson’s disease and depression.

Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan said at the time Powell was left in the cell nearly twice as long as she should have under department policy. He placed three officers on administrative leave pending a criminal investigation.

Ryan said Powell’s cell was 20 yards from a staffed control room from where corrections officers should have been watching her.

Powell arrived at the Perryville prison in August 2008.

Powell was placed alone in the cell while being moved to an onsite detention unit after seeing a prison psychologist. Ryan said a disturbance at the detention unit prompted Powell’s placement in the holding cell. He would not elaborate on the nature of the disturbance.

Ryan said officers gave Powell bottled water, as required under prison policy. Investigators will try to determine how much water she was given and whether she drank it.

Officers did not remove her after two hours as they should have done under department policy, according to Ryan.

“It is intended to be temporary,” Ryan said. “It is not intended to be a place where they are held for an inordinate amount of time.”

Powell had been in and out of state prisons and had a long history of mental illness, Ryan said.

Reporter Greg Gurule contributed to this story.

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ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Emotional Blunting: British Journal of Psychiatry

NOTE BY Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org): Studies like these make me crazy!!!! Why? Talk about OBVIOUS!!! Why do you need a study?! Here are their reasons for doing so and what they intended to learn. Continue reading and I will tell you where they are missing the mark with this one.

Paragraphs three & four read:

Background:
Some people who take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants report that their experience of emotions is ‘blunted’. This phenomenon is poorly understood.

Aims:
To understand patients’ experiences of this phenomenon.

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy CONTINUED:

1. Are emotions and consciousness blunted when you are under anesthesia?

2. The SSRI antidepressants are almost identical to the dissociative anesthetic, Serynl, first introduced in 1957 by Parke Davis Pharmaceutical. It was accompanied by studies showing it to have a “large margin of safety in humans.” Today we know the drug as PCP, Angel Dust, etc. Law enforcement, not physicians, got the drug pulled from the market due to the high number of extremely violent outbursts caused by the drug.

3. Patients coming off SSRI antidepressants commonly report that they feel as if they are coming out from under anesthesia.

4. Many patients taking the antidepressants report not being able to bond to their own babies due to this emotional blunting when given an antidepressant for Post Partum Depression after birth.

5. Patients have also reported stopping the use of the antidepressants because of the emotional blunting (for years these have been known among patients as the “I don’t give a damn” drugs). I recall one patient coming to me years ago and telling me she got off her antidepressant because she realized that she could drive off the road with her children in the car and care less. Nothing mattered.

So, my question is, if you are putting someone on antidepressants that will over time put you gradually into an anesthetised state, wouldn’t you expect “emotional blunting”?!

http://bjp.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/abstract/195/3/211

The British Journal of Psychiatry (2009) 195: 211-217. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.108.051110
© 2009 The Royal College of Psychiatrists

Emotional side-effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: qualitative study

Jonathan Price, DPhil, MRCPsych, Victoria Cole, MSc and Guy M. Goodwin, FMedSci DPhil

University of Oxford Department of Psychiatry, The Warneford Hospital, Oxford, UK

Correspondence: Jonathan Price, University of Oxford Department of Psychiatry, The Warneford Hospital, Oxford OX3 7JX, UK. Email: jonathan.price@psych.ox.ac.uk

Declaration of interest

J.P. has received grants and honoraria from Servier and is a former shareholder in a UK company marketing a computerised CBT package for depression. G.G. has received grants from Sanofi-Aventis and Servier in the past and recent honoraria from AstraZeneca, BMS, Eisai, Lundbeck and Servier. He is a current advisor for AstraZeneca, BMS, Lilly, Lundbeck, P1Vital and Sanofi-Aventis, and a past advisor for Servier and Wyeth.

Funding

Servier, the funders, were able to comment on initial study design, but had no role in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, and no role in the writing of the manuscript. Servier have a research programme for the development of psychotropic compounds, including antidepressants. Although they were able to comment on the final manuscript, no changes were introduced as a result of their comments, and they had no influence on the decision to submit the paper for publication. The researchers were, therefore, independent of the funders.

Background

Some people who take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants report that their experience of emotions is ‘blunted’. This phenomenon is poorly understood.

Aims

To understand patients’ experiences of this phenomenon.

Method

Qualitative study, gathering data through individual interviews, a group interview and validation interviews; and searching patient websites for relevant posts.

Results

There was strong evidence that some people taking SSRIs experience significant emotional symptoms that they strongly attribute to their antidepressant. These emotional symptoms can be described within six key themes. A seventh theme represents the impact of these side-effects on everyday life, and an eighth represents participants’ reasons for attributing these symptoms to their antidepressant. Most participants felt able to distinguish between emotional side-effects of antidepressants and emotional symptoms of their depression or other illness.

Conclusions

Emotional side-effects of SSRIs are a robust phenomenon, prominent in some people’s thoughts about their medication, having a demonstrable impact on their functioning and playing a role in their decision-making about antidepressant adherence.

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