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Friday, June 06, 2008

Seroxat Addiction Helpline

It would be nice wouldn't it?

Can you imagine if the Patient Information Leaflet [PIL] carried a phone number that helped the consumer through the withdrawal symptoms, a number manned 24 hours - 7 days a week.

It would help those who think they are going crazy or those who have issues about their doctor 'upping' the dose because he/she thinks the depression has come back.

Of course, this number would have to be manned by former sufferers of Seroxat withdrawal and would be a benchmark for other SSRi withdrawal hotlines.

Appointments could be made and tips could be given. Family members could be spoken to and told that their loved ones aren't going crazy. Call it a crisis line if you will.

What are the implications of this?

Well, for one, it would be an admittance by GlaxoSmithKline that there was indeed an addiction problem with Seroxat. They still robustly deny that Seroxat causes addiction. They surely couldn't use money as an excuse as they have it in abundance... and will continue to do so as patients pop another Seroxat to help bypass the zaps and other countless side-effects when trying to withdraw.

The [PIL] is poorly written and it is absurd to think that a person can taper slowly off a tablet. In essence GSK are asking the patient to taper slowly - how can one taper slowly off a 20mg tablet? Do they suck it like a lozenge, then remove it and leave it on the shelf to suck again the next day? Think about it for a second. You cannot taper off a tablet unless you break that tablet into segments. A 20mg tablet if broke in half will give you 10mg. If it is quartered it will give you four 5mg tablets. It's still too much of a drop.

GlaxoSmithKline need to change the PIL regarding Seroxat tablets. It is impossible to taper slowly from a tablet. If they won't admit addiction then surely they can see the almighty clanger they have dropped with the information given for slowly withdrawing from a tablet!

Maybe other pharmaceutical companies will follow in their footsteps, maybe it will help to wipe the dirt from the GlaxoSmithKline name - they have had enough dirt thrown at them over the years - maybe it's time to clean itself up?

What role can the MHRA play?

Firstly, they need to acknowledge anecdotal reports. They also need to hold their hands up and admit their yellow card reporting system is not working. They have had many reports regarding Seroxat withdrawal - if they were to follow them up I would stake my worldly goods that they would find the patient is administering Seroxat because he has mild to moderate depression - if that is the case then the tablets are useless and the risk/benefit ratio swings in favour of risk. The MHRA need to show the patients whose side they are actually on. They need to act and they need to act NOW.

Personally, I think the MHRA should set up a special unit specifically for SSRi withdrawal sufferers. They also have to come out and announce that Seroxat is addictive. I understand that Seroxat helps people that are depressed - my opinion is that it merely masks the problems and the patient does not know when it is the right time to start the whole withdrawal process - neither does their doctor!

Changes to be implemented

For one - GlaxoSmithKline must change the PIL that accompanies the Seroxat blister packs. You CANNOT taper slowly from a tablet - it is impossible. The sooner they realise this then patients can begin the withdrawal program - minimising the dangers and side effects.

GlaxoSmithKline in conjunction with the MHRA need to tell doctors/health care workers that anyone who is finding it difficult tapering from Seroxat MUST be prescribed the Seroxat liquid. They [Patient] MUST be told that the withdrawal process is a very slow one and can take months and in some cases years.

Special detox units should be set up throughout doctors surgeries. Withdrawal packs and helpful tips would be a godsend to someone tapering from Seroxat. There are units for heroin and cocaine addicts - even classes for alcoholics and marijuana to help them taper - and smoking clinics are all over the place.

Withdrawal problems with Seroxat ARE real. People are suffering needlessly and the only reasons I can see why is a, GlaxoSmithKline won't admit there is an addiction problem and b, The MHRA don't like patients telling them how to do their job!

In an ideal world all of the above would be my Utopia. It's about time human beings started putting the welfare of one another before profit.

Fid

Read the new book, The Evidence, However, Is Clear...The Seroxat Scandal

By Bob Fiddaman

ISBN: 978-1-84991-120-7
CHIPMUNKA PUBLISHING

AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD HERE


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