As usual early warnings about driving risks went unheeded.
FINALLY someone has done a study to investigate the problems with antidepressants & car accidents….and it only took 25 years since the drugs were introduced to get around to someone doing it! Let’s put it on record here that I approached a group focusing on prescription drug DUIs in 1991 asking them to seriously consider looking at the problems with Prozac & driving. Obviously it fell on deaf ears as so many other warnings I have given over the years.
When I first began interviewing patients about their reactions to the SSRI antidepressants in the early 90’s I stopped driving on freeways whenever possible. Why? Because patient after patient reported that although back then it was not allowed for pilots to fly planes while on SSRIs, they while on Prozac were:
#1 “flying their cars” down freeways,
#2 “having compulsions to ram other cars” as they drove the freeway, and
#3 “dreaming while driving” and having little recollection of how they got from Point A to Point B.
I also began watching my rear view mirror closely to make sure no one dreaming on Prozac had neglected to include my car in their dream so that they could react properly & allow for it being in front of them. And I began watching for cars coming at me going the wrong direction since so many attempted suicide reports came in of crossing into oncoming traffic & driving on the wrong side of the road to attempt suicide.
I would also encourage you to read the Road Rage document written by Rosie Meysenburg & posted in the mid 90’s on our www.drugawareness.org website.
From this recent study we learn:
“They have found that taking common antidepressants such as Prozac and Seroxat [Paxil] heightens the risk by 70 per cent.
AND in looking at drugs like Xanax, Valium, Ambien, & the newer atypical antipsychotics like Zyban, Abilify, Geodon, Risperdol, etc. the antidepressants are far worse: “Those taking a common group of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) which include Prozac and Seroxat [Paxil] were 72 per cent more at risk.”
But what if someone had just started on an antidepressant?
According to the study: “Even patients who have only been on the pills for a few hours are far more likely to have a crash if they get behind the wheel.”
Now keep in mind that patients are told when they are given an antidepressant that it will take two weeks before the “beneficial” effects begin to appear. Bear in mind that the adverse effects DO NOT wait two weeks to appear. This is one example. The Paxil-induced murder/suicide case of Donald Schell is another glaring example after the jury ruled after hearing all the evidence (which few have ever heard), that taking only two Paxil pills over two days was the main cause of him shooting his wife, daughter, infant granddaughter, & himself. (Read more on this case called Tobin vs Glaxo Smith Kline at www.justiceseekers.com)
Two years ago I got a report out of Utah where the officer in a Ogden, Utah area reported that in a one month period he had 150 DUIs issued. ONE of those involved alcohol & all the rest were prescription drugs! But many remain unaware that you can face a DUI for driving while taking one of these medications. And now these researchers were so completely appalled by what they found in the way of impairment of driving skills by antidepressants that they are recommending that users be banned from driving!
Ban all antidepressant users from driving?
“Researchers say the study shows that doctors should be banning patients from getting behind the wheel as soon as they put them on a course of drugs.”
Now that would certainly clear up traffic congestion in Utah, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Florida, & North Carolina – long known as hot spots for these meds! But the use of these drugs is so widespread at this point it would likely clear the traffic nationwide & if imposed in Australia, 25% of the Australian parliament would have to take a cab to work. I am sure far more American law makers would have to do the same!
What is even more frightening to consider is that truck drivers, bus drivers, taxi drivers, and now pilots are allowed to take these medications that severely impair driving skills.
Revisiting Princess Di’s Death
Remember that Princess Di’s driver, Henri Paul was on Prozac. When I saw his blood alcohol level of three times the legal limit coupled with the reports from his family that he was not a drinker yet was drinking hard enough to be on a medication like antabuse, I knew he had to be taking Prozac. It was the only thing that added up. (See my article on SSRIs & alcohol cravings as an excerpt from my book just below the book picture at www.drugawareness.org)
So I called the police in Paris & explained that Prozac was the only thing I knew that would cause someone to crave alcohol like that & raise the level of alcohol so high in a man who was reportedly a non-drinker. The following week the Paris police announced publicly that they had confirmed that Henri Paul was indeed on Prozac at the time of the crash that took the lives of Princess Di & Dodi Al-Fayed. This report only adds to my conclusion that Prozac was the main cause for their deaths with the chances of an accident being increased by 70% with Prozac alone & who knows by what percent with the alcohol cravings producing a synergistic effect between the alcohol & Prozac & forcing the blood alcohol content even higher than normal.
Was there a failure to warn by manufacturers? Without a doubt!
“Although some manufacturers put warning notices on boxes telling patients their judgment may be impaired, they don’t specifically tell them not to drive.
“But it is now thought that the same chemical changes that improve mood among those who take the pills also slows down reaction times.”
That last sentence should read: “But it is now thought that the same chemical changes that DESTROY mood among those who take the pills also slows down reaction times.” But if they have not yet read my book, Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? Our Serotonin Nightmare they likely are not yet aware of that fact either.
About the Author: Ann Blake-Tracy is the author of PROZAC: PANACEA OR PANDORA?, and the director of the International Coalition For Drug Awareness [www.drugawareness.org]. She has testified before the FDA and testifies as an expert in legal cases involving serotonergic medications.
Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org & www.SSRIstories.com
Author: “Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare – The Complete Truth of the Full Impact of Antidepressants Upon Us & Our World” & Safe Withdrawal CD “Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!”
BOOK: Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare! Anything you ever wanted to know about antidepressants is there along with everything drug companies hope you never find out about these drugs. SAFE WITHDRAWAL CD “Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!” on how to safely withdraw from antidepressants & most psychiatric medications is saving lives! Available at www.drugawareness.org
“VERY BOLD AND INFORMATIVE”
“PRICELESS INFORMATION THAT IS GIVING ME BACK TO ME”
“THE ABSOLUTE BEST REFERENCE FOR ANTIDEPRESSANT DRUGS”
“WELL DOCUMENTED & SCIENTIFICALLY RESEARCHED”
“I was stunned at the amount of research Ann Blake-Tracy has done on this subject. Few researchers go to as much trouble aggressively gathering information on the adverse reactions of Prozac, Zoloft and other SSRIs.”
WITHDRAWAL HELP CD TESTIMONIALS:
“Ann, I just wanted to let you know from the bottom of my heart how grateful I am God placed you in my life. I am now down to less than 2 mg on my Cymbalta and I have never felt better. I am finally getting my life back. I can feel again and colors have never been brighter. Thanks for all that you do!!” … Amber Weber
“Used your method of weaning off of SSRI’s and applied it to Ambien. Took 6 months but had been on 15 mg for years so what was another 6 months. I have been sleeping without it for 2 weeks and it is the first time I have been able to sleep drug free for 15 years. What a relief to be able to lay down and sleep when I need or want to. Ambien may be necessary for people at times but doctors giving a months worth of it at a time with unlimited refills is a prescription for disaster. It is so damn easy to become dependent on. Thanks for your council Ann.”… Mark Hill
“I’m so thankful for Ann Blake-Tracy and all her work. Also for taking the time out to talk to me and educate everyone! She has been a blessing to me during this awful time of antidepressant hell!” … Antoinette Beck