BAN ON DRIVING FOR ANTIDEPRESSANT USERS? STUDY INDICATES 70% INCREASED RISK OF ACCIDENTS

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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.

Read full article here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2202434/Taking-Prozac-Don-t-drive-Pills-raise-risk-having-accident-70.html#ixzz26ln3sPqE

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

BOOK TESTIMONIALS:

“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

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ANTIDEPRESSANTS ARE FAR FROM ALONE IN DANGERS! & BEWARE OF DRUG ADVERTIZING!

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org):
The following article on drug advertising, “Side Effects Include Denial” is an
EXCELLENT article on how the public is brainwashed into using drugs without a
thought. This is how we have ended up on all of these new “Designer Drugs” that
seem to be more the norm in our society now than the abnormal. When I was
growing up someone who was ill was out of the ordinary. Most we well. Now it
seems the exact opposite with even the very young discussing their serious
disorders – things we never saw in children before.

Although our site has focused on antidepressants for many
years, that focus has nothing to do with lack of concern over a myriad
of other deadly medications. The focus on antidepressants has been due to
the extremely widespread use of these drugs along with their potential to lead
the user to extreme out of character violence toward themselves or others
coupled with their potential to lead to many other drugs being prescribed for
the antidepressant side effects they suffer (new symptoms such as a
diagnosis for Psychosis or Bipolar Disorder, Panic or Anxiety attacks,
extreme insomnia, sleep apnea and other sleep disorders, Restless Leg Syndrome,
alcohol or nicotine use/abuse, diabetes, Fibromyalgia, thyroid problems,
headaches, IBS, MS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, ADHD, etc., etc., etc.)
Many of the newer medications out there were designed specifically for the
increase in patients with these “symptoms” that are nothing more than
antidepressant side effects which would subside upon the safe withdrawal of the
individual from the offending medication – the antidepressant. And far too many

of these new drugs are just remakes of antidepressantsfar too similar in
action to these drugs. One example would be Chantix’ similarity to Zoloft.
Sarafem, prescribed for PMS, is nothing more than Prozac with a new name and
different color capsule (pink to give it a feminine touch). Duloxetine
is the chemical name for Lilly’s Cymbalta and the name generally given to a
patient prescribed the drug for urinary incontinence so that they
remain unaware that it is really an antidepressant (antidepressants have LONG
been given to children for bed wetting). Yet another antidepressant is
prescribed for tuberculosis. Then there are all of the headache medications and
too many pain killers which all have serotonergic effects and can cause many of

the same serious adverse reactions that antidepressants cause.

WE URGE YOU TO USE EXTEME CAUTION, NO MATTER THE DRUG PRESCRIBED!!!
PRESCRIPTION DRUGS ARE KILLING FAR MORE NATIONWIDE THAN ILLEGAL DRUGS!! READ
ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING BEFORE EVER PUTTING A DRUG IN YOUR MOUTH!!! INSIST ON A
PACKAGE INSERT RATHER THAN THE SHORT HANDOUT ON THE DRUG PROVIDED BY THE
PHARMACACY WHCIH DOES NOT EVEN SCRATCH THE SURFACE IN GIVING YOU THE TRUE
WARNINGS REFLECTED IN THE PACKAGE INSERTS.
__________________________________________
But last July the Food and Drug Administration, which approved Chantix in
2006, said it had received 4,762 reports of “serious psychiatric events” —
including paranoia, homicidal thoughts, hallucinations, 188 attempted suicides
and 98 suicides — and it ordered Pfizer to put a “black box” warning on the
drug.
Pfizer’s not worried for the same reason that Bristol-Myers Squibb isn’t
worried about its Abilify ad, with piano music under, showing a happy family’s
outing to a pier, accompanied by a voiceover about seizures, thoughts of
suicide, risk of death or stroke. It’s why Sanofi-aventis, the manufacturer of
Ambien, doesn’t mind spending half an ad (sleeping lady, rooster, harp) warning
of side-effects like sleep-driving and sleep-eating. And it’s why
GlaxoSmithKline is unconcerned about undercutting the effectiveness of its Requip ad

for Restless Leg Syndrome (relaxing lady, crossword puzzle, strings) with
warnings about (this is my favorite) compulsive gambling.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marty-kaplan/side-effects-include-deni_b_463996.html

Marty Kaplan

Director, Norman Lear Center and Professor at the USC
Annenberg School
Posted: February 16, 2010 12:31 PM

Side
Effects Include Denial

Why would Pfizer spend $100 million on two-minute TV ads that use a minute of
that time admitting that their drug Chantix can cause “changes in behavior,
hostility, agitation, depressed mood,” “weird, unusual or strange dreams,” and
“suicidal thoughts or actions”?

Because they have to, and because it doesn’t matter.

With the patent on Pfizer’s cash cow Lipitor expiring next year, Chantix, a
smoking cessation pill, had been one of their big hopes for the future. Chantix
sales in 2007 approached $900 million; by 2009, it accounted for 90 percent of
smoking cessation prescriptions. But last July the Food and Drug Administration,
which approved Chantix in 2006, said it had received 4,762 reports of “serious
psychiatric events” — including paranoia, homicidal thoughts, hallucinations,
188 attempted suicides and 98 suicides — and it ordered Pfizer to put a “black
box” warning on the drug.

What to do? One tack Pfizer took was to launch a “help-seeking ad” that’s now running all over cable TV. You might easily mistake it
for a public service ad. As a voiceover reads sentences appearing on a black
screen, a match-flame turns the words to smoke: “You wanted to quit before you
got married… You wanted to quit before you turned thirty-five. You wanted to
quit when you had your first child.”

At the end, you’re invited to go to MyTimeToQuit.com, which takes you not to
the Surgeon-General or to the American Cancer Society, but to a Pfizer site that
in turn leads you to Chantix. There’s no legal requirement to include the
suicide warning on the faux-PSA, because it never mentions Chantix by name.

Pfizer’s other marketing tactic was to air a testimonial. We spend two
minutes getting to know Robin, a real-life success story. In her kitchen, over a
lovely soundtrack, Robin tells us how Ben, one of her boys, asked her to stop
smoking. Her doctor prescribed Chantix. As she and her family walk around a
neighborhood of gracious lawns and fall foliage, we hear what good support and a
good drug can do. Back at home, her husband makes coffee while she slices apples
and cheese for a snack at the kitchen table. Radiant, laughing, she says that
Ben finally tired of counting the days since she quit. At the end, an
announcer’s voiceover invites us to “talk to your doctor to find out if
prescription Chantix is right for you.”

But wait a minute — literally. During half the ad, that same announcer is
also telling us about the mental health problems that can be worsened by
Chantix. Not once, but twice, he says what should be alarming words: agitation,
hostility, depressed mood, suicidal thoughts or actions. The words appear yet a
third time in the same ad, in a boxed text at the bottom of the screen.

Why isn’t Pfizer nuts to spend so much money scaring us to death about their
product? While Robin is slicing that apple, why isn’t Pfizer worried that the
voice warning about suicidal thoughts or actions will make us fret whether it’s
safe to let Robin be around sharp objects?

Pfizer’s not worried for the same reason that Bristol-Myers Squibb isn’t
worried about its Abilify ad, with piano music under, showing a happy family’s
outing to a pier, accompanied by a voiceover about seizures, thoughts of
suicide, risk of death or stroke. It’s why Sanofi-aventis, the manufacturer of

Ambien, doesn’t mind spending half an ad (sleeping lady, rooster, harp) warning
of side-effects like sleep-driving and sleep-eating. And it’s why
GlaxoSmithKline is unconcerned about undercutting the effectiveness of its Requip ad
for Restless Leg Syndrome (relaxing lady, crossword puzzle, strings) with
warnings about (this is my favorite) compulsive gambling.

Pictures are more powerful than words. Language and logic don’t have the kind
of immediate access to our brains that images and instruments do. Feeling comes
before thinking. We can be as skeptical about marketing as we like, but media
literacy isn’t much of a match for music. No wonder Plato banished the poet in

The Republic: he couldn’t think of a curriculum that could protect people from
being enthralled by fiction, spellbound by illusion. The bards who sang the
Homeric epics were the ancestors of today’s Mad Men.

Robin’s harmless kitchen knife brilliantly neuters the suicide warnings, as
does the rest of her happy-ending story. In 2005, Duke University researcher Ruth Day presented a study to the FDA demonstrating how ads
can use distracting images and music to minimize attention to risk warnings. Her
infamous example: the fast-fluttering wings of the Nasonex bee (voiced by
Antonio Banderas) prevented viewers from remembering the side effects
information. Partly as a result, last May the FDA issued draft regulations declaring that ads will be judged by their
net impression as a whole, not just whether they’re technically accurate.

Pfizer denies that increased regulatory oversight led them to
raise the time devoted to safety warnings in its Chantix ads from 14 seconds to
a minute. I suspect they could run a two-minute crawl about suicide risks, and
it still wouldn’t distract from Robin’s heartwarming testimonial. We’re suckers
for mini-movies. No wonder the corporations just unleashed by the Supreme Court
to spend unlimited funds on campaign ads are salivating at the opportunity to
enthrall us.

This is my column from The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles.
You can read more of my columns here, and e-mail me there if you’d
like.

Follow Marty Kaplan on Twitter: www.twitter.com/martykaplan

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3/13/2001 – March Edition of drugawareness.org now online.

The March edition of the ICFDA www.drugawareness.org site is
now on line. So much has been happening lately, that’s it’s been
difficult to keep up with all the news. But, please take a look
when you can. There are just a sampling of some very important
stories that are posted there.
——-
1/22/01 Doctors and Patients Don’t Talk About Antidepressant
Side Effects
By Carla Cantor, CBS HEALTH WATCH

A new public health survey reveals that nearly half of the people
being treated with antidepressants experience side effects and
55% of those patients stop taking their medication, rather than
talk to their doctors about the issue.

2/19/01 Prescriptions: How your doctor makes the choice
By Joseph P. Shapiro and Stacey Schultz [US NEWS]

Three years ago, doctors at the Everett Clinic in Washington
State took a hard look at the stream of pharmaceutical sales
reps filing into their offices. “Enough!” they said. Then they
closed their doors on the cheery “detailers” who vied for their
attention each day, lugging suitcases of free drug samples.
Medical director Al Fisk, who masterminded the move,
suspected that the samples were skewing his doctors’ drug
choices toward the most heavily promoted drugs–even when
less expensive ones were just as effective. “There’s a reason
why the pharmaceutical business spends [billions] on physician
detailing,” he says. “It’s easy to influence prescribing habits.”

2/24/01 Drug Firms Treat PMS As a Mental Disorder
By TARA PARKER-POPE, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, As
appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Section B, Front Page

IS SEVERE PMS, or premenstrual syndrome, a mental illness?
Some pharmaceutical companies and psychiatrists are treating
it as one. In new television ads, drug maker Eli Lilly is promoting
the drug Sarafem to treat the problem, now dubbed
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). But the pink and
purple pills aren’t a new drug — they are simply repackaged
Prozac, the popular antidepressant.

3/11/01 Paper: Co. Knew of Drug-Liver Link

Warner-Lambert Co. downplayed liver damage concerns as it
sought federal approval for its diabetes drug Rezulin, the Los
Angeles Times reported Sunday.

2/24/01 Paxil Lawsuit

This is our 2nd update (“sitrep” or “situation report”) in our Paxil
withdrawal lawsuit (“Nguyen & Farber v SmithKline Beecham
Corporation”). We filed the case August 18, 2000 against
SmithKline (now “GlaxoSmithKline) in Superior Court, Santa
Clara County, San Jose, California.

2/19/01 Urgent Phenylpropanolamine Recall

Read more about the FDA warning about drugs containing the
ingredient Phenylpropanolamine found in many common over
the counter medications.

3/3/01 US Congressman Dan Burton Requests Immediate
Vaccine Recall

3/5/01 Use of Painkiller Grows Quickly, Along With Widespread
Abuse, By BARRY MEIER and MELODY PETERSEN THE NEW
YORK TIMES

…when the salesman suggested that OxyContin (which is as
potent as morphine) was safe enough to treat short-term pain,
Dr. Leong exploded. “We threw him out of my office,” said Dr.
Leong.

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