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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Antidepressant Seroxat tops table of drug withdrawal symptoms

Seroxat, the British-made antidepressant which outsells Prozac, causes more people distressing withdrawal problems when they try to stop taking it than any other drug in the UK.

The committee on the safety of medicines, which receives reports of drug side-effects from doctors and pharmacists, has received an avalanche of complaints about Seroxat, one of the class of drugs known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). The SSRIs, including Prozac, have always been marketed as safe medicines which are supposed not to cause the dependence problems that emerged with older drugs such as Valium and Ativan.

Seroxat - known generically as paroxetine - leads the top 20 table of drugs causing withdrawal problems, with 1,281 complaints from doctors under the "yellow card" scheme set up for the reporting of medicines' side-effects. More reports have been filed about Seroxat than about the rest of the top 20 put together. In the top six, five of the drugs said to be causing withdrawal problems are SSRIs - second after Seroxat comes Efexor (venlafaxine), with 272 complaints.

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