ANTIDEPRESSANTS & ALCOHOL: Death: Ireland

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

Death by misadventure!” What is that? “Death by medicine” is
far more accurate! When antidepressants CAUSE overwhelming cravings for alcohol

or Dipsomania (an uncontrollable urge to drink alcohol) why was this case not
determined to be murder by medicine? That is what it was. When the drug causes
you to mix a deadly combo that takes your life then it is murder by medicine in
my book!

______________________________________
First three paragraphs read:  “AN A&E consultant has
warned of the “lethal” consequences of combining alcohol and prescription
medication
following the death of Bertie Ahern’s
nephew from a mixture of drink and anti-depressants.”

“Dr Chris
Luke said people were admitted every day suffering from the effects of legal
drug and alcohol cocktails. Dr Luke, a consultant at Cork University Hospital,
said legal drugs were as dangerous as illegal drugs
and the public needed to be made aware of the dangers”.

“He was
commenting after an inquest found that Dylan Ahern, the son of former Dublin
City Councillor Maurice Ahern, had been killed by a combination of
anti-depressant medication and alcohol.
A jury returned a verdict of

death by misadventure.”

http://www.herald.ie/national-news/booze-and-pills-alert-after-bertie-tragedy-2139007.html

Booze and pills alert after Bertie tragedy

Thursday April 15 2010

AN A&E consultant has warned
of the “lethal” consequences of combining alcohol and prescription medication
following the death of Bertie Ahern’s nephew from a mixture of drink and
anti-depressants.

Dr Chris Luke said people were admitted every day
suffering from the effects of legal drug and alcohol cocktails. Dr Luke, a
consultant at Cork University Hospital, said legal drugs were as dangerous as
illegal drugs and the public needed to be made aware of the dangers.

He
was commenting after an inquest found that Dylan Ahern, the son of former Dublin
City Councillor Maurice Ahern, had been killed by a combination of
anti-depressant medication and alcohol. A jury returned a verdict of death by
misadventure.

Toxic

“Every week on our observation ward at CUH, we
have several cases of people who have poisoned themselves with booze and
whatever was in the medicine cabinet,” Dr Luke said.

“When giving talks
to parents, teenagers and colleagues, I always start by saying the first drug is

alcohol and it’s always the first chapter in any story of substance abuse.

“Nine out of 10 times when people poison themselves, it involves
alcohol. We would rarely get a case of an overdose of anti-depressants or other
drugs without alcohol being consumed first.

Alcohol also sensitises
parts of the body like the heart, brain and stomach lining, making them more
susceptible to being affected by other drugs.

“It amplifies the toxic
effect of each compound so the synergy they have is greater than the sum of
their parts in their effect on the body.”

Dr Luke said the effect could
be either a more intense tranquilising effect, or a paradoxical stimulation,
leaving people either almost comatose, or “off their heads”.

He said a
large number of people who self-harmed with alcohol and drugs did so either
accidentally or impulsively.

They can become aggressive, violent and
paranoid and can suffer from a rapid heart rate, high blood pressure or
“electrical chaos” in the brain, leading to seizures or even heart attacks and
fatal strokes. “Booze and drugs are always a dangerous combination,” he
added.

hnews@herald.ie

– Andrew
Phelan

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CELEXA: Murder-Suicide: Two Doctors Say Celexa Caused Tragedy: Ireland

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org):
Always keep in mind that 7% – 10% of the population lack the liver enzyme system necessary to metabolize the SSRI & SNRI antidepressants. Because of this 7% – 10% of the population will reach toxic levels quickly due to this inability to break the medications down. Although there is a simple test that would reveal who those 7% – 10% are BEFORE they are prescribed one of these drugs it is never given to patients. Anyway in 20 years of working with thousands, I have yet to find one who reports ever having one of these P450 2D6 liver enzyme tests run before a prescription is written for an antidepressant.
___________________________________
Paragraphs four through seven read:  “The jury refused to bring in a verdict of suicide on account of the evidence given both by Professor of Psychiatry David Healy of the University of Cardiff and assistant state pathologist Dr Declan Gilsenan, who underlined the dangers of suicidal and homicidal acts arising from the use of SSRIs.”

“Professor Healy stated clearly that in a small but significant minority of patients using SSRIs can give rise to violent behavior including self-harm, suicide and violence to others, even up to killing them. He said that this was independent of any condition the patient might have, as the same symptomatology had been observed in healthy volunteers.”

“Dr Healy criticized the existing warnings for patients, as they give the impression that such feelings and behaviours are part of the patient’s complaint, and because they are not strong enough. ”The risk arises entirely from the treatment,” he said.

“The jury was obviously strongly influenced by his evidence and that of Dr Gilsenan, who testified to “toxic” levels of citalopram [Celexa] in Clancy’s blood, the active ingredient in the antidepressant Cipramil [Celexa] which he had been taking in the period leading up to the night of horrific violence in Bray in which he and Seb Creane died and Seb Creane’s brother, Dylan, and the latter’s girlfriend were lucky to escape with their lives.

http://psychiatricnews.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/irish-jury-implicates-ssri-antidepressants-in-deaths/

The Wellbeing Foundation

NEWSLETTER­ 15 April 2010

Foundation demands action from Minister after verdict of ‘not suicide’ by jury in Shane Clancy inquest

THE WELLBEING FOUNDATION has demanded that Mental Health Minister John Moloney act immediately to put in place proper protections for patients, their families, relatives and friends following the ‘not suicide’ verdict in the Shane Clancy SSRI-inspired double death case. The Irish Medicines Board is still funded by the drug companies, still remains one body despite the recommendations of an Oireachtas committee, and still issues weak and ineffective patient information leaflets with inadequate warnings of the dangers of the SSRI antidepressants which drove Shane Clancy to kill a college friend and then stab himself to death.

Please help our campaign to get effective protection for patients: write or email Mr Moloney supporting the three demands we set out in the press release.

Mr John Moloney, TD | Minister of State  Department of Health and Children, Hawkins House, Dublin 2 email

minister_moloney@health.gov.ie

**************************

Verdict in Shane Clancy inquest is a call to action by Minister John Moloney

THE OPEN VERDICT returned by the jury at the inquest into the death of Shane Clancy is| a call to action on the part of Government, and particularly the Minister for Mental Health, John Moloney, to strengthen both the patient and doctor warnings relating to SSRI anti-depressants.

The jury refused to bring in a verdict of suicide on account of the evidence given both by Professor of Psychiatry David Healy of the University of Cardiff and assistant state pathologist Dr Declan Gilsenan, who underlined the dangers of suicidal and homicidal acts arising from the use of SSRIs.

Professor Healy stated clearly that in a small but significant minority of patients using SSRIs can give rise to violent behaviour including self-harm, suicide and violence to others, even up to killing them. He said that this was independent of any condition the patient might have, as the same symptomatology had been observed in healthy volunteers.

Dr Healy criticised the existing warnings for patients, as they give the impression that such feelings and behaviours are part of the patient’s complaint, and because they are not strong enough. ”The risk arises entirely from the treatment,” he said.

The jury was obviously strongly influenced by his evidence and that of Dr Gilsenan, who testified to “toxic” levels of citalopram in Clancy’s blood, the active ingredient in the antidepressant Cipramil which he had been taking in the period leading up to the night of horrific violence in Bray in which he and Seb Creane died and Seb Creane’s brother, Dylan, and the latter’s girlfriend were lucky to escape with their lives.

Both doctors also stressed that the high levels of the drug were not necessarily due to an overdose, but could have resulted from a build-up of citalopram resulting from it being slower to metabolise in Shane Clancy. Prof Healy recommended that the warnings in respect of this class of drugs be strengthened to emphasise that the drug can cause the problem, and that feelings such as suicidal ideation, agitation, restlessness, hostility and others are caused by the drug rather than by  the patient’s diagnosed condition. He stated that there should be compulsory monitoring of patients prescribed SSRIs at the starting period of their treatment, as the danger period is generally within the first two weeks and usually within the first days of taking the drug.

The Wellbeing Foundation supports Prof Healy’s recommendations. We wish to point out, yet again, that while in the USA and other countries the warning about possible suicidal and violent bahaviour is compulsorily displayed at the top of the patient information leaflet, in large, bold type and enclosed in a black box with a heavy bold rule all round, in Ireland the Irish medicines Board allows a mild warning of suicidal ideation to be included far down the text of the patient information leaflet and without any form of emphasis.

Dr Michael Corry, our founder, was hounded by the psychiatric establishment for stating last October that if Shane Clancy had not been taking SSRIs, this appalling tragedy, which has deeply affected two families and wide circles of friends and relations, would not have happened. A jury has now accepted that these drugs were implicated in these deaths and injuries which occurred during an outburst of insane violence.

We call on Minister John Moloney to move instantly on this matter in order to protect other young people and their families, and indeed anyone who may be prescribed SSRIs, from the possible consequences of taking these drugs. We call on Minister Moloney to do the following right away:

1. Instruct the Irish Medicines Board immediately to introduce a strong Black Box warning, similar to those in the USA and Canada, on the patient information leaflets for all SSRIs, SNRIs, and similar antidepressants; and also to strengthen the prescribing information for doctors to include a similar warning and to stress the need for close monitoring.

2. Make it obligatory for all prescribing doctors to carefully monitor all patients prescribed these same classes of drugs, including setting at least one return appointment on the date of prescription, so that the doctor can check the patient for any tell-tale signs and take corrective action.

3. We also ask the Minister to implement the relevant recommendations of the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children in 2007, which he himself chaired at the time. The findings of this inquiry into the use of pharmaceuticals in Ireland included a finding that the structure and funding of the Irish Medicines Board were seriously flawed, and recommended that the IMB be broken up into two bodies, one to deal with licencing and one with pharmacovigilance or post-licencing safety monitoring. The committee also recommended that the present funding of the IMB, by the drug companies, should end and that this body should receive its funding from central government sources.

If further tragedies of this type are not to occur in future, with all the pain and suffering that they visit on parents, uncles, aunts, wives, husbands, or partners, other relations and friends of the victims, the Minister must act promptly to ensure that the public receives strong and adequate information on the real dangers posed by taking these drugs, and that anyone who is prescribed them is protected by a compulsory monitoring system.

Dr Aine Tubridy, Clinical Director of the Wellbeing Foundation, and Mr Basil Miller, the Foundation’s Director of Communications, are both available for further comment or interview.

To contact Dr Tubridy, call 01 2800084.

To contact Basil Miller, call 086 8182082

April 16, 2010 – Posted by Philip Barton | Blogroll | | No Comments Yet

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ANTIDEPRESSANTS: DID A DRUG LEAD TO KILLING? IRELAND

http://www.irishtimes.com/

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Did a drug lead to killing?

KATE
HOLMQUIST

Shane Clancy’s mother and stepfather alleged on ‘The Late Late Show’ that
antidepressants caused him to stab three people, and then himself. However, no
medical research has ever linked these drugs to homicide

ON AUGUST 16th, 22-year-old Sebastian Creane from Bray, Co Wicklow, was
fatally stabbed by Shane Clancy, who also injured Sebastian’s brother Dylan and
Jennifer Hannigan, Clancy’s ex-girlfriend. On October 2nd, Shane Clancy’s mother
and stepfather, also from Bray, appeared on The Late Late Show to
argue that in their view Shane’s behaviour was so uncharacteristic that it could
only be explained by the fact that he had been taking antidepressants.

“The conversation gave the impression that antidepressants increase the risk
for homicide. There is absolutely no link between taking antidepressants and
homicidal behaviour,” says Dr Jogin Thakore, clinical director of psychiatry in
the HSE’s Dublin North Central district.

Dr Justin Brophy, a consultant psychiatrist in Co Wicklow agrees, adding: “I
would be extremely concerned that following The Late Late Show ,
people who have been prescribed antidepressants would stop taking them, and that
people who need to take them in order to function in their lives will feel
stigmatised, and may even hide the fact that they are taking them. The stakes
are very high here because people’s lives and people’s health will be seriously
compromised and endangered by misleading and imbalanced advice.”

After hundreds of scientific studies and independent evaluation by the US
Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the EU and the Irish Medicines Board (IMB),
antidepressants have probably come under more scrutiny than most drugs on the
market. The worst you can say of them is that in the under-25 age group they are
linked to increased “suicidal ideation” – as in thoughts of suicide – but they
have not yet been shown to cause suicides.

Yet there are many people who refuse to accept the evidence. Just type
antidepressants violence” into your web browser, and you will find hundreds of
sites with anecdotal claims that troubled adolescents (keep in mind that the
mind is adolescent until the age of 25 or even 30) became violent after taking

antidepressants.

The College of Psychiatrists in Ireland refused an invitation to participate
in the The Late Late Show on October 2nd.

“Making antidepressants the focus of this tragic situation was a serious
hijacking of two families’ grief and of the facts, while the facts of the case
have yet to be established. We thought it was unethical to parade the issue of

antidepressants in front of a bereaved family who had been hijacked for the sake
of the argument. We also had misgivings that another brave family was not
represented,” says Dr Brophy.

Dr Brophy believes the “sensationalistic” misinformation peddled by media and
special interest groups about antidepressants amounts to “scientific bullying”.
He says, “A small group of people with a particular agenda aim to completely
decimate the facts, manipulating methodologies for their own ends. The legal
industry is also heavily invested. Those interests are not declared and
expressed in websites and sensationalist media reports. It represents a form of
scientific bullying.”

Dr Michael Corry stated on The Late Late Show that he had seen
Shane Clancy’s parents twice as their psychiatrist and was in the green room
with them beforehand, he then said of antidepressants that: “The side effects
which are recognised can tip somebody into suicidal behaviour and homicidal
behaviour. This is well documented.” Two other doctors, both GPs, were also in
the studio audience and did not say on air that there is no scientific proof of
Dr Corry’s view.

When asked whether the item was intended by Clancy’s parents to be a warning
on antidepressants, based on their own beliefs, RTÉ responded that: “As a

policy, RTÉ Television doesn’t discuss the motivations of guests in
participating in any of our shows – that is for them to elucidate. These
discussions are private to the parties involved. However, we can clarify that Ms
Fennell’s concerns about the possible effects antidepressant drugs had on her
son had already been publicly aired – in a letter to the Gerry Ryan
Show
(Wednesday 16 September).

“We felt that the Clancy’s beliefs and comments would lead to a wider
discussion on the approaches to treating depression in Ireland. The item
included mental health experts in the audience who could contribute expert
opinion on antidepressants in particular and mental health care provision in
general. Two expert opinions were offered which differed from Leonie Fennell and
Tony Donnelly’s position and one supported their thesis. Advice was offered to

any viewers currently on antidepressant medication to seek medical advice before
changing any aspect of their treatment. The Aware helpline number was also put
up on screen at the conclusion of the item during The Late Late
Show
on Friday night, for any viewers affected by the discussion.”

IN IRELAND , a reliable source of information is the
IMB, which has the role of evaluating every drug that companies seek to put on
the market here. Evidence presented by the pharmaceutical industry is only one
of the research sources reviewed by the board. Epidemiological studies and
“surveillance” – alerts from doctors prescribing the drug – are also taken into
account. The IMB doesn’t approve anything that the EU and the FDA haven’t
thoroughly investigated first, and it then reviews these investigations with an
objective eye.

In 2006, the IMB reviewed all the current evidence and wrote a warning that
comes on a leaflet inside antidepressant prescription boxes. It states: “If you
are depressed and/or have anxiety disorders you can sometimes have thoughts of
harming or killing yourself. These may be increased when first starting
antidepressants, since these medicines all take time to work, usually about two
weeks but sometimes longer.” It adds that “if you are a young adult, information
from clinical trials has shown an increased risk of suicidal behaviour in adults
aged less than 25 years with psychiatric conditions who are treated with an
antidepressant.”

The warning refers to suicidal behavour, not actual suicides. In August, the
British Medical Journal published a study showing that the risk of
suicide in under-25s on antidepressants was about one in 12,000 – but there was
absolutely no risk of homicidal behaviour. It hasn’t turned up in a single
study.

Some people believe doctors and the pharmaceutical companies work
hand-in-glove to suppress the evidence. Says Dr Brophy: “If there was any
implication of concealment of the truth, the IMB would know it. The facts are
very open and accessible. No one is trying to conceal anything. . . . To imply
[we] are beholden to the pharmaceutical industry is a misrepresentation. We
don’t prescribe based on any information from the pharmaceutical industry – we
get it from the IMB.”

AN ESTIMATED 400,000 people in Ireland suffer with
depression. The WHO has estimated that by 2030, depression will overtake heart
disease as the illness causing the most distress both in terms of individual
suffering and human productivity. Stigmatising depression, by linking its
pharmacological treatment to violent behaviour, can only prevent people from
seeking help, Dr Thakore warns.

How many Irish people take antidepressants? It’s a difficult figure to come
by. More than 1.1 million prescriptions annually for new-generation
antidepressants are paid for by the general medical scheme (GMS), and another
100,000 under the direct payment (DP) scheme.

Dr Harry Barry, a GP and cognitive behavioural therapist, who was in The
Late Late Show
audience that night, says prescription drugs are an
important part, but not all, of the solution for depression. Teenagers,
especially, need someone to listen to them with empathy so that they can tell
the truth about how they feel. Many young people with depression, he says, are
fearful of their parents and friends knowing that they are not the wonderful,
sociable person they think they are; this fear of letting people down can lead
to suicide.

Lifestyle changes are also important – avoiding alcohol and illegal drugs,
improving diet and exercising. The focus should not be on antidepressants, but
on the services, Dr Barry believes. According to a recent report, only 12 per
cent of adolescents with mental health problems have access to a specialist
service.

This article appears in the print edition of the
Irish Times

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ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Murder-Suicide: 22 Year Old Kills Young Man & Self: Ireland

Paragraph eleven reads:  “Gardai are investigating whether Shane Clancy, who murdered Seb Creane (22) before killing himself, may have misused anti-depressants that had been prescribed for him just a week before the tragic night.”

http://www.herald.ie/national-news/city-news/family-deny-shane-followed-ex-on-thailand-trip-1868625.html

Family deny Shane followed ex on Thailand trip

By Claire Murphy

Tuesday August 25 2009

Relatives of killer Shane Clancy have insisted that the disturbed young man took a recent trip to Thailand to relax, and have hit out at suggestions that he was following his former girlfriend Jennifer Hannigan.

Shane, who broke up with his girlfriend Ms Hannigan (22) six months ago, planned an extended trip to Australia to rest and broke the journey with a stop off in Thailand.

Shane’s cousin Chris Clancy, who lives in Thailand with his wife, told the Herald that this was to be a time for Shane to get his thoughts together and relax in the idyllic setting of the Asian country.

“I live in Thailand and I was contacted by Shane before he arrived,” Chris said. “He said he would be stopping off here before he travelled on to Australia, Fiji and America.

“He said he needed a break away from Ireland for a bit and he just wanted to relax on a remote beach,” he explained. “He did not follow that girl [Jennifer Hannigan] to Thailand at all,” insisted Mr Clancy.

Mr Clancy added that Shane seemed to be improving during the holiday and his relieved family believed his depression was lifting.

“Shane had a great time with myself and my Thai wife in Bangkok. He was a bit depressed but seemed to be getting happier as time went by,” Chris said.

“I sent him to my friend’s beach resort, which is two hours south of Bangkok, and he had a good time there also,” he revealed. “My friend said he just relaxed on the beach and was reading a book about the new American president.”

The image is in stark contrast to the disturbed young man who unleashed a savage attack on his ex-girlfriend Jennifer, her boyfriend Seb Creane and Seb’s brother Dylan on August 23.

Earlier this summer, Shane called off a charity fundraising trip to India citing personal reasons.

Gardai are investigating whether Shane Clancy, who murdered Seb Creane (22) before killing himself, may have misused anti-depressants that had been prescribed for him just a week before the tragic night.

Earlier this week Shane’s father, Patrick Clancy, spoke of the devastation and confusion he felt when gardai turned up on his doorstep to say that he had been involved in a stabbing incident.

“I still don’t believe my son was in his right mind. Shane could have never lived with what he had done,” Mr Clancy said. “Shane was a pacifist and I don’t think he knew what rage or anger was and when it hit him, it was too late. A few seconds and everything was gone.”

clairemurphy@herald.ie

– Claire Murphy

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