Baum, Hedlund, Aristei, Guilford & Schiavo vs. Glaxo Smithkline Corporation

Baum, Hedlund, Aristei, Guilford & Schiavo vs. Glaxo Smithkline Corporation

Anti-depressant ‘addicts’ threaten legal case

Sarah Boseley, Health Editor
The Guardian (UK)

More than 60 people in Britain who say they have become hooked on the anti-depressant Seroxat – a drug in the Prozac class – are exploring the possibility of legal action against the pharmaceutical company which they claim failed to warn doctors that that it could create dependency.
Baum, Hedlund, Aristei, Guilford & Schiavo vs. Glaxo Smithkline Corporation

12/10/2001

Anti-depressant ‘addicts’ threaten legal case

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Print/0,3858,4316527,00.html

Sarah Boseley, Health Editor
The Guardian (UK)

The Guardian (U.K.) reports that British lawyers are considering legal action similar to the actions taken in the U.S. against GlaxoSmithKline, the British manufacturers of the antidepressant drug, Paxil.

The issues involve patients who claim they have not been warned about severe withdrawal symptoms from antidepressant drugs, such as Prozac and Paxil. “The side-effects they suffer when they try to stop taking the tablets, include jolting pains in the head, vertigo, loss of coordination, abdominal discomfort, agitation and confusion.”

Since filing two class action lawsuits (August 24, 2001 and Sept 14, 2001), the Los Angeles law firm, Baum, Hedlund, Aristei, Guilford and Schiavo, has received more than 2,000 calls from people to tell of their addiction to Paxil.

If antidepressant drugs such as Prozac and Paxil are addictive, why has the FDA not required a warning on the label of these drugs? If they are addictive for adults, what are they doing to America’s children–even infants–who are prescribed psychotropic drugs?

ALLIANCE FOR HUMAN RESEARCH PROTECTION (AHRP) Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav Tel: 212-595-8974 FAX: 212-595-9086 veracare@rcn.com

To learn more, go to http://www.baumhedlundlaw.com.

More than 60 people in Britain who say they have become hooked on the anti-depressant Seroxat – a drug in the Prozac class – are exploring the possibility of legal action against the pharmaceutical company which they claim failed to warn doctors that that it could create dependency.

Two firms of solicitors say they already have between 30 and 40 cases each. The people have come forward following news of a legal case in the US in which 35 people allege they suffered severe side-effects when they tried to stop taking the drug.

The Los Angeles law firm Baum, Hedlund, Aristei, Guilford and Schiavo – which filed its action against the British manufacturers GlaxoSmithKline in September – has since had more than 2,000 calls from people to tell of their addiction to the drug, which is known in the US as Paxil. The side-effects they suffer when they try to stop taking the tablets, include jolting pains in the head, vertigo, loss of coordination, abdominal discomfort, agitation and confusion.

The US lawyers have asked GSK to set up treatment centres to help people attempting to withdraw from Paxil/Seroxat. GSK say there is no reliable scientific evidence that the drug causes addiction or dependency.

The British solicitors, Ross & Co, based in the Wirral, and Hugh James Ford Simey of Cardiff, have been receiving calls from people who did not realise that others had suffered the same symptoms when they tried to cut down and come off the drug.

“We have been contacted by 30 to 40 people, most of whom have startlingly similar tales to tell of being put on the drug and being taken off it, and then going back on,” said Mark Harvey of Hugh James Ford Simey.

Mr Harvey said most people are told by the doctor that their problems are the symptoms of their depression re-appearing and do not suspect that the drug might be to blame. “This does have the smell of something that is a problem,” he said. “The patient information sheet says it is not addictive twice.”

Graham Ross, of Ross & Co, thinks that there is a good potential case against the manufacturers. “So far as evidence of dependency is concerned, that is pretty strong,” he said.

“I feel we can prove that. Failure to ensure that GPs are aware of that risk and therefore warn patients accordingly – there is plenty of evidence that they are not doing that.”

But group actions face particular problems in Britain. Attempts to litigate against the makers of benzodiazapines – including Valium, Librium and Ativan, which were also said not to be addictive when they were launched – collapsed because the legal aid granted to the claimants was used up in the lengthy investigations of the cases demanded by the companies before the action reached court.

Baum, Hedlund, Aristei, Guilford & Schiavo vs. Glaxo Smithkline Corporation

Baum, Hedlund, Aristei, Guilford & Schiavo vs. Glaxo Smithkline Corporation

Victims File Lawsuit over Severe Withdrawal Reactions from the Antidepressant–PaxilFirst Class Action of its Kind Against an Antidepressant Maker

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Baum, Hedlund, Aristei, Guilford & Schiavo 12100 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 950 Los Angeles, CA 90025

Contact: Robin McCall, Media Relations Day: (800) 827-0087 or (310) 207-3233 Night: (818) 558-5964 Email: RMcCall@BaumHedlundLaw.com

35 people who have suffered from severe withdrawal reactions as a result of taking the antidepressant Paxil, filed a class action complaint today in California Superior Court, LA County, against Glaxo Smithkline Corporation (GSK), formerly known as SmithKline Beecham.

Baum, Hedlund, Aristei, Guilford & Schiavo vs. Glaxo Smithkline Corporation

8/24/2001

Victims File Lawsuit over Severe Withdrawal Reactions from the Antidepressant–PaxilFirst Class Action of its Kind Against an Antidepressant Maker

http://www.baumhedlundlaw.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Baum, Hedlund, Aristei, Guilford & Schiavo 12100 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 950 Los Angeles, CA 90025

Contact: Robin McCall, Media Relations Day: (800) 827-0087 or (310) 207-3233 Night: (818) 558-5964 Email: RMcCall@BaumHedlundLaw.com

The lawsuit against the makers of Paxil for the potentially disabling and deadly withdrawal effects associated with Paxil has now been officially filed. This is clearly a suit that should be filed against the makers of all of these serotonergic antidepressants and DEFINITELY one that should have been filed against the makers of the serotonergic diet pills, Fen-Phen and Redux. What a crime it was to drop all of those Fen-Phen and Redux users off “cold turkey” when they were withdrawn forcing so many onto the serotonergic antidepressants creating additional damage and leading them into an additional serotonin nightmare. Why were patients not allowed to withdraw gradually?

All of these companies who put these extremely addictive drugs on the market with no warning of the addictive properties should be held accountable for the results of that lack of warning. The withdrawal from these serotonergic antidepressants, according to the World Health Organization, appears to be even worse than the benzodiazaphines – which already have one of the worst reputations for serious withdrawal. [Use the search engine to find our report on the World Health Organization’s statement that came out this spring.]

When we know that Ecstasy withdrawal can plunge users into the depths of depression we should not be the least bit surprised to learn that any of its chemical cohorts can do the same in withdrawal. All are serotonergic agents -Ecstasy, Prozac, LSD, Zoloft, PCP, Paxil, etc. – with similar effects due to the increase of serotonin and decrease of serotonin metabolism that they produce.

When one understands the steroid effect brought on by an increase in serotonin [one 30mg dose of Prozac DOUBLES cortisol levels!], it is not difficult to see that the initiation of use of these drugs should be very gradual as should the discontinuation be a very gradual process.

Contact information for the attorneys and links to additional information on the lawsuit is all listed in the press release that follows.

Ann Blake-TracyExecutive Director, International Coalition For Drug AwarenessAuthor of Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare ()

To learn more, go to http://www.baumhedlundlaw.com.

35 people who have suffered from severe withdrawal reactions as a result of taking the antidepressant Paxil, filed a class action complaint today in California Superior Court, LA County, against Glaxo Smithkline Corporation (GSK), formerly known as SmithKline Beecham. This group represents thousands of Paxil users who have allegedly suffered from withdrawal reactions and dependency/withdrawal syndrome. They come from all walks of life (e.g., Lt. Col in the U.S. Air Force; former star athlete; web-designer; children; bank fraud investigator and many more) and reside throughout the United States. Each has experienced similar withdrawal reactions and problems such as: jolting electric “zaps,” dizziness, light-headedness, vertigo, in-coordination, gait disturbances, sweating, extreme nausea, vomiting, high fever, abdominal discomfort, flu symptoms, anorexia, diarrhea, agitation, tremulousness, irritability, aggression, sleep disturbance, nightmares, tremor, confusion, memory and concentration difficulties, lethargy, malaise, weakness, fatigue, paraesthesias, ataxia, and/or myalgia.

Paxil was introduced into the U.S. market on December 29, 1992, and is a well known antidepressant medication in the same class as Zoloft and Prozac (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or “SSRI’s”). Paxil is approved for marketing in the United States for conditions such as depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and “social anxiety disorder.”

Complaint Allegations: 1) The complaint alleges Paxil can cause some people who take it to experience serious and unexpected withdrawal reactions. Neither the patients nor the physicians expect these withdrawal reactions because, according to the complaint, the manufacturer has deliberately failed to warn of their potential occurrence. Both physician and patient unwittingly commit to Paxil without knowing the drug’s addictive traits. None of the named plaintiffs were ever informed before starting Paxil that it was addictive, induced dependency, or created withdrawal reactions when dosage was reduced or terminated.

2) Paxil creates both physical and psychological dependency because GSK has suppressed the information about the severe withdrawal reactions of its drug, many patients and their physicians are fooled into thinking that the withdrawal reactions are caused by another condition (such as relapse), thus prompting further incorrect and unnecessary medical treatment, including increased dosages of Paxil. 3) GSK has known for years the distinct characteristics of Paxil which make it prone to cause withdrawal reactions when discontinued. While the medical community has acknowledged the potential for all SSRI’s to cause dependency/withdrawal syndrome, Paxil is, by far, the worst. According to World Health Organization (“WHO”) data obtained by the plaintiff class members, Paxil has the highest incidence rate of withdrawal adverse experiences of any antidepressant drug in the world. “Even despite our clients’ extreme difficulties caused by this drug, some remain on Paxil today because they are “hooked” and fear they cannot get off the drug,” says attorney Mary Schiavo.

The complaint charges include fraud and deceit, negligence, strict liability, breach of warranty and implied warranty which can be seen on the complaint.

The lawsuit was filed by Karen Barth (in association with Mary Schiavo) of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei, Guilford & Schiavo in Los Angeles and Donald Farber of San Rafael, California.

The attorneys have stated, “The scariest part about this is that there are people out there trying to get off this drug who are experiencing these horrible withdrawal reactions. They think its because of something wrong with them, when it’s really the Paxil – – and then they take even more and further exacerbate the problem!”

Fact Sheet is available on the web along with the complaint at www.baumhedlundlaw.com