ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Murder-Suicide: Woman Kills Husband, 2 Year Old Son

How sickening that this horrific antidepressant-induced murder/suicide could happen right in the same city where a jury found eight years ago that ONLY TWO PILLS of the antidepressant Paxil were the main cause for Donald Schell to shoot his wife, daughter, infant granddaughter and then himself!

WHY DID THE LOCAL MEDIA ALLOW THE TRAGIC WARNING BY THE SCHELL FAMILY (AT THE COST OF SO MUCH INNOCENT BLOOD) TO LEAVE THE PUBLIC EYE LONG ENOUGH FOR ANOTHER SIMILAR TRAGEDY TO HAPPEN??????!!!!!!!!!! HOW LONG DO WE ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN AND DO NOTHING?! WHERE IS THE MEDIA RESPONSIBILITY TO WARN THE PUBLIC?! IS IT BURIED UNDER THEIR LARGE ADVERTISING ACCOUNTS FROM PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES?!

Sorry to shout, but people are dying horrible deaths and no one seems to care. After 20 years of witnessing so many senseless deaths you start shouting. PLEASE encourage your local media to warn of this possibility with these drugs. If they need more information have them contact me.

Dr. Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org & www.ssristories.drugawareness.org
Author of Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our
Serotonin Nightmare (Order #)

Paragraph three reads: “In a toxicology test, forensic pathologist Dr. Patrick Allen found opiates, tranquilizers, anti-depressants and pain killers in the woman, according to the autopsy report.”

Paragraphs seven and eight read: “Luna said the woman did have some anti-depressants that were prescribed, and that she had a history of such medication.

“There’s no prescription for the (opiates and morphine),” Luna said Wednesday. “You can surmise she got it from other sources.”

http://www.wyomingnews.com/articles/2009/09/10/news/19local_09-10-09.txt

Some of the many prescription meds in Joy Hofer’s system were prescribed, some weren’t, surmised the coroner.

By Michael Van Cassell
mcassell@wyomingnews.com

CHEYENNE – A woman who authorities say shot her husband and killed her 2-year-old son had a cocktail of prescription drugs in her system when she took her own life on July 24.

On Wednesday, the Laramie County Coroner’s Office released results from the autopsy performed on 31-year-old Joy M. Hofer.

In a toxicology test, forensic pathologist Dr. Patrick Allen found opiates, tranquilizers, anti-depressants and pain killers in the woman, according to the autopsy report.

Some of those drugs were in her blood at levels ranging from twice to potentially 1,200 times the therapeutic level, the report shows.

Laramie County Coroner Marty Luna said there were “high amounts of opiates and morphine” in her system.

“She should have been shut down,” he said. “I don’t know how she functioned.”

Luna said the woman did have some anti-depressants that were prescribed, and that she had a history of such medication.

“There’s no prescription for the (opiates and morphine),” Luna said Wednesday. “You can surmise she got it from other sources.”

Her husband, Kelly J. Hofer, 28, and son Gunnar Hofer, 2, were both found July 25 in at the family’s residence in the 4700 block of Hickory Place. Autopsies indicated Joy M. Hofer killed them.

Kelly Hofer died from a gunshot wound to the back of his head; Gunnar Hofer died from suffocation and strangulation, according to autopsies.

Luna has said evidence suggested Kelly Hofer died first, and that he and Gunnar died July 24.

Bruises were found on the child’s neck and face as well as lidocaine, an anesthetic or numbing agent, in his blood stream, an autopsy report shows.

The autopsy report for Joy M. Hofer said she suffered a gunshot to the right side of her head.

Cheyenne Police Detective Cathleen Trujillo said Wednesday that she is awaiting test results for gunshot residue kits and fingerprints from the state crime laboratory.

“When I have those, I’ll finish the report,” she said.

Luna said he is continuing an investigation into why this all happened.

“If I can get close to answering that question, then I want to do that,” he said

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ANTIDEPRESSANT: Murder-Suicide Intent: Man Plans to Kill his Family & Self: Oh

Paragraph three reads: “The man had lost his job, was on medication for depression, was having marital problems and was depressed about not being able to support his newborn baby.”

Paragraph five reads:  “The man, who eventually put down the weapon and was taken into custody, later said he had intended to kill his wife and his child and have a shootout with police to end his own life, officers said.”

http://www.vindy.com/news/2009/aug/29/liberty-officer-honored-for-preventing-suicide/?newswatch

Published: Sat, August 29, 2009 @ 12:00 a.m.

STAFF REPORT

LIBERTY Capt. Toby Meloro of the Liberty Police Department was named Ohio’s 2009 Crisis Intervention Team Officer of the Year at the annual convention of the Ohio Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in May.

Meloro was recognized for his handling of an incident June 10, 2008, in Liberty Township in which a man had locked himself in his garage with the intention of killing himself, according to a NAMI newsletter.

The man had lost his job, was on medication for depression, was having marital problems and was depressed about not being able to support his newborn baby.

Meloro, a negotiator for the Violent Crimes Task Force, began talking with the man, who held a shotgun under his chin for more than 90 minutes in his garage as Meloro talked to him.

The man, who eventually put down the weapon and was taken into custody, la- ter said he had intended to kill his wife and his child and have a shootout with police to end his own life, officers said.

The man has gotten mental-health treatment, is back with his wife and family and says he owes his life to the Liberty Police Department, the newsletter said.

CIT is an effort between law enforcement and the mental-health community to help law- enforcement officers handle incidents involving people with mental illness.

In Trumbull County, 95 police officers and 11 other professionals have received CIT training since February 2006.

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ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Murder-Suicide: 81 Year Old Man Kills Wife & Self: En…

Note From Ann Blake-Tracy: I do not know if I can tolerate reading another one of these stories!
This last week I went to the Iowa State Fair for the first time with my daughter and her family who were visiting. While riding the trolley through the fair the man sitting across from me asked an elderly couple as they got off how many years they had been together.
They answered that it was 53 years. And he wished them the best for their next 53 years together.
They smiled and said “Thank you.”
As we drove on I looked at the man across from me and said, “As long as neither of them take an antidepressant they should do okay.” And I went on to share with them how many of the absolutely horrifying reports we are getting of elderly couples, married for many years, killing one another.
I then returned home to open this report of yet another horrific tragedy for a couple who had been married a few years longer than the couple I had just met on the trolley  . . . there is just no excuse for this to continue! How sad! I is NORMAL for a man who has worked all of his life to become depressed if he has to sell his business. It is NOT a reason to medicate him!
What an absolutely horrific way to end a life of 60 years together. I hope their children know what really happened in the loss of their parents instead of one woman I met after one of my lectures who came forward crying. As she reached me she said, “I cannot thank you enough for helping me to finally have answers to why my father killed my mother and then himself 20 years ago while taking one of the older antidepressants!”
Dr. Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness

Website: www.drugawareness.org & www.ssristories.drugawareness.org
Author: Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare
& CD or audio tape on safe withdrawal: “Help! I Can’t Get
Off My Antidepressant!”
Order Number:

Paragraph seven reads:  “The court heard how Mr Mann became depressed after he sold his business in 2000 and from 2002 to 2005 was placed on anti-depressants, and again in 2008 after a reoccurrence of the mental illness.”

http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/Depressed-pensioner-bludgeoned-wife-to.5548006.jp

Depressed pensioner bludgeoned wife to death before drowning himself

Published Date:
12 August 2009
By Charles Heslett

A pensioner bludgeoned his wife of almost 60 years to death before drowning himself in the bath.

Police discovered the body of retired sales rep Doreen Mann, 80, sprawled in the living room of the house she shared with husband Kenneth.

The retired factory owner, 81, was found dead upstairs face down in a bath full water wearing only his vest and underpants.

Officers took away a hammer, a craft knife and another knife from the scene at Foxroyd Lane, Thornhill Edge, Dewsbury, after the alarm was raised by a visiting mental health nurse on December 23 last year (2008].

An investigation was launched at the time by West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide & Murder Inquiry Team.

But Detective Sergeant Ian Lawrie told Wednesday’s inquest at Huddersfield Coroner’s Court that no-one else was being sought in connection with the death of the couple, who were both born in Leeds and had been married for 57 years.

The court heard how Mr Mann became depressed after he sold his business in 2000 and from 2002 to 2005 was placed on anti-depressants, and again in 2008 after a reoccurance of the mental illness.

On December 18, 2008, he and his wife were visited by psychiatrist Dr Vinood Shukla and a psychiatric nurse, the court heard.

A psychiatric nurse came to the red-bricked home called Kendoreen, where the couple had lived for 21 years, at 2.30pm on December 23.

After getting no answer from the front door apart from the couple’s barking collie dog, the nurse saw a bathroom light on and called police.

Detectives found the two knives and the hammer close to Mrs Mann’s body.

Her cause of death was later found to be a blow to her head and cut wounds to her neck and forearms.

Mr Mann’s corpse was found in an upstairs bathroom, face down in a full bath – his cause of death was given as self-drowning.

Barbara Moore told the inquest three weeks before her sister’s death Doreen had said she feared her husband might harm her.

West Yorkshire Coroner Roger Whittaker described the deaths as a “double tragedy”.

He recorded a verdict that Mrs Mann was unlawfully killed and that her husband drowned.

Mr Whittaker said he was satisfied that the balance of Mr Mann’s mind was disturbed at the time of his death and “that imbalance…was present at the time of the death of his wife“.

Mr Whittaker added that Mr Mann had given no indication on December 18 that he intended to harm his wife and that Mrs Mann had raised no similar concerns.

But the coroner said lessons “had been learned” by the mental health trust involved.

A South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust spokeswoman said: “The Trust re-iterates its sincere sympathies to the family and others affected by these tragic deaths.

“The circumstances have been thoroughly investigated, and we are grateful to the family for their input into this.

“Sadly, we cannot change the tragic events that happened but we can learn from them and a number of changes have been made as a result.”

These included: Improved systems for referrals between services and exchange of information; Improved training for staff on assessing risk; Improved record keeping following home visits.

The spokeswoman added: “The investigation findings have been shared with the family and we are continuing to offer support as appropriate.”

The full article contains 574 words and appears in n/a newspaper.
Page 1 of 1

  • Last Updated: 12 August 2009 4:14 PM
  • Source: n/a
  • Location: Leeds

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ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Murder-Suicide in 2004: Family Outrage Over Memorial: …

Paragraph 16 reads:  “Frank Larkin recently had been prescribed anti-depressant medicine, which his son believes played an important role in pushing him to shoot Striblen and himself.”

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-truck-murder-northwestern-11aug11,0,4254468.story

Moving trailer memorializes company founder: Gunman in murdersuicide

Vehicle’s message outrages family of slaying victim

By John Byrne Tribune Reporter

August 11, 2009

The message “In memory of Frank Larkin” may not mean a thing to the legions of Northwestern Wildcats football fans who stream past the North Shore Van Lines trailer parked outside Ryan Field on game days.

But for Nancy Striblen, the words are a painful reminder of the man who fatally shot her sister, Dorothy Striblen, then killed himself in 2004 in what authorities called a murdersuicide. Dorothy Striblen and Larkin, who was divorced, had been in a relationship.

Striblen wants Larkin’s name removed from the trailer, which sits outside the stadium as part of the sponsorship deal between the team and the moving company Larkin founded.

“Our family had finally moved on. For us, it’s like she got killed all over again,” said Striblen of Wheeling, who discovered the memorial about eight weeks ago. “It’s a total slap in the face.”

The episode apparently has proven jarring as well for the Larkins.

Somebody recently vandalized Frank Larkin’s former wife’s van with the spray-painted slogan, “In loving memory of Dorothy Striblen,” said her son, Jim Larkin. His mother’s garage was also spray-painted with a profane epithet, he said.

Jim Larkin, who co-owns North Shore Van Lines, said his mother reported the damage to Cook County police. Sheriff’s officials could not confirm the report.

“If somebody was upset, they should have come and talked to me. It’s my company, and the memorial was my decision,” Jim Larkin said. “My mother didn’t have anything to do with it.”

If a member of the Striblen family had called him about the message, Larkin said he would have considered removing it, but not now, given what happened, he said.

“Now I have no desire to do that,” he said.

Nancy Striblen, 37, said she didn’t know anything about the vandalism.

“It could have been anybody,” she said. “So many people are outraged about this.”

The Striblen and Larkin families have known each other for decades, she said.

One of Nancy Striblen’s first jobs after graduating from high school was working for the company, which Frank Larkin founded in 1969.

Frank Larkin, 58, was divorced and in a relationship with Dorothy Striblen, 41, a secretary at the business, when both were found fatally shot in the company’s offices near Northbrook on the night of May 10, 2004. The Cook County medical examiner’s office classified Striblen’s death as a homicide and Larkin’s as a suicide.

Frank Larkin recently had been prescribed anti-depressant medicine, which his son believes played an important role in pushing him to shoot Striblen and himself.

The memorial to his father was painted onto the trailer the next year, Jim Larkin said.

Northwestern University spokesman Chuck Loebbaka said he didn’t know whether the university’s sponsorship agreement with the company would allow the school to order the memorial removed from the trailer, which sits on university property.

Those decisions belong to officials in the athletic department, Loebbaka said.

Michael Wolf, director of media services for the Northwestern athletic department, said this weekend he did not know enough about the situation to comment.

Tribune reporter Georgia Garvey contributed to this report.

jebyrne@tribune.com

Copyright © 2009, Chicago Tribune

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ANTIDEPRESSANT, PAIN KILLER & ALCOHOL: Husband Kills Wife of 29 yrs & Self: TX

Note from Dr. Tracy: Antidepressants and pain killers SHOULD NOT be used
in combination! I absolutely cannot believe how common this is that doctors
will prescribe these drugs together and then add alcohol on top of that?!

Also the Physicians Desk Reference states that antidepressants can cause a
craving for alcohol and alcohol abuse.
Also, the liver cannot metabolize the antidepressant and the alcohol
simultaneously, thus leading to higher levels of both alcohol and the
antidepressant in the body.
_________________________________________________

Paragraph five reads: "Edwards father, Carl Edwards of Longview told the
East Texas News that his son was taking pain and depression medication and
routinely drank. ‘He would drink tequila in the evenings and we all know
alcohol and drugs don’t mix,’ said Edwards shortly after returning from
delivering his granddaughters to their maternal grandparents."

_http://www.ktre.com/Global/story.asp?S=10781274&nav=2FH5

_ (http://www.ktre.com/Global/story.asp?S=10781274&nav=2FH5)
_Husband kills wife and himself with children in home_
(mip://02e30f08/default.html#)
Connie Mae Edwards was apparently shot by her husband, who then killed
himself

By Donna McCollum – _bio_
(http://www.ktre.com/Global/story.asp?S=9747103&nav=menu118_10_2) | _email_ (mailto:dwiggins@ktre.com)

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) – New information on a murder suicide investigation
that happened around 1:30 Thursday morning. The normally quiet ‘Village
Gate’ subdivision off Park Street in Nacogdoches was awakened by the sound of
gunfire and screaming children.

Today the neighborhood has returned to its peaceful nature, but neighbors
are still wondering what made Carlton Wayne Edwards shoot and kill his
wife, Donnie Mae Edwards. The 46 year old woman was shot twice with a handgun,
the same one Edwards used on himself. All this happened with the couple’s
two young daughters in the same house.

"The older daughter, she was terrified last night when it first happened,"
Art Wheeles, a neighbor said. "Then she got her senses together and then s
he was real alert. She knew what she was talking about. She gave the
police department a real good description of everything that happened. Both of
them were coping with it quite well and they knew whatever happened, they
couldn’t undo it."

Tonight the children Wheeles would voluntarily take to Vacation Bible
School are with an older sister and maternal grandparents in Mississippi.
Wheeles also volunteered with another neighbor to clean up the blood spill left
in the hallway. "We didn’t want the family to return for the girl’s things
and see this," explained Wheeles. Following an autopsy, their parents will
be buried in Mississippi.

Edwards father, Carl Edwards of Longview told the East Texas News that his
son was taking pain and depression medication and routinely drank. "He
would drink tequila in the evenings and we all know alcohol and drugs don’t
mix," said Edwards shortly after returning from delivering his granddaughters
to their maternal grandparents.

The Edwards are SFA alum’s. Mr. Edwards just got a food delivery job. His
wife was a dietician with Aramark at SFA. They were married on Christmas
day, 29 years ago. The couple had recently moved back to Nacogdoches after
selling a home in Mississippi. According to the older Edwards, his son and
daughter-in-law were experiencing financial difficulties, yet preparing to
build a new house. Edwards said, "I’m afraid you’re going to see more of this
kind of thing as the economy worsens."

©2009 KTRE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

2,171 total views, 1 views today

ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Assault of an officer: Australia

Note from Ann Blake-Tracy: This sounds too familiar to the Donald Schell case in
Wyoming that went to trial after he took Paxil for two days and then shot
and killed his wife, daughter, infant granddaughter and himself. The jury
ruled in that case that the two antidepressants were the main cause of that
tragic murder/suicide.

Cases like this immediately make me wonder about the P450 2D6 liver enzyme
that is never tested for in patients before giving them an SSRI. There are
about 7 – 10% of the population who lack that liver enzyme because
genetically they did not inherit it. Without the enzyme you cannot metabolize an
antidepressant and you hit toxic levels rapidly.
____________________________________________________________

Paragraph four reads: "Lawyer Ian Pilgrim said that Warren intended to
plead guilty and had been under significant personal and financial stress. He
had started taking anti-depressants two days before the incident, Mr Pil
grim said."

_http://www.frasercoastchronicle.com.au/story/2009/07/22/assault-accused-giv
en-bail/_
(http://www.frasercoastchronicle.com.au/story/2009/07/22/assault-accused-given-bail/)

Assault accused given bail
22nd July 2009

©istockphoto/antb

A MAN who allegedly bashed a female police officer with a pick handle
after she went to his home to attend a domestic dispute was released on bail
yesterday.

Gregory Paul Warren, 38, was charged with assault occasioning bodily harm
while armed and serious assault after allegedly attacking two officers at
Urraween on Sunday afternoon.

He was subdued using capsicum spray.

Lawyer Ian Pilgrim said that Warren intended to plead guilty and had been
under significant personal and financial stress. He had started taking
anti-depressants two days before the incident, Mr Pilgrim said.

Prosecutor Sergeant Kathryn Stagoll opposed bail because of Warren’s
unpredictability and volatility. â

1,205 total views, 1 views today

DEPRESSION MED: Mother Kills her 7 Month Old Twins: Attempts Suicide: …

First four paragraphs read: “Police are investigating reports the mother of twins found dead inside a Perth home was suffering depression.”

“Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Fyfe said prescription drugs for the woman were found alongside the unconscious mother and her seven-month-old twins, who media reports have named as Sophie and Lachlan.”

“Police believe the woman may have killed her son and daughter before attempting to take her own life.”

“Det Sen Sgt Fyfe said family members had told police the mother had been suffering postnatal depression and been prescribed drugs for treatment.”

http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-national/dead-twins-mother-was-depressed-report-20090707-dakd.html

Dead twins’ mother was depressed: report

Aleisha Preedy
July 7, 2009 – 1:49PM

Police are investigating reports the mother of twins found dead inside a Perth home was suffering depression.

Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Fyfe said prescription drugs for the woman were found alongside the unconscious mother and her seven-month-old twins, who media reports have named as Sophie and Lachlan.

Police believe the woman may have killed her son and daughter before attempting to take her own life.

Det Sen Sgt Fyfe said family members had told police the mother had been suffering postnatal depression and been prescribed drugs for treatment.

He said police had ruled that no one had forced entry into the house and the incident was being investigated as an apparent murder suicide.

“We are investigating reports the mother was suffering postnatal depression,” Det Sen Sgt Fyfe told reporters on Tuesday.

“We have been unable to confirm that at the moment.

“It appears she may have taken an overdose of prescription drugs but until later today when the toxicology reports are out, I can’t confirm that.”

He said the distraught father had been sedated and police hoped to speak to him later in the day.

The mother remained in a critical but stable condition in Royal Perth Hospital.

Major crime squad detectives were called to the home at the end of a cul-de-sac in Flintlock Street, Cloverdale about 3.30pm (WST) on Monday.

The twins were the couple’s only children.

© 2009 AAP

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Murder-Suicide on Zyban

“But after going on Zyban something went terribly wrong.”

 

We have a close friend who went on Zyban nearly 2 years ago to quit smoking. He was the nicest guy you could ever know. He was unselfish – often taking in homeless people into his own home and helping them out until they were on their feet again. If a neighbor needed help – he was the first one to lend a hand.

He was also a single dad who was raising his 8-yr. old son on his own. He also had a 3-yr. old daughter by a following relationship that failed. The little girl lived with her mom.

But after going on Zyban something went terribly wrong. He felt so much anxiety about his little girl, because her mommy was a drug addict. The next thing we knew, he was all over the news on TV and in the papers.

He had taken his 2 kids camping out of town and attempted a murder suicide, which resulted in suffocating the girl and slitting the boys throat and slitting his own wrists. The boy lived but the girl died. He suddenly came to himself and realized what he had done and quickly drove to the nearest town to a hospital to try and save his son. All he was wearing when he arrived at the hospital was his undershorts.

He underwent psychiatric assessment before the trial and they said he was totally sane. Yet they failed to admit that the Zyban had anything to do with it. Now he is serving 15 years in Jail for the death of his little girl and the trauma that his son had to face.

I feel so awful – I don’t think he should be in jail. And the worst of it is – the jail will not even allow him any psychological counseling to help him deal with this tragedy.

And he is still smoking!

Heartbroken in Canada

 

7/23/2001

This is Survivor Story number 14.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

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3/17/2001 – Doctor Links Viagra to Five Cases of Blindness

I have made the statement before that Viagra is a very dangerous drug and the
only good thing about it is that it will give Pfizer the funds they need to
pay off all of their Zoloft wrongful death suits while it remains to be seen
which new Pfizer drug will bring in the funds to pay off all of the Viagra
damage suits.

It appears the serious physical effects have begun to surface in spite of
most major drug company’s ability to suppress this type of information.

A Washington State man claimed Viagra drove him to attack a woman with a
hammer soon after the drug was released. And I just investigated the case of
a police officer who committed a murder/suicide while on Viagra. It will be
interesting to see how many more reports begin to come in as the public
becomes more aware of the serious effects of this new wonder drug.

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition For Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/htx/nm/20010312/hl/viagra_blind_1.html

Monday March 12 12:07 PM ET

Doctor Links Viagra to Five Cases of Blindness

By Edward Tobin

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A US ophthalmologist says there
appears to be a very small risk that men taking the
impotence drug Viagra could suffer permanent vision
loss, but the firm that makes the drug on Friday
played down the reported threat.

Howard Pomeranz, director of neuro-ophthalmology at
the University of Maryland Medical Center, said he
knows of five men across the United States who were
diagnosed with permanent vision loss by doctors after
taking the impotence drug. More than 10 million people
have taken the drug since it was approved in 1998.

The condition, called ischemic optic neuropathy, is
caused after blood flow is cut off to the optic nerve
in the eyeball. It usually occurs in people with
diabetes, hypertension and other vascular disorders.

A spokesman for Pfizer Inc., which makes Viagra,
dismissed Pomeranz’s observations, which were first
presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology
Conference in Dallas in November. The company
spokesman told Reuters that the three-year old product
is not a threat to its users.

“From all clinical experience with Viagra, there have
been no cases of treatment-related blindness reported,
and reports of serious visual problems have been
extremely rare,” said Geoff Cook, the Pfizer
spokesman.

Viagra, which is available in 100 countries, is known
to cause some temporary vision problems such as
blue/green color distortions in some patients.

Blood Flow To Optic Nerve Constricted

Pomeranz said the five men diagnosed with the
condition after taking Viagra had a low cup-to-disk
ratio, which is a way doctors measure the small
circular indentation where the optic nerve connects to
the eyeball.

The low cup-to-disk ratio means that the blood vessels
and nerves are tightly bundled together into the small
space in the back of the eye, according to a
University of Maryland release about the issue.

“We know that Viagra regulates a chemical in the body
to constrict the arteries. The constriction may cut
off the blood flow to the optic nerve, especially in
people with a low cup-to-disk ratio, where the blood
vessels and nerves are tightly bundled,” Pomeranz
said in the release.

Pfizer’s Cook associated potential permanent visual
damage with the known risk factors for men taking the
drug, such as diabetes, and not the drug itself.

“In the population of men who take Viagra, many men
with diabetes and other conditions have significant
associations with long term visual problems,” he
said.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which
reviews reports of drug side effects, said it had not
received any complaints of sudden blindness in
patients taking Viagra.

“We do not have any reports of people losing their
sight like that,” FDA spokeswoman Susan Cruzan said.

“We would take any such reports seriously, and we
encourage health professionals to submit any such
information to us,” she added.

Leonard Yaffe, analyst with Banc of America
Securities, said more information was needed before
evaluating what effect the report would have on
Pfizer. “I’d want to know how often the men were
taking the drug, for how long a period of time?” he
said. “You need to know a lot more than these five
guys had this problem.”

Pomeranz, who is also assistant professor of
ophthalmology and neurology at the University of
Maryland School of Medicine, called for more research
into the matter.

“People who take Viagra who have this particular
configuration of their optic nerve at least need to be
aware that this is a potential problem that may occur
if they use this medication,” he said. “Whether this
is a significant increased risk, I don’t have the
statistics to back that up.”

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07/19/1999 – My antidepressant made me do it! – Hartman estate says

The following article makes its first appearance today (7/19/99) on
salon.com:

My antidepressant made me do it!
The Hartman estate says Zoloft was to blame for a murder-suicide.
By Rob Waters

(http://www.salon.com/health/feature/1999/07/19/zoloft/index.html)

My antidepressant made me do it!

The Hartman estate says Zoloft was
to blame for a murder-suicide.

– – – – – – – – – – – –
By Rob Waters

July 19, 1999 | It was May 1998, and comedian Phil Hartman and his wife, Brynn, were planning a party. Their son, Sean, was soon turning 10 and they wanted to make it special with a bash at Planet Hollywood. Brynn was inviting her son’s friends, including some of his classmates from his school in Encino.

In mid-May she called Kathryn Alice, the mother of one of Sean’s friends, to get her address. Sean and Calvin, Kathryn’s son, played together and had visited each other’s homes. Through their sons, the moms had gotten to know each other, too. They chatted on the phone, and Brynn confided that things were tough. “She said she was barely hanging on by a thread,” Alice recalls. “I told her things will get better, but she said ‘I don’t know.'”

The invitation soon arrived in the mail, but the birthday party never happened. On May 28, at about 2:30 a.m., Brynn Hartman returned home from a night out with a female friend. As Sean and his sister, Birgen, slept in their rooms, Brynn entered the master bedroom and shot her sleeping husband three times. Four hours later, with police in the house and friends listening outside, Brynn lay down on the bed next to Phil’s body and pulled the trigger once more, killing herself.

How could this happen? Why did a woman who was, by all accounts, a devoted and protective mother, deprive her children of their parents? In the days after the killings, the tabloids and mainstream press ruminated over the problems in the couple’s often stormy relationship, speculating that Phil was preparing to leave her, or that she had relapsed into an old cocaine addiction. People magazine reported that she had recently started drinking again after 10 years of near-sobriety and had checked into an Arizona rehab clinic earlier in the year. Indeed, toxicology reports cited in press accounts indicate that at the time she died, Brynn Hartman had both cocaine and alcohol in her system.

But the couple’s family and their lawyers have another answer: Zoloft made her do it.

In late May 1999, one year after the deaths, attorneys for the Hartmans’ estate and children filed a lawsuit against Pfizer, the pharmaceutical giant that makes Zoloft, a new-generation antidepressant similar to Prozac. The suit contends that Brynn Hartman’s violent outburst was caused by a rare but previously documented side effect of the medication that left her agitated, jittery and “out of touch with reality.” It is one of more than 170 wrongful death lawsuits filed against the makers of these new antidepressants since Prozac first hit the market 12 years ago.

The Hartman suit also charges that Arthur Sorosky, the psychiatrist that supplied Brynn Hartman with Zoloft, was not really her doctor and never conducted an evaluation. Sorosky, the complaint alleges, was actually her son Sean’s doctor and gave Brynn medication samples — the kind doled out to physicians by drug company salesmen — “without the benefit of a history and physical examination [or] diagnosis.”

Sorosky’s attorney, Joel Douglas, told Salon Health that his client and Brynn Hartman had “a doctor-patient relationship” and that Sorosky had prescribed the Zoloft in a proper and appropriate way. “From what I understand,” he added, “with cocaine and alcohol in her system, you don’t need to look for Zoloft to understand what happened.”

Original report on murder/suicide: http://www.cnn.com/SHOWBIZ/TV/9805/28/hartman/

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