Memory Loss on Zyban (Wellbutrin)

“I just wanted to share this, so sister/fellow sufferers won’t have to settle for these drugs.”

 

I actually have been on Zyban (Wellbutrin) just recently and in trying to get off of it, am having that same dang “EBP” that I did with Effexor!! Dizzy, running into things, moody/crying, and this weird thing like you’d expect to find with someone who’s had a stroke. I KNOW what I want to say, but I can’t bring the picture into my mind, so I can’t bring up the name. If that makes sense. I don’t mean words that I can’t think of because they’re stuck in my long-term memory, but words like “Popsicle” and “scone”. Even worse are words that are abstract, such as “audible” and “trepidation” (of which I am having quite a bit of, I must say!). Have you heard of anything like this with others on Buproprion? And if so, when does it pass?? DOES it pass???

I have always been very articulate, having started reading at age 3, and have a love of language and words. I can go look up a word in the dictionary, and 20 minutes later finds me still at the book, actually reading it! I am very concerned about this side effect/withdrawal, this “dead zone” created in my brain.

I know Effexor effects epinephrine, norepinephrine and serotonin…..which is the same thing the cocaine effects! I do know that PTSD sufferers seem to have damage to the endocrine system, and the epinephrine and norepinephrine are involved. Effexor, initially, worked miracles for me (I had tried EVERY kind of therapy known to help). I found a therapy called EMDR, which worked miracles……..LASTING miracles. I just wanted to share this and pass it along, so sister/fellow sufferers won’t have to settle for these drugs when they just might have a much better avenue! A lasting one, WITHOUT SIDE EFFECTS.

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 63.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

499 total views, 0 views today

Attempted Murder-Suicide on Zyban

“Now he is serving 15 yrs. in jail for the death of his little girl and the trauma that his son had to face.”

 

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 yrs. 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 on top of all this – the jail will not even allow him any psychological counseling to help him deal with this tragedy.

Ironically he is still smoking!

 

8/22/2001

This is Survivor Story number 24.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

537 total views, no views today

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

405 total views, no views today

A Nurse Speaks out about Prozac, Effexor and Zyban

“I have discovered many, many horrifying things about these drugs.”

 

An online friend recommended Ann Blake-Tracy’s book, which I haven’t gotten or read yet, but definitely will within the next few days. I decided to look for info on Dr. Tracy on the web, and discovered the ICFDA site. I have just read several personal accounts of others’ SSRI nightmares, and now find myself in tears, and in need of sharing my story, which it is very painful to do and probably will be for life.

I and my wife are both registered nurses. In late 1997, I had gone through a bad bout with the flu and decided I should seek help to quit smoking. My doctor at the time prescribed Zyban. I had almost quit (down from 2-3 packs/day to a couple of cigarettes per day) when I developed erosive and infective esophagitis and duodenitis, along with other ulcers. At that time, I stopped taking the Zyban, although I can’t recall for sure why.

A few months later, my wife said that my moods seemed better when I was on the Zyban, so the doc wrote a scrip and put me on Wellbutrin. Unfortunately, he did not suggest, nor did we consider, more conventional treatments, such as therapy or counseling. I regret that he, or we, had considered such, because the esophagitis was the first (physical) problem, and the least of many problems, both physical and psychological, which lay ahead.

After a time, while seeing a new physician, a discussion over the fact that the Wellbutrin did not seem to be helping any more ensued. So, the new physician changed me to Prozac. It wasn’t very long after the Prozac that I woke up one morning, went into the kitchen to fix myself some coffee, and passed out right there in the kitchen for no known reason. Our oldest Daughter, nine years old at the time, came running to the kitchen, where she discovered me trying to climb up the island in the center of our kitchen.. I was totally disoriented for a few moments, had a splitting headache, and had managed to fracture a toe during the fall. Although I managed to get reoriented, I was left with a totally debilitating headache.

Over the next four weeks, during which I was unable to go to work, I was hospitalized twice, underwent some horrendous and totally useless treatments for a diagnosis of “intractable migraines,” and the only thing that relieved the headache at all was Demerol and Phenergan. Of course, this left me just as unable to work as the headache itself. Near the fourth week, my wife noticed a “knot” in my cervical area. She went to the neurologist’s office with me, where I told one of the two doctors treating me for the migraines about the knot. When the doctor seeing me that day told me there was no knot (???), I fired him on the spot and told the nurse I wanted to see his partner. The second physician not only located it, but administered a trigger-point injection that almost totally relieved the now four-week old headache completely within an hour or so.

I returned to work within about a week, feeling relief from the headaches. But a friend suggested I quit the hospital where I had a good paying, although highly stressful job, and I did so, rather impulsively, without realizing the further financial devastation I was about to cause our family. Only part of the four weeks I had been out of work were covered by leave time, which had set into motion a serious financial crisis for our family.

Within months, I was out of a good paying, full-time job, the business proposition my friend had made turned out to be nothing but hollow promises, bill collectors were breathing down our necks, we were in danger of losing the home we had not long before purchased, and I was sinking into a bout of depression that most people could never imagine.

The next serious visit with my regular doctor included a discussion about the fact Prozac was not only not working, but that I was becoming extremely tired in the afternoons. So he suggested switching to Effexor, which he said “gives most patients sort of a boost.” I agreed, again, without any consideration or discussion of therapy or counseling. Looking back, depression was sort of logical. Within the last three years, I had been through a very bitter divorce, remarried, adopted the two stepdaughters that mean the world to me, purchased a house, gone through major health problems, walked away from a good job, had a promise of a great business partnership vanish into thin air, and was approaching total financial ruin. Perhaps I did have one or two reasons in all of that to be just a little depressed? But the story gets worse, much worse.

My sexual activity with my wife had begun to fall off considerably, and the activity we did engage in was plagued with strange problems I had never encountered before. I was having trouble functioning sexually. Ejaculation was becoming more difficult to achieve and I was experiencing painful sensations when aroused. My temper was getting more and more out of control — I developed a very short fuse, to say the least, resulting in all sorts of angry behavior that was totally new to me. Even worse, I began abusing my children. Even though I felt terrible after mistreating them, it was as though there was a second, horrible person inside of me, which I could not control, yet at the same time I kept thinking I could, or would at least be able to when the medications gained control over my depression once and for all. The medications never did. And it almost put an end to my life.

I was already having more frequent bouts of self-destructive behavior following episodes of losing my temper and in other ways losing control with the people I loved, most notably wife and our two daughters. I was oscillating between days of wanting to hide out from the world and days of mania, thinking I could do or achieve anything. Simple, everyday bumps in the road of life became mountains I felt unable to scale. This past December, our oldest daughter revealed to my wife the horrors of what I had become while my wife was away working at night as a nurse. In order to do what any loving mother would probably do, my wife told me the relationship was over and that I was never to return to our home again. Even worse, she told me that I would not see our daughters again until they were both grown and could decide on their own whether or not they wanted to see me again.. This was almost the fatal blow.

I started walking in the rain, with the temperature not much above freezing outside. It was then that I most seriously considered putting an end to my life physically — I was already dead emotionally. All that was left was an empty shell. The real me seemed lost forever, although I really had no idea where I had gone or why. I was walking along a major highway and saw an 18-wheeler coming downhill toward me. “Here is the perfect way to end it all and do it quickly,” I thought to myself. I stepped onto the pavement, into the path of the oncoming rig. He blew his horn and moved into the opposite lane of the highway where there was, fortunately for him, no oncoming traffic. Almost in disgust, I began to step forward a few more steps to once again place myself in the path of the truck. But something else suddenly crossed my mind: I actually had a mental image of our two daughters, screaming “I’m sorry, Daddy,” at my funeral. I knew this was not the way to end it. I began walking along the side of the road again, still hearing the air horn of the 18-wheeler blasting in my ears. I then thought of simply walking into the woods, sitting down by a tree, and actually allowing myself to die of hypothermia, which I was already beginning to experience in the almost freezing rain. My hands and feet had gone almost totally numb, with what had been intense pain now beginning to give way to oncoming frostbite.

A passing logger saw me on the side of the road and pulled over to offer me a ride. Two other vehicles had already done so, but I had waved them on saying “I’m fine, just leave me alone.” But something had changed. Perhaps the cold rain and intense pain I was feeling was jolting me back to reality. Unfortunately, the reality I was experiencing was neither hopeful nor acceptable to me at the time. I climbed into the truck and the driver took me to the nearest store, where I gave the attendant a dollar bill in exchange for dialing the long distance number where I could reach my wife. She agreed to my request to come and meet me. She took me to the home of my parents. Knowing that I did not want to live, yet not totally ready to just curl up and die, I asked them to take me to the hospital, where I had myself admitted for suicidal depression.

The next morning, I met with the psychiatrist and told her everything. I left nothing out. I wound up being transferred to an intensive treatment program for further help once the suicidal crisis was behind me. I was to the point I had nothing to hide any longer. I told her everything, as I did my therapists. This triggered notification of the authorities who immediately ordered me out of the home for good and set into motion an intense legal struggle that is still ongoing.

After being discharged from inpatient treatment, I told my psychiatrist that I did not think the Effexor was working right and might be causing me more problems. She seemed to think that dosage was just too low, so she increased the dosage from 75 mg per day to 150. I had to take it in the mornings because I had long before discovered that if I took Effexor in the evening hours, there was no possibility of getting any sleep. Within a few weeks, I was having daily, afternoon depression and anxiety attacks that were very intense and seemed not to be triggered by any particular thoughts or circumstances. One Friday afternoon, it hit me that my Effexor dose had been doubled. I was also now having panic attacks in public places and was becoming terrified of going anywhere. I called her office immediately and insisted on discontinuing the Effexor and on seeing her. I was told I could see her the following Tuesday afternoon. I agreed to that, and immediately began to taper myself off the Effexor. Since all I had was 150 mg capsules, my only choice, without getting a new prescription, was to space the doses out. I did so by skipping the next morning dose, and taking the following morning’s dose 12 hours late — around 8:30 p.m. An interesting but revealing thing occurred. Instead of severe afternoon panic attacks, the next really bad episode occurred during the early morning hours following that next dose, which I had taken in the evening instead of morning. I needed no further evidence to convince me that Effexor was in fact causing my depression and anxiety attacks.

When I saw the psychiatrist on Tuesday, I told her that the Effexor was worse than the Wellbutrin and Prozac had been. She looked at me and said “Wellbutrin and Prozac? I didn’t know you had ever taken those.” After discussing my history with those drugs, she agreed that I wasn’t tolerating antidepressants at all, and told me to taper myself off the Effexor as I saw fit and was comfortable with. I have not taken another dose of Effexor since that 8:30 PM dose two days prior to seeing her. Just as interesting is the fact that I have also had no need or desire to take Ativan, which she had wound up giving me in order for me to sleep and combat the increasing anxiety.

Despite the legal battle my wife and I are now facing, not only for the possibility of putting our family back together again, but very possibly for my own freedom from being cast into prison and out of society, my love for my wife, children, and life has returned. Once I got my head cleared enough to do so, I decided I wanted to learn more about the three drugs — Wellbutrin, Prozac, and Effexor, to try and figure out why they weren’t working right for me. Instead of just finding out how they were NOT working, I have discovered many, many horrifying things about these drugs. Not only are they all in the same class (SSRI’s), but there is more than significant information that leads me to believe that all of the psychological problems that emerged — none of which I had experienced prior to being started on all these drugs — were very likely triggered by the drugs.

So, in order to stop smoking, which I still have not done, my doctor put me on Zyban… the next 3-1/2 years or so of my life became a living hell for me and my family. What they have been through hurts as bad as thinking about my own plight. I would gladly spend the rest of my days in prison, or in hell, if that were necessary for them to be safe. But I am not a monster. In fact, life has become simpler and clearer to me than it has been in years. Not because of the tragedy, but because I am free of the serious and devastating effects of these drugs.

As I have said to others, with complete honesty, I would not wish what has happened to us on my worst enemy. Mentally, I have a totally new lease on life. But it was not until I took control of it and stopped the SSRI’s that I was able to obtain it. Sadly, there is a chance that the legal system is going to prevent me from ever being with my family again, which I am not totally sure I will survive. They mean everything in world to me. And in a society where marriages and families are routinely thrown out like household garbage, I feel no remorse whatsoever about my family taking precedence over my own individual needs, career needs, or anything else. I would rather die fighting for the chance to be with me family, to simply love them, support them, and share everyday life with them, including the tough parts, than to give up on them. They ARE my life, who, and what I am.

If only one of those doctors had ever said “Before we prescribe this (new) drug, why don’t you talk with a counselor or therapist?” it is very likely none of these tragic events would have ever occurred. Now I am stuck in a legal system that will probably never show any leniency or compassion, not understanding that these drugs can do these sorts of horrible things to ordinary people. Unable to afford a high-profile attorney (having to go with a public defender) who most likely has little real interest in fighting for me or my family, I am likely to lose my freedom, my family, and in turn my life. The latter is more truthful than I can convey, because if I lose my wife and daughters, the most meaningful part of me will be gone. I would never commit suicide — I promised my wife that for her and the girls — but I would die a slow, horrible death, withering away into a dark eternity, having no will live to live. Suicidal ideations and having no will to live are two very different things, yet they both lead to the same thing.

I pray that I will not be cast out of society like a disgusting, horrible, uncontrollable demon. I am not a threat to anyone. But the drugs that caused all of this are a very serious threat.

3/11/2001

This is Survivor Story number 5.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

680 total views, 0 views today

Between Laughter and Tears on Zoloft, Prozac and Wellbutrin (Zyban)

“…drugs are always give and take. This is not worth the take.”

 

I’ve been taking Zoloft or Prozac or Wellbutrin (Zyban) for several years. During some parts of this I began drinking heavily to the point of black outs and complete craziness. Most doctors called me an alcoholic. I had been drinking for several years for fun but never had any problems. I am in Law school right now and feel that I can’t remember well or that I have killed brains cells. I feel like I don’t care and like I am trapped inside of another body. The Doctor put my husband on Paxil and that was when I realized we both had to get off the drugs. This is day three and I fluctuate between either laughter or tears. I cried all the way through my patent law class. Deep down inside I know there are problems because, I have never been a C student. Some people say that Law school is hard but I also have a degree in Biochemistry which is a lot harder.

My science background though general in this area alerts me to the fact that there is a balance in all bodily mechanisms and drugs are always give and take. This is not worth the take.

I agree that something should be done. Western medicine which trains our DRS. is not ample for these people to make these assessments. Further, we are always the first real clinical trial because testing does not occur outside the lower animal kingdom until the FDA approves the drug. One doesn’t have to be an elitist to note the difference between our brains and those of lower animals. Further, it is clear that people are effected very differently, this also shouldn’t be that big of a surprise because we have a history incapable of adequate diagnosis in the mental health area. Drug companies are usually the people that pay in class action suits of this nature. This is big business for them and very possible that we have not been given all of the facts even with respect to their animal testing and in vitro experiments. (i.e. tobacco industry) Neurological safety can be nothing less than theoretical, to argue any more than this would put us in a completely reductionist framework when this has not been accomplished scientifically. In other words, we do not yet have proof that our brains operate on one to one biochemical pathways. Even if this were true, there is certainly some interesting conceptually different mechanism at work between individuals. My problem is that once FDA approval goes through because this is a rigorous process, then what do they do to track the “real” test subjects. Arguably here we are left to fend for ourselves because there is a point at which the market takes over all sense of humanity.

Ashley

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 85.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

603 total views, no views today

Terrified on Effexor

“I could not even go out to my car to go to the hospital. I became terrified, I could not leave the house.”

 

I just read the article from Pat Spruill regarding [her experiences] being a volunteer on a hot-line. I too called a hot-line after about 3 days on Effexor. (The girl at the distress center was condescending and I really should have reported her but was too upset.) I became immobilized, I could not even go out to my car to go to the hospital. I became terrified, I could not leave the house. I felt like what I imagine a moose feels like looking into the headlights of a car. It was the worst experience I ever had on anti-depressants. (I have tried Prozac, Zoloft , Zyban (Wellbutrin), all with extreme negative side effects.) Had I not known that this was a reaction to the drug, I honestly do not think I would be here today. Luckily my son was home at the time. The worst of this is that when I reported it to my family doctor he said, “Oh those reactions go away after 2-3 weeks.” My pharmacist advised me that this was an abnormal reaction and not to take anymore. Depression, sad to say, is still today looked upon as something folks bring upon themselves ..even by our doctors; so the easiest way for the doctors to “keep us quiet” is to dope us up and hope we go away. (I plan to report my doctor when I find a new one.)

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 88.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

354 total views, no views today

My Reaction to Zyban and Wellbutrin

“When my husband came home from work, he found me on the bathroom floor unable to move my left side, babbling and drooling, having difficult breathing.”

 

I would like to relate my experiences with Zyban (Wellbutrin). In December, 1997 I decided to quit smoking. My doctor prescribed Zyban. Within 3 days of taking the drug, I began to notice changes in my personality. I became more agitated, anxious, angry, and nervous. At first I attributed it to the holiday season, my husband being away for work reasons, and the stressful job of renovating our home and other reasons. By day 6 I was violent, crying continuously, unable to concentrate, shaking violently, rocking, unable to remember a thing. Fortunately (how sad to say this), I had a friend who had had an allergic reaction to medication several years before and recognized what was happening to me. She stayed with me until all hours of the night and suggested my doctor put me on an anti-anxiety drug (Xanax). It took about 3 months, but the medication did help lessen most of the side effects. However, my memory and concentration never returned to what it was.

Throughout this, my doctor insisted that I had anxiety disorder and that there was no way the Zyban could continue to affect me months later. This diagnosis was due in part to Glaxo Wellcome’s insistence that the drug would be out of my system after 30 days with no remaining side effects. It was also decided that I stop my birth control (depopreva) in order to balance my system again. Besides a hormone test and complete blood work up, no other tests were ever done. The strain of my body trying to regulate itself was too much. In March, 1999 I had a complete relapse again. (Note: It takes 12-18 months for the body to re-adjust itself after depopreva shots end.) I contacted Glaxo and was told by the person on the other end of the phone, that they did not know how hormones would affect the use of the drug and that no tests were ever run concerning this. I have tried to find out if this was correct, but I find nothing but dead ends.

By this time I had a new doctor. Gratefully, he realized that something was wrong and sent me to a brain neurologist/psychiatrist. He, too, contacted Glaxo. Now since it was well over a year since I had stopped the Zyban, he was told the same thing as my first doctor. It couldn’t be the Zyban, it was something else. I had a blood test and he relied on hormone tests over 1 year old – taken the month I quit the shots. Since all tests showed nothing, I quote: “Since the symptoms are so much like manic depressiveness, let’s treat the symptoms and worry about the cause later.” I was placed on Depakote and nothing else was ever done. Depakote did not seem to work well, especially at times of ovulation and menstruation. He kept upping my dose. At 150 mg I had a reaction. I became extremely “high” by 10 am. When my husband came home from work, he found me on the bathroom floor unable to move my left side, babbling and drooling, having difficult breathing. I had been there nearly 45 minutes alone. He rushed me to the hospital. The emergency room doctor claimed I had a seizure, the neurologist (who never came to see me) said it was a manic high and to stay on the Depakote, just at a lower dosage. Needless to say, I fought that and stopped taking it.

My husband and I were never given a final diagnosis – I am waiting for the papers from the hospital to see what the final decision was. Since then, my problems have worsened. I now stammer quite often, am losing mobility in my left arm and hand. The doctor has even had to give me a shot of Valium to stop uncontrollable shaking and spasms of my entire body. I am continuously tired and weak, shake a lot, my memory is worse, my ability to form sentences at times impossible, my anxiety and anger heightened. There is fear now that the compounding of the drug reactions may have caused permanent neurological damage. Unfortunately it will be almost 4 months before I can seen at major medical university for testing. I have been given lorazepam to control any further shakes and spasms. The idea of being on a drug the rest of my life so I can walk and talk is not a pleasant one.

During my struggle, I have become co-spokesperson/organizer for a growing group of people experiencing long-term side effects from either Wellbutrin or Zyban. Though the problems and their severity vary, we have found that we do share common lasting effects, mainly shakes, memory, and word-finding difficulties. We number over 30 with letters being received almost weekly. With so little information available to doctors, most cases are being misdiagnosed, if diagnosed at all, a few of us are working together to find our own answers. Though it is a slow process, occasionally we doing have encouraging findings.

For example, the patient information from a Walgreen Pharmacy in South Bend, Indiana says that the side effects MAY go away after stopping the drug. We hope that this is a partial admittance from the company that our problems are real and may be soon there will be answers to our problems. In the meantime, the search goes on. Though my experience is with Zyban, possibly compounded by my use of Depakote, many others are experiencing the similar problems with other medications. We are the guinea pigs for these =93new generation=94 drugs that seem to be put out on the market too quickly. The product information for doctors list 180+ side effects possible from Wellbutrin/Zyban, with many of these recognized AFTER the drug=92s release to the general public.

If the patient does not get this product information along with the drug, they are possibly aware of only 10 side effects. I know that many of the newer drugs are helpful, but too many are not. We need to bind together to stop the money-making machines that are jeopardizing our health, the health of our children, and possibly the health of the next generation. We need assurance of proper testing and results and that long-term problems are recognized prior to the drug=92s release, not after. Or, for that matter, that long-term problems even exist. If long-term problems have been discovered, follow-ups and treatment need to be available to those suffering them, no matter how small the percentage. With hopes, groups such as yours will bring more awareness to the general public and will make sure that future drugs will be released with more care and information.

I thank you for the opportunity to share my experience.

Debby Gincig Painter

 

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 95.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

386 total views, no views today

Zyban (Wellbutrin) “No Way”

“I think at this point the only thing that will save us is knowing about any medications before we take them.”

 

My husband’s horror story about Prozac and other SSRI anti depressants is posted in your web site– The Macula’s Story. We have been lucky because my husband is still alive. But we have been through a living hell, because our Primary Care Physician prescribed Prozac for my husband because he was a little down after our house burned. Who wouldn’t be?

Well last week I took my 17 year old son to our primary care physician for nasal congestion and a cough. While we were there I complained to our new Primary Care Physician, who we have been using for about 2 years now, that my son was smoking a pack of cigarettes daily. And that this was ridiculous at his age. The Doctor asked him why he was smoking and my son said, “school and work stress”. So The Doctor said to him, “I have something that will take the edge off the stress and the need to smoke”. Well I looked at the doctor and asked, “what that might be”. He said, “a new drug Zyban (Wellbutrin)”. I almost fell off the stool I was sitting on. This Doctor knew all about the adverse reaction that my husband had to Prozac and other SSRI anti-depressant drugs. We have explained it to him many times over the past 2 years.

I said, ” You forget I am the person who almost lost her husband to Prozac adverse reaction 2 years earlier, I couldn’t believe he wanted to prescribe this anti-depressant to my son. Knowing full well what had happened to my husband on anti-depressants”. He got somewhat defensive at this point and said, “this is not an SSRI anti-depressant like the others. This doesn’t work on the serotonin levels in the brain, this one works on the brain chemical dopamine”. I said, “after the hell we went through with my husband, my son will not take any medication that would alter any of his brain chemicals”.

Then I just told him, “no”. “There was no way my son was going on Zyban (Wellbutrin). I would not take the chance”. He then looked at my son, who will be 18 years old in 6 months. He laughingly told him, “come back to see me in 6 months”. I was very upset by this point. I felt like he was saying come back in 6 months so I can legally drug you without your mothers permission. Does he not think that my children went through hell also. Watching their father turn into a manic depressive, psychotic, suicidal wreck from a completely normal human being. Prozac and other anti-depressants took away their father for 1 12 years of their lives. Through my research and my finding Dr. Tracy, we helped him return to his normal self. But not without the pain and trauma it has caused all of us.

I have explained to this man over and over the hell and the trauma my husband and I and our children went through. Because some Doctor prescribed Prozac for a very stupid reason. Now I keep thinking, “I need to change Doctors”. But then I think “why”. They are all the same. They prescribe these drugs that they know nothing about. Have any of them stopped to read the adverse reactions or side effects these and any drugs can cause on the insert that come with the drugs. No, all they know is what the pharmaceutical salesperson tells them. And we know that the pharmaceutical sales person is not going to bad mouth their own medications. I think at this point the only thing that will save us is knowing about any medications before we take them. Know the adverse reactions and side effect they can cause. If you or someone you know has personality changes or things that seem different about them while on a medication, research it.

With my husband it took 1 1/2 years to realize what was going on, because we saw 5 or 6 different Doctors. I showed them the research I had done and what these drugs can do and I thought this was the cause of what he was going through. And they all said, “Prozac and these other SSRI drugs don’t do that”. Well my husband is living proof that they do. He didn’t get better until we took matters into our own hands and pulled him off all the medications they had him on. And about three weeks latter my husbands old personality started returning. But it took another 7 to 8 months for him to get to about 85% of his old self. He is still not 100% and we wonder if he ever will be. It is very frightening just going to the Doctors for my family and friends who saw what we went through anymore.

Patty Macula

 

1995

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 94.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

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