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Friday, August 17, 2007

Paxil Recall Lawyer Discusses Paxil Addiction

Source: Ezine Articles

By Anna Henningsgaard

Paxil went on the market in 1992 at the height of antidepressant drug popularity. It is a member of the class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. The SSRI drugs revolutionized antidepressants because they have very few side effects and it is practically impossible to overdose on them. It makes sense not to prescribe a depressed person with pills they can easily overdose with. Though a latecomer to the SSRI market, Paxil grew successful very quickly by gaining FDA approval for very specific conditions like “social anxiety disorder” and “general anxiety disorder”, which were very rare conditions at the time. In running add campaigns, Paxil encouraged people to try their drug if they’d experienced any general anxiety and, as can be expected, sales of Paxil soared.

Commercials for Paxil insist that the drug has no side effects and is not addicting, major selling point. Many doctors and pharmacies will tell you the same thing, that Paxil is not addictive. To the contrary, many patients using Paxil have found it very difficult to quit. Even slowly reducing doses and coming off the drug, many patients have complained of intense stomach pains, diarrhea, intense anxiety, anger, migraines, and an odd electrical zapping whenever they move their heads or eyes. These symptoms are often written off as temporary illness due to discontinuity. After a few months, the symptoms will be diagnosed as a relapse of depression, and what could be prescribed for that? Paxil.

A recent independent study found that as many as 50% of Paxil users experience intense withdrawal from the drug. While some other drugs in the same class, like Prozac and Zoloft, cause similar withdrawal reactions none of them cause reactions this intense. This could be because Paxil has a much shorter half-life than the other antidepressants, and more addicting substances often have short half-lives. The brain likes slow adjustments and cannot handle rapidly changing chemicals.

Class action lawsuits have been filed against Paxil in Britain as well as the United States. The company that produces and markets Paxil refuses to acknowledge that it can be a habit-forming, addictive drug and has not changed its packaging or advertising despite recent cases of addiction. Patients often find no help from doctors or pharmacies, who simply tell them that Paxil is marketed as a non-addictive drug and, for that reason, cannot cause the symptoms being experienced. If you have been put in this uncomfortable position, contact a lawyer and discuss your situation. A class action lawsuit that began with 35 people has grown to over 2000 people, so you are not alone by any means. Talking with a lawyer can make you feel better and give you some hope for justice.