Zantac Lawsuit

Citizens Commission on Human Rights Award Recipient (Twice)
Humanist, humorist

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Paroxetine withdrawal syndrome can last one heck of a
lot longer than 3 months. I have it for more than 2 years; I was
unable to work for 6 months because of it. It's only been in the last
6 months that I've been able to function at all normally, and I still
have relapses.

Here's a little essay I wrote about the monoamine theory of
depression on, an online support group for people
with paroxetine withdrawal syndrome:

It is true that manipulating the serotonin receptors (and other
neurohormone receptors) appears to relieve the symptoms of depression
and some other psychiatric disorders. However, that is not proof that
a deficiency of serotonin or any other neurohormone is the cause of

What it demonstrates is that if you alter the neurohormone balance
and, doing that, the interaction of hormones throughout the body, it
can have positive mood effects. In a minority of people, altering the
hormonal balance has adverse effects, sometimes fatal, as they become
suicidal or homicidal.

The mechanism controlling mood can be anywhere in the body's hormonal
system. Sometimes it's the thyroid. Sometimes it seems to be
metabolic, based on a lack of omega-3 fatty acids, essential
minerals, vitamin B12, or other nutrient. Sometimes it is in the HPA
axis, such as noradrenergic hypersensitivity.

The statistics are further contaminated because quite often
antidepressants are prescribed on the basis of misdiagnosis. A third
of all untreated cases of "depression" resolve spontaneously because
the condition was situational or, who knows, a transient hormonal
imbalance. This means that antidepressants often are credited with
successful treatment when the patient would have recovered anyway
without medication.

In general, medicine operates on the assumption that the widespread
hormonal disruption caused by antidepressants, on balance, is
beneficial. Danger signs such as weight gain, hypoglycemia, and
adverse effects on sexual response (this last affecting approximately
50 percent of patients) are ignored.

Those of us who are suffering severe discontinuation syndrome are the
canaries in the coal mine. Our problems reveal that the hormonal
disruption may not be benign. Whether occurring during treatment with
antidepressants or in withdrawal, it is certainly vastly underreported

The calculations that net out a benefit for antidepressant use may be
highly distorted, by accident and by design -- there is vast profit
in the defense that, overall, side effects are minor.

And patients should be made aware of the risks so they can make
informed choices.



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