Zantac Lawsuit

Researching drug company and regulatory malfeasance for over 16 years
Humanist, humorist

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Glaxo the Ghostwriter?

The New York Times is running with an incredible story this morning. Once again it features GlaxoSmithKline.

Documents obtained by US attorney's, Baum Hedlund, show how a 269-page book, “Recognition and Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders: A Psychopharmacology Handbook for Primary Care,” was heavily influenced by GSK [then SmithKline Beecham]

The preface of the book acknowledged that an "unrestricted grant' has been provided from a major pharmaceutical company. But Glaxo had much more involvement than the book described.

Duff Wilson of the New York Times writes:

The book’s listed co-authors were Dr. Charles B. Nemeroff, chairman of psychiatry at the University of Miami medical school since 2009 and Emory University before that, and Dr. Alan F. Schatzberg, who was chairman of psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine from 1991 until last year.

The letter documenting the relationship between Dr. Nemeroff, a writing company and SmithKline was dated Feb. 4, 1997. It and a “preliminary draft” of the book, dated Feb. 21, 1997, and adding Dr. Schatzberg’s name were released Monday by the Project on Government Oversight, a Washington advocacy group. They were attached to a letter of complaint to Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health. In the letter, Danielle Brian, executive director of the project, and Paul Thacker, an investigator, formerly with the staff of Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, also cited other examples of what they termed ghostwriting and asked the N.I.H. for better policing of such practices.





Monday, November 29, 2010

GlaxoSmithKline - $5000 Per Child.

Natural News is covering a story that broke in August.

Maria Carmen Palazzo was a psychiatrist on the payroll of GlaxoSmithKline.

Natural News reporter David Gutierrez writes:

"GlaxoSmithKline, manufacturer of Paxil, paid Palazzo $5,000 for every child she enrolled in the study.

"The case's significance goes beyond simple research fraud, as Glaxo is now defending itself against charges that for 15 years it deliberately concealed evidence that Paxil increases the risk of suicide in children."

Gotta love them aincha?

Hat-Tip: CCHR & Steph





Last Friday I told you about Susan Schechter, the author of the popular blog, 'If you're going through hell keep going'.

Susan spoke to me from her hospital bedside after she had been rushed to hospital due to a failure of her kidneys. Susan has been on Lithium for 26 years and feels that the failure of her kidneys is down to the prolonged use of this particular drug.

I've been told today that she had 5hrs of Dialysis on Friday and is still in physical pain...although not s bad as a week ago. She is awake and able to watch TV in her room at the hospital.

Susan has been given Xanax for anxiety and is doing as well as can be expected.

As ever, I'm sure you will all join me in wishing Susan a speedy recovery.




Sunday, November 28, 2010

17 Year Old Speaks about Paxil [Seroxat] Withdrawal

Did Glaxo fail to warn regarding the severe side effects of Paxil?

Sound familiar?




Saturday, November 27, 2010


Picture courtesy of the "failure to warn" company, GSK.

Just checking my Google analytics and seeing the Google search words kinda surprises me.

The top 10 Google search terms [for the last 500 hits] for folks to arrive on my blog.

1. Seroxat
2. Bob Fiddaman
3. Fiddaman
4. Seroxat UK Litigation
5. Steve Smith Lawsuit Penetang
6. Seroxat Sufferers
7. Statistics of Seroxat
8. Seroxat Premature Ejaculation
9. Paroxetine
10. Struggling Seroxat Withdrawal

Addleshaw Goddard [Glaxo's UK Lawyers] even makes the top 25 - they must be thankful for the free publicity, although disappointed that they trail 'Bob Fiddaman'

Fast approaching a quarter of a million hits - Thank you all for reading. I hope I have raised an eyebrow or two.




Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Tightening of the Screw - UK Litigation.

Litigation sees David go up against Goliath.

Goliath are currently turning the screw on the David's - money being their ammunition.

Q: What can you gain by trying to get blood out of a stone? Fear, insecurity, confusion?

And they really think this won't go public.

Trust me, it will.

Back Stories:

GlaxoSmithKline/MHRA - When Ignorance Turns To Bliss - Part I of IV

GlaxoSmithKline/MHRA - When Ignorance Turns To Bliss - Part II of IV - Witness For The Defence

GlaxoSmithKline/MHRA - When Ignorance Turns To Bliss - Part III of IV - Expert Statistician

GlaxoSmithKline/MHRA - When Ignorance Turns To Bliss - Part IV - The Colour of Money



Dr Douglass Condemns GSK

Just a cut and paste job from the website of Dr Douglass.


Bad batch proves shots not safe

Let’s stop pretending: There’s no way in hog heaven these swine flu vaccines are safe.

Need more proof? Look north – at least one Canadian is dead and dozens of others are recovering from severe allergic reactions to the vaccine.

Many of those cases were linked to GlaxoSmithKline’s Arepanrix swine flu vaccine, which prompted a recall of 172,000 doses. But by the time word got out, all but 15,000 had been used.

If you already rolled up your sleeve in Canada – too bad. Just be glad you’re still alive to read about it.

Plenty of victims have suffered from anaphylaxis, a potentially deadly reaction that includes breathing problems, low blood pressure and swelling of the throat, tongue, lips and eyes.

Arepanrix appears to be especially bad — even by the low standards of poorly tested swine flu vaccines.

GlaxoSmithKline’s own data shows that more that 1 in 10 patients experience pain, headache, fatigue, swelling, shivering, sweating, aching muscles and joint pain. And 1 in 10 will develop diarrhea, swollen lymph nodes, fever, feeling sick, bruising and itching.

We’re facing a pandemic all right – but it’s not from the flu. If they succeed in poking everyone, the real health crisis will come from all those bad drug reactions.

Recently, I told you about the patients who developed Guillain-Barre syndrome after their swine flu shots, and some people who even keeled over after getting these “safe” vaccines. (Click here to read “Swine flu swindle in full swing.”)

I mean c’mon – they’re playing us for saps, and we’re falling for it. So far, 22 million Americans have been conned into lining up for these dangerous needles like parents camped out at a store for a hot Christmas toy.

But at least we know the crummy economy won’t dampen the holiday spirits of one group of elites living high on the hog: Big Pharma fat cats and their accomplice docs who distribute these shots like candy canes at a Christmas party.




Sunday, November 21, 2010







Saturday, November 20, 2010


Thought I'd offer this free PDF of poems I wrote sometime ago. Some are as old as 10 years!

Before I started writing about the seedy world of the pharmaceutical industry and medicine regulators, I dabbled in poetry.

Here's a collection I put together.

Click on the image.



Friday, November 19, 2010

Seroxat Stories - Joanne's Story - - Seroxat side effects mingled with the akathesia

The seventh in this series of readers stories comes from Joanne.

Joanne had been prescribed Seroxat for 'gynaecological problems'. What followed was a far more serious battle, one which saw Joanne struggle through the withdrawal problems that occurs for a growing number of people trying to taper off Glaxo's wonder drug.


Back in 1997 I was suffering gynaecological problems resulting in feeling really drained and nauseous, my GP at that time refused to believe this was the case as I was only 27 years of age and diagnosed me with anxiety. Ok so I didn’t really know where that diagnosis came from but hey he was the doctor I trusted his opinion. He prescribed Seroxat 20mg but after only a few days treatment I suffered my first migraine and just really didn’t feel well taking this drug so I stopped.

1998 I was again prescribed Seroxat after suffering Akathesia from 3 drugs my GP had prescribed for seasonal allergies and to delay my monthly cycle so I could enjoy a family holiday, this bad reaction was diagnosed as an “ anxious state”, I suppose already suffering a bad reaction the Seroxat side effects mingled with the akathesia I was already suffering, so I remained on it for the next 3 years, although by now I really did have drug induced anxiety daily.

2000 by now I had started passing out with the heavy blood loss but my GP refused to listen and continued the Seroxat still stating it was all anxiety but luckily on one occasion at a routine appointment another GP at the practice actually took some blood samples and got straight back to me as I was in fact badly anaemic, which prompted a scan and Gyne appointment where it was said I needed a hysterectomy due to a large uterine fibroid. After collapsing with blood loss yet again in August I underwent my hysterectomy in September of that year. It was discovered that not only did I have the fibroid I also had a large ovarian cyst, enlarged bulky uterus, abnormal cervical cells and other endo abnormalities, if only I had been listened to in 1997 it could of prevented the hell I was about to incur.

2002 I had become obese, apathetic, unmotivated thanks to the side effects so I decided that now I had never needed Seroxat, to come off it, after all the patient information leaflet stated I could stop taking it at any time as it wasn’t addictive...WRONG….within days I couldn’t function, I was experiencing :

Skin burning sensations
Excruciating headaches
Suicide thoughts
Uncontrollable crying

Not to mention my body wouldn’t allow me to eat or sleep for 14 days solid and I was jerking all over, I hate to admit but yes I did try on 3 occasions to end it all, not that I wanted to end my life it was like a thought deep embedded in my mind I just wanted this torture to stop.

In desperation I admitted myself to hospital and Seroxat was reinstated, within weeks the withdrawal subsided .

2004 Still determined to beat this drug I visited my GP who advised to taper cutting out days to reduce, which I did for 9 months before taking my last pill, September 13th 2004, yes I remember that date who wouldn’t after all the hell started all over again, my GP s answer when informed of the hell "what do you want me to do about it?"

For three months I could hardly get out of bed due to muscle weakness, I would lay in bed shaking ,scared and helpless but not knowing what I was afraid of, I thought I would lose my mind. Every morning at 5am the racing anxiety would start, pacing up and down was all I could do to keep my sanity, I wanted sleep but by body was in adrenal overdrive. Imagine living your worst nightmare times it by 10 and it may just give you an incite into the terror that raged through me, only I was in my own room with nothing scary. Needless to say I lost my job, I had to go bankrupt due to no income and worse of all no Gp would listen to me let alone offer any comfort or support, no validation that this was drug induced, zero, zilch nothing, I was on my own and with a disabled son to care for too.

I have no idea how I survived the first 2 years of intense withdrawal, had it not been the support of close friends going through the same ordeal, I probably wouldn’t have.

2010 Six years off this drug now, totally drug free I am still living with the damage Seroxat caused me. I know I have nervous system damage and neuro receptor injuries and still have to live with debilitating symptoms daily. Yes things have improved very slowly but I am still a very long way off feeling as well as I had pre Seroxat, symptoms I still live with are;

Days of depression
Feeling intoxicated
Gastric problems
Allergies and chemical sensitivities
Mood swings
Headaches and Brain fog
Heart beat irregularities
Oesophagus spasms
Chronic fatigue

I am still unable to return to work or even have a social life, I cannot go out far on my own and have to rely on family to take me grocery shopping or to town. I am still unable to give my son the proper care he needs.

This drug has taken 12 years of my life to date and no one is held accountable. I receive no financial help, I feel like an outcast of society.

It makes me sad to know there are thousands of human beings worldwide in this situation thanks to GSK and their defective drug, they lied, maimed and killed for what? PROFIT! At our expense and suffering.



Seroxat Stories - Ruth's Story - "An awful dream."

Seroxat Stories - Lee's Story - "A lifelong patient"

Seroxat Stories - Richard's Story, A Chemical Lobotomy

Seroxat Stories - Dumgoyne's Story

Seroxat Stories - 'Angela's Story - 2mg away from safety'

Seroxat Stories - 'Annie - My Story'




My thoughts go out to Susan Schechter, author of 'If you're going through hell keep going' blog.

Susan was found by her father at her apartment a few days ago. She had suffered from a complete kidney failure and was rushed to Princeton Medical Centre in New Jersey.

We spoke briefly on the phone and Susan told me that her kidneys failed, she added, "26 years on Lithium has finally taken it's toll."

Susan will be having chemotherapy treatment later today to try to get her kidneys working again.

I'm sure you would all like to wish her a speedy recovery and hope that she is back in front of her computer again doing what she does best.

For those of you who wish to make contact with Susan directly please email me and I will give you her telephone number.

Get well soon Susan





I've always been astounded at medicine regulators from around the world. The FDA and its inability to act upon reports of bad medicine...not to mention the revolving door that exists between ex pharmaceutical employees and FDA officials. The MHRA fair no better, a backward system of reporting adverse drug reactions, a Chairman, who is an ex-employee of GSK, who thinks the whole Seroxat scandal is "nonsense" and a Head of Licensing being former World Safety Officer at GlaxoSmithKline. GlaxoSmithKline's lawyers even called upon the services of ex-MHRA employee, Rashmi Shah, to be their star witness in the UK Seroxat litigation.

Health Canada, the Canadian drug regulator, lay low whilst the MHRA and FDA come under attack from writer's such as myself, Evelyn Pringle, Ed Silverman and countless patient advocates.

One would think that Health Canada would like it to remain that way. Surprising then that a recent document that landed in my inbox shows quite a controversial step, one that, to my knowledge, has not been covered by any of the mainstream media.

In a public communication published on the Health Canada website yesterday, they announced "Endorsed Information on Important New Restrictions on the use of rosiglitazone (AVANDIA, AVANDAMET and AVANDARYL)"

Avandia has been the subject of much controversy over the years and it's licence was recently suspended in the UK following a recommendation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The EMA decided that the benefits of Avandia no longer outweighed its risks, risks that included increased risk of heart problems, including heart attacks and heart failure.

The FDA have not suspended the licence for Glaxo's diabetes drug, opting instead to "restrict its use."

Meantime, Health Canada have been in consultation with GlaxoSmithKline and their announcement yesterday appears odd, to say the least, the most striking of which is this:

Before starting or renewing a prescription for AVANDIA/AVANDAMET/AVANDARYL, doctors will complete the PATIENT INFORMED CONSENT PROCESS.

o Discuss other diabetes treatment options and the benefits and risks of AVANDIA®/AVANDAMET®/AVANDARYL® therapy with patients

o Ask patients to read the Consumer Information for AVANDIA®, AVANDAMET® or AVANDARYL®

o Ask patients to read and sign a form (see Informed Consent Form at the end of this Public Communication) indicating that the patient understands the heart-related risks of the medication and has discussed other options to treat their diabetes with their doctor.

There is the usual 'Talk to your doctor' utterances to make the patient feel like they are talking with God.

Now, the informed consent form appears to waiver patient rights to sue GlaxoSmithKline should Avandia cause any of the problems mentioned above.

The consent form reads:

Patient Informed Consent

My doctor has recommended one of the following medicines to treat my diabetes (please check one of the boxes below, as appropriate):


Please read this Patient Informed Consent (“Consent”) and the individual Consumer Information for AVANDIA/AVANDAMET/AVANDARYL and discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor before you sign this Consent.

Do not sign this Consent and do not take AVANDIA/AVANDAMET/AVANDARYL if there is anything you do not understand about the information you have received.

I am aware that:

AVANDIA/AVANDAMET/AVANDARYL are medicines used in addition to diet and exercise to lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes when all other diabetes medicines taken orally (by mouth), either alone or in combinations, have not lowered blood sugar enough or are not appropriate.

Rosiglitazone, the active ingredient in AVANDIA and one of the active ingredients in AVANDAMET and AVANDARYL, may increase the risk of serious heart problems, including:

• heart failure
• angina (chest pain)
• heart attack (myocardial infarction)
• fluid retention (with or without weight gain)

AVANDIA/AVANDAMET/AVANDARYL should not be used if I have or have had heart problems.

There are other options to treat my diabetes, as explained by my doctor.

There are other risks associated with AVANDIA/AVANDAMET/AVANDARYL that are outlined in the individual Consumer Information for AVANDIA/AVANDAMET/AVANDARYL and I have been given the opportunity to ask and discuss any questions or concerns about those risks with my doctor.

I understand that in order to be prescribed AVANDIA/AVANDAMET/AVANDARYL, I am required to sign this Consent.

My doctor has explained the above to me, I have been given time to read this Consent and the individual Consumer Information for AVANDIA/AVANDAMET/AVANDARYL carefully, and to discuss it with my doctor. I now authorize my doctor to continue/begin my treatment with AVANDIA/AVANDAMET/AVANDARYL

Patient or Legally Appointed Guardian signature lines are below. AVANDIA/AVANDAMET/AVANDARYL are not recommended for use in people under the age of 18.

Patient (and Legally Appointed Guardian if applicable) Name(s)

Please Print:________________________________________________________________

Patient / Legally Appointed Guardian Signature:

Date _________________________

Quite a U-turn from GlaxoSmithKline who have, for years, denied there was any problem with Avandia.

The public communication from Health Canada can be downloaded HERE.

GSK has sent a letter to Canadian healthcare professionals informing them of this new safety information.

For Health Professionals

For the Public




Thursday, November 18, 2010







GlaxoSmithKline Influences Experts To Boost HPV Vaccine Sales

A few days ago, the Daily Express ran an article which stated that cancer expert Professor Peter Sasieni recommended phasing out smear tests in favour of HPV testing. The opening statement in Victoria Fletcher’s article ‘New Cancer Check To Phase Out Smear Tests’

“SMEAR tests for cervical cancer should be phased out for all women, a top expert said.”

According to the Express Professor Sasieni, a scientist at Queen Mary, University of London, recommended smear tests should be phased out as soon as possible saying:

“Smear tests should be phased out starting as soon as possible with this being completed in five years. What further research are we waiting for? It is clear there are a number of HPV tests which are as good as cytology (smear tests) and in the long run are better.”

Christina England investigates HERE



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Seroxat Stories - Ruth's Story - "An awful dream."

The sixth in this series of readers stories comes from Ruth. Once again, this story echoes similar withdrawal stories sent into me and also the many thousands that are available on the internet.


My story starts in 1997

I had suffered from panic attacks for years but it was only in certain situations and apart from this affliction I was well. After a particularly difficult house move my panic attacks got worse so I went to my doctor. I was told that I suffered from panic attacks because I had a chemical imbalance in my brain, she went on to liken it to being diabetic and explained how the serotonin I needed was similar to a diabetic needing insulin. It seemed quite feasible to me, I had no reason to disbelieve her, she was the expert.

I took Seroxat for 7 years it made a slight difference to my panic attacks and my doc told me I would probably have to take them all my life. Again this was something I did not question as some people do have to take drugs forever.

What I did not really notice was how I was changing, Firstly I had little emotion, things did not seem to get to me anymore, I also piled on the weight, lost all interest in sex, and started to become very dissatisfied with my lot! I was irritable, aggressive and just not the person I used to be. My doc thought it was the menopause and decided to up my Seroxat from 20mg to 30mg. I did not like this plan so instead of upping my dose I broke the 30mg tablets in half in half. This was December 2004 just before I went to America on holiday. I went on holiday feeling terrible, disorientated, anxious, full of panic and feeling quite low. I continued in this state for a few months but started doing some research into Seroxat on the internet.

In March 2005 I went to see another GP in the practice and told her I wanted to stop taking it. She told me to take half the dose for a month and then half the next dose till I got down to 5 mg and then stop, that is what I did and it took me 3 months.

Within a few days I started with flu symptoms. I was freezing cold one minute then very hot the next, I also started experiencing what I now know to be the zaps! this was very unpleasant but I was still working and still functioning although my moods were very unpredictable.

It was March 2005 when I took my last tablet, by September I was still experiencing flu symptoms and zaps but now terror had entered the mix coupled by a crushing depression. I had to give up my job. To be fair I thought it was just me not coping with life and that maybe my Gp was right when she said I had to take them for life, I was very ill and terrified I could not even go to my doctors as I was scared she would have me committed. I was convinced I was losing my mind.

January 2006

By this time I was experiencing problems with my balance, bad headaches, diarrhea, terrible anxiety. I could not sleep and could eat only a little, my weight dropped by two and a half stone. The only good news was that I found a forum called Paxil Progress which I joined and then I realised what was happening to me. I also found out that I had been ill advised with regards to stopping it. I had stopped far to quickly (thanks to my doc) but could not reinstate it as I had been off too long. So I had to tough it out and tough it was. It was like a living nightmare!

My ordeal was like an awful dream I would wake up every morning feeling terrible and it never let up, I would go to bed at night and hope that tomorrow would never come.I did feel suicidal but somehow my love for my husband and children kept me alive. I still cannot believe that a drug could make someone feel so bad the memory of that time of terror will live with me forever.

My withdrawal symptoms

Extreme dizziness
Blocked right ear
Tingling in limbs
Weight loss
Bowel problems
Inability to sleep
Crushing depression
Crying spells

Over the last few years I have seen various doctors at my request. My balance is still causing me problems. I have been told I have visual vertigo. A neurologist did confirm I was suffering from Seroxat withdrawal but could not offer much in the way of help. I even went for CBT and they said they could not really help me. So now in 2010 over 5 years after my last pill I am still nowhere near well. I am much better than I was but I still suffer from episodes of anxiety, my balance problem is ongoing, as is tinnitus, and days of bad depression.

I am very angry at the total lack of help from the medical profession who start us on these drugs then cannot offer any help when the suffering starts. I am angry that GSK did not fully inform doctors of the withdrawal problems.

When my GP said you may have to take them for life I wonder now if she knew something!



Seroxat Stories - Lee's Story - "A lifelong patient"

Seroxat Stories - Richard's Story, A Chemical Lobotomy

Seroxat Stories - Dumgoyne's Story

Seroxat Stories - 'Angela's Story - 2mg away from safety'

Seroxat Stories - 'Annie - My Story'



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

GlaxoSmithKline - A history In Video




Further reading:

"Satanic is the only word that does justice to this outfit"



Seroxat Stories - Lee's Story - "A lifelong patient"


Continuing with stories sent into me by readers of my blog, this, the 5th in the series.

It is with stories such as this one and the previous four that the public know about the pitfalls of taking Seroxat.

The MHRA don't accept anecdotal evidence, they prefer to use the tired and very much outdated yellow card system, a system that is about as much use as a blind lifeguard!

The MHRA are the 'independent' body set up to regulate the drugs you and I take. Furthermore, they are in place to ensure that patients are given all the relevant information from the manufacturers of the drugs we take.

This is clearly not happening. Lee's story is testament to that.


I was put on Seroxat when I was 19, have made three attempts to come off it and am currently coming towards the end of an extended taper, which will be my fourth attempt.

In my teenage years, I wasn’t coping very well. I started to feel sick in the mornings and was reluctant to go to school. In spite of that, I was still achieving high marks and was showing myself to be competent in areas such as drama and public speaking and was known by many as one of life’s young high-achievers. Yet, I started to develop a fear around going to the toilet and eventually got to the stage where my nervousness around it always made me want to go and pee.

At 19, having got through the incredible pressure of A-levels and my first year at one of the UK’s top universities, I started to fall to pieces and became very sad and anxious. I was referred to a psychiatrist by my GP who offered nothing other than a prescription for Seroxat which I was told would make me better. I was only with the psychiatrist for a short time, during which she told me in no uncertain terms that I was ‘emotionally retarded and overly intellectual for my age’. She didn’t ask me anything about what was really going on in my life and I was afraid to divulge anything personal such as my recent prolonged questioning of my sexuality as she was quite a stern doctor. Effectively, I was told to take the tablet and go away; no other support was offered. It was essential that I got well and got back to ‘normality’.

I always remember my mum, who I love very much, at the time being hesitant about my taking the pills as she had known several people who had had their lives ruined by benzodiazepine addiction. She was reassured that this relatively ‘new’ medication was in no way addictive and was completely different from the tranquiliser generation of drugs. How cruelly ironic that reassurance was. That was just over 13 years ago and since then, I have made three absolutely horrific attempts to withdraw – one when I was 24, the second when I was 26 and the third when I was 28. I am currently 29 months into a barbaric and life-crushing fourth withdrawal.

Just after I started to take Seroxat, I felt almost a mini type of euphoria. After several weeks of being afraid to leave the house before the meeting with the psychiatrist, I was suddenly feeling very brave and was cycling on my bike quite happily around the university town where I had returned to live and study. I was so grateful to this ‘wonder drug’ for making me better. I still had the issues around peeing but they weren’t as severe and I started to develop an unusually rare carefree attitude – not worrying about my marks, drinking alcohol a lot more, experimenting with sex – generally enjoying my life, all of the time making the association that the ‘wonder drug’ was something I needed to enable me to have a quality of life. I had already become psychologically dependent.

In my 3rd year of university, I moved abroad for one year as part of my degree and I started to think that I wanted to come off Seroxat. By this stage, I’d been on it for just over a year. I deliberately missed two days of my regular dose of 20mg and I noticed I was feeling incredibly afraid and dizzy and almost fell down some stairs at a French railway station. I panicked and thought to myself: I should not mess round with this drug that I clearly need. I made no association with the fact that I was hooked.

In my final and 4th year of university, I had exams looming and the pressure was starting to build again. I saw my GP at the time who said it would be best if I was increased to 30mg ‘just to get me through’ and I gladly took it and did little or no revision for my final exams and ultimately came out with a very poor degree. I had developed a sense of safety from all that was potentially harmful, ie stress and pressure, and made a clear understanding that Seroxat was giving me the freedom to become the carefree person I needed to be. Yet, throughout, I was still experiencing periodic anxiety and I felt physically sick if I ever missed one of my ‘happy pills’.

I was determined to get off the medication and I tried for the first time when I was 24. I had just completed a post-graduate diploma and I had followed the GP’s advice of ‘miss every other day, snap the tablet in two, play around with the dosage etc and be sure to eat three square meals a day. Oh, and a break a sweat three times a week. ‘I thought it was going to be that simple. It wasn’t and after I had got to the stage of becoming suicidal after a period of four months withdrawing, I put myself back on it as I literally couldn’t function – couldn’t eat, couldn’t leave the house, was in terror all the time and literally wanted to die. I made a clear understanding to myself that I was ‘fundamentally ill’ and Seroxat was the only thing that saved me.

Things got back on an even keel, I won a prestigious journalism traineeship and I decided to try to withdraw again. Got the same useless advice from a different GP and ended up going into complete meltdown while on a trip to Spain which resulted in my needing to take an emergency flight home to my parents’ house and suffering incredible pain until I was prescribed the drug again by a different GP. This second withdrawal saw me lose my job, my home and my burgeoning career in journalism.

I wanted to try again and so I asked my GP to refer me to a psychiatrist to help me get off this stuff that I was clearly addicted to. I naively thought proper support would be out there. I was referred and the psychiatrist was very pleasant and kind although he said he didn’t believe in withdrawal but would try and support me nonetheless. In his opinion, we could give it a try but I would probably have to accept that I needed medication for life as I was ‘one of those types of people.’ I tried a third time – this time trying to cross-taper with another drug, mirtazepine in order to ‘soften the blow’ of coming off Seroxat. This was disastrous and I ended up being prescribed an even higher dose of the drug ‘to get me stable’.

And so we arrive at my current and hopefully my last withdrawal attempt which I started a couple of months after turning 30. This has been the most soul-destroying experience to date. I have lost my career as a management consultant, all potential to earn income, important relationships and most significantly, any desire to stay alive. Since getting down to 19mg, I have become physically very ill with persistent nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, dizziness, painful limbs, paresthesia in fingers, stultifying headaches, inexplicable changes in body temperature, frequent urination. I might have been able to cope with these had it not been for the horrors of the psychological symptoms: constant fear, insomnia, daily suicidal thoughts, obsessive thinking, agoraphobia, complete anhedonia and very powerful depression. I have genuinely got to the point, where I am now at 7mg, that I have lost my will to live and I don’t seem to be able to envisage a life for myself in the future. That is what hurts me the most.

I force myself to continue each day. I have a psychiatrist who is literally unable to do anything for me; he believes I ‘need’ medication and really struggles with the idea that a prescription drug can do this much damage. He comes up with a host of several different ‘diagnoses’ which I feel have limited me to the role of ‘lifelong patient’ which I had never wanted for myself. I have a GP who knows what Seroxat can do to people but he has no resources to offer me apart from moral support. I am also working with a psychologist who appreciates the difficulty of this but has no significant experience of working with someone whose whole life has been ruined by this.

What I find so hard about this whole thing is the way it stops me from feeling human and no matter how much I talk about it to others, I can’t describe the pain I am feeling which ultimately makes me want to die. I feel so ruined by this.

Often when I think it would be better off if I was dead, I try to hold on to the belief that maybe one day, I will be free of this poison and I might actually find a reason for living.

Our stories need to be heard; this injustice cannot go uncovered.



Seroxat Stories - Richard's Story, A Chemical Lobotomy

Seroxat Stories - Dumgoyne's Story

Seroxat Stories - 'Angela's Story - 2mg away from safety'

Seroxat Stories - 'Annie - My Story'





On the 13th January 2004 promising medical student, 22 year old Jon Medland, hanged himself at his student lodgings at Manchester University.

Jon had suffered from mild acne on his back and had, four weeks previous, been prescribed Roaccutane, a drug used to treat severe cases of acne.

At his inquest Manchester coroner, said: "For a drug to affect a person of a very solid life foundation, if it can lead them to take their own life, then it deserves further investigation, if a link can be proved.

"But I cannot say with any certainty that the effects of the drug Roaccutane led him to take his own life. All I can say is that the warnings that are already present should be made very clearly and strongly."

Roaccutane is from the stable of Hoffman-La Roche and has many different brand names. Accutane in the United States before July 2009), Amnesteem (Mylan), Claravis (Barr), Clarus (PremPharm), Decutan (Actavis), Isotane (Pacific Pharmaceuticals), Izotek (BlauFarma), Oratane (Genepharm Australasia), ISOTRET (Liva Healthcare Ltd.) or Sotret (Ranbaxy), while topical isotretinoin is most commonly marketed under the trade names Isotrex or Isotrexin (Stiefel)

It is also a known teratogen, so should not be administered to women who are doubt it still is due to the carte blanch doctors have of prescribing these type of drugs because the MHRA have very little, or no power, to ban them.

In the following three minute video, Jon's father, Jonathon Medland Snr, is interviewed by founder of the APRIL charity, Millie Kleve. APRIL stands for Adverse Psychiatric Reactions Information Link and is a charity that creates awareness and collates information about adverse psychiatric side effects of everyday medicines and anaesthetics.

Jonathon describes the moment he met Prof. Kent Woods, CEO of the MHRA in London.

A father talks about the acne drug Roaccutane his son's suicide and the attitude of regulators from APRIL on Vimeo.

More on Jon Medland's suicide HERE



Monday, November 15, 2010


Yesterday I wrote about the tragic circumstances surrounding the death of 19 year old Ashley Smith, who choked to death whilst under the apparent care of the Canadian correctional facilities.

A report has surfaced from 2008.

The report includes historical facts excerpted from document archives and video footage provided by five governmental departments as well as relevant information provided by departmental authorities, experts and other stakeholders. It includes a review of the services provided by the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Social Development, the Department of Health, the Department of Education and the Department of Justice. The report outlines 25 recommendations to government. The Ombudsman and Child and Youth Advocate is committed to reviewing and measuring the progress made with regards to these recommendations by the aforementioned departments and to release publicly a progress report in a year’s time.

Page three of the report features a poem written by Ashley approximately one year before her death.

It reads:

My Life

My life I no longer love
I’d rather be set free above
Get it over with while the time is right
Late some rainy night
Turn black as the sky and as cold as the sea
Say goodbye to Ashley
Miss me but don’t be sad
I’m not sad I’m happy and glad
I’m free, where I want to be
No more caged up Ashley
Wishing I were free
Free like a bird.

Ashley Smith, 18 years old
October 1, 2006
New Brunswick Youth Centre

The full report, which I have not had time to read yet, can be downloaded HERE



Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mother Speaks Out [Seroxat Suicide]


The suicide of Cecily Bostock is one of the most brutal suicides I have read that relates to GlaxoSmithKline's Seroxat.

I first learned of this story last June when Sara, Cecily's mother, contacted me after reading a series of articles I had written about the suicide of Ontario student, Sara Carlin.

Cecily Bostock was a musician, an artist, an over achiever in almost everything she did.

Sara Bostock (Mother of Cecily):

“She was having a lot of trouble sleeping and she had racing thoughts, and she was over-analysing and she was overly sensitive… that is what prompted the prescription.”

Within three weeks of taking Seroxat, Sara says, her daughter became a totally different person.


"The last two days she was just a complete zombie I have to say. She was just agitated, jumping at every noise and not making sense. I was very concerned. We were very close to Cecily. I just loved her deeply.

So I went into the kitchen and I turned the light on and she was lying on the floor. And I knew she was dead. And there was a knife on the floor by her and there was just a trickle of blood from her chest.”

Cecily had stabbed herself twice through the heart.

Her death came about 20 days after she had started taking Seroxat. Cecily was just 25 years old.

Since her daughter's death Sara has been campaigning and creating awareness about the dangers of  Seroxat and other SSRi type drugs.

Sara attended the APRIL charity conference 2008 and spoke about her experience and knowledge from years of research. This video has finally surfaced.

Here she speaks about Seroxat/Paxil (paroxetine) suicides.

Sara Bostock personal SSRI suicide story and opinion from APRIL on Vimeo.



Ashley Smith [19] - Video the Canadian Government didn't want you to see.

An undated family handout photo of Ashley Smith, who took her own life in a federal institution on October 19, 2007

The following video is pretty hard hitting. It features the final moments of Ashley Smith, a 19 year old Canadian woman who was incarcerated for the crime of throwing an apple at a postman.

Ashley Smith was just 15 years of age when a 30 day sentence was handed down to her. The 30 day sentence spread to 4 years as Smith was transferred on 17 separate occasions by Corrections Canada. The transfers spanned four of the five regions of the Correctional Service of Canada.

Allison Jones, The Canadian Press [Link]

Her family argues the transfers were done perhaps to get around a rule that inmates be kept in solitary confinement for a maximum 60 days without a psychiatric assessment. A transfer resets that clock.

Ontario's Deputy Chief Coroner Dr. Bonita Porter has decided to limit the upcoming inquest into Smith's death to the 13 weeks the young woman spent in Ontario.

Porter began hearing arguments at a pre-inquest hearing Monday from Smith's family and advocates requesting the scope be expanded to the entire time she was in federal custody.

"State acts and omissions... are as significant and contributing to her death as the ligatures she was permitted to use to end her life," Falconer said.

The 17 transfers and continuous isolation had a "seriously deleterious effect" on the mental health of a girl prone to self-injurious behaviour, and the transfers made it impossible for her to obtain proper treatment, he said.

She was subject to "atrocious" conditions, including more than 150 interventions involving use of force, not enough toilet paper, not enough sanitary products when she was menstruating and not enough soap or deodorant, Falconer said.

"This is disgusting and it should all be looked at — every inch," he said.

The Moncton, N.B. woman choked herself with a strip of cloth at the Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ont., in October 2007.

Video evidence shows staff failed to respond immediately to the emergency.

Questions need to be asked and answered. This case should not be swept under the carpet.

The mental institutions and correctional facilities of Canada have recently been in the news.

Steve Smith, a patient who endured such barbaric treatment at Oakridge Facility in Penetanguishene.

The author of the Penetanguishene Mental Health blog writes:

When I read the PDF file about the "capsule program" administered in part by Dr. Elliott Barker It sickened me but to read it directly from Steve Smith is nothing short of horrifying. I wanted to talk to him directly. What was true? What had been grossly exaggerated on the world wide web, documentaries, news programs.... if anything at all? What in the name of god did he do to deserve this?

Smith and I corresponded over a period of about 8 weeks... maybe more. Initially there was a trust issue. I did not know him, he did not know me. I wanted the story. He wants justice. I want justice too but in the last few years I have come to realize that the business of psychiatry is so incredibly corrupt, self serving and profitable... justice takes years if ever.

In an email exchange with Steve Smith, I asked him if he was familiar with the Ashley Smith story, he told me:

"The Ashley Smith story makes me cry just thinking about it as I feel a strong connection with her." He added, "I know exactly how she felt as she lay dying."

Also in recent news, 22 year old patient Kulmiye Aganeh died while in the care of Penetanguishene Mental Health Centre, run by the government of Ontario. Some believe this facility is unfit for human habitation and one of the most barbaric treatment centers in Canada.

Kulmiye had been held involuntarily at Penetanguishene Mental Health Centre for 15 months. Prior to that, he was held at the Whitby Mental Health Centre for a period of 2 years, all the while his doctors experimented with medications that did not make him better but made him more depressed and more vulnerable. He was scared, isolated and lonely. He was also at the mercy of the staff at Penetanguishene. He had been transferred from a minimum security mental health facility in Whitby to Penetanguishene's maximum security facility because he did not agree with the medication and treatment they were subjecting him to. He believed the drugs were making him ill, and they were!

Kulmiye had been admitted to the facility for treatment as a result of stealing a car. [LINK]

Canada has never seemed so uninviting... and that's coming from someone who wants to live and work there!

The video [below] is not for the faint hearted. It's truly shocking and shows the final minutes of Ashley Smith's young life.



Seroxat Stories - Richard's Story, A Chemical Lobotomy

The fourth in a series of  stories sent into me by readers of Seroxat Sufferers.

This one from Richard echoes many of the countless stories I have read with regard to the withdrawal from Seroxat.

It is a story that should strike at the conscience of GlaxoSmithKline and the UK medicine regulators. Sadly, through experience of dealings with both GSK and the MHRA, I suspect it won't.

**Paxil is the brand name for Seroxat in the US and Canada.

Richard's Story, A Chemical Lobotomy

My suicidal ideation and "Chemical Lobotomy" Begins... a phrase I first saw with a Dr Paul Cheney discussing what he believes happens to those who have been on SSRI's for 10 years.

It was 1997. An accumulation of factors had driven me into an increasingly dark hole, some self inflicted, others not. A psychiatrist was now on the agenda, at the suggestion of my wife, in hopes of helping me, her and to save a marriage teetering on the rocks. She survived, the marriage did not, and it marked the beginning of a deeper descent into a darkness that continues to this day.

After a few visits the diagnosis was severe clinical depression. The topic of drugs was broached and a life long aversion to pills beyond the ordinary was my reaction. My shrink, someone who I still today would describe as an amiable and caring man despite what followed, talked some about prescription medications as well as homeopathic alternatives. I opted to start with St John's Wort, with no noticeable improvement. After some period of time anti depressants were strongly suggested and Paxil was his drug of choice. And this I will never forget. As part of his explanation he said it was the "least toxic" of all the available solutions. And with a daily dosage of 20 mg my Paxil nightmare began.

Over the following 2 years my behavior became increasingly self destructive, encompassing many of the ""usual suspects" in such a descent. While I have read some who have researched and claimed that Paxil can facilitate such behavior, it is hard to blame anyone but myself. But there was a new element previously unknown to what was once a strong inner make up. A "boot strap" mentality that was always my salvation in crisis situations whether large or small was now giving way to daily thoughts of suicide.

In late December of 1999, now in my second post marital apt, I moved my mattress to my living room floor. From that location through the windows of my apt I could view the New Year's Eve fireworks display over Lake Michigan, an annual tradition in Chicago. And the downward spiral accelerated.

My mattress, along with me, stayed on that floor for the next 4 months, rarely leaving my apt. My near 25 year career in the financial markets was ended in February for "job abandonment". Suicide was no longer merely a daily thought but became a confirmed destination and was never far from my thoughts. Hard to make plans when you've decided your pre-determined fate. Those thoughts seemed as natural to me as work once was. They even took on a romantic tone over time, imagining asking my ex or a friend to hold my hand as I expired from a drug overdose. After my first shrink visit post climbing off my floor I mentioned suicide as my destination whenever my money was gone.

A few years later that point was reached. I was as calm about the date and method of my demise as if thinking about what to order at a restaurant. In an e mail to said shrink I mentioned my plans. Little did I know a shrink could order an arrest for hospitalization, which took place they next morning. Four uniformed cops, a trip in a paddy wagon and a 30 hour stay in the locked psych ward of Northwestern Memorial hospital. Over the objections of the second in charge of the ward, the lead Dr signed my release.

Now indigent, a multi year odyssey of living with a variety of friends and family in 3 different states followed. Suicide ideation was still strong and daily, but likely was prevented by not wanting to "soil" the homes of said family and friends. I was now receiving Paxil for free (25mg CR from the plant Glaxo recently closed and was fined $750 million) from a Glaxo program called "Bridges to Access". How's that for a title!

Withdrawal Attempt

In the spring of 2007 I started serious on line research on Paxil, on my own. Many of the critics of SSRI's became well known names to me...Healy, Breggin, Glenmullen and others. As Glenmullen was only a few miles from where I was located I tried hard to contact him, many e mails and a few phone calls without success. But through a blog "Furious Seasons" I found out he was not taking private patients.

I planned my own withdrawal schedule. Not sure there were any withdrawal protocols published at the time by those who later would publish on this topic. From June to Oct of that year I would split the pills into smaller and smaller doses. In Oct I stopped after more than 10 years on this poison.

The electric zaps were there, but I was familiar with this symptom as I had experienced the same before on days when I had not taken my dosage. Zaps occurred 50-100 times a day, often 10 of more in a matter of a second or two. Slowly, other symptoms surfaced. First was tinnitus, which was rarely mentioned. Then the dreams...bizarre, disturbing, byzantine and often in color. I had never dreamed in color before. The dreams have become recurring "themed nightmares" leaving one sometimes breathless on awaking. Akathisia, or "inner restlessness". Sounds benign but believe me it is not. All of these continued over the months that followed and are with me to this day. Then about 3 months into the period after the last dose I had the first visit of what I now call "the insanities". Among the many articles discussing Paxil withdrawal symptoms one list mentioned "feeling like you're going insane" and I was having my first experience. A psychical sensation in my frontal lobes that was draining, disturbing, near debilitating. Lying down and hoping for sleep was my only solution.

These attacks became more frequent, along with the daily visits of the other symptoms. The once a month visit of the insanities became twice a month, then twice a week and finally after 18 months they became intolerable with multiple attacks weekly. Contact with a shrink/neurologist familiar with the dangers of SSRI's followed. He said I was too far past my last dose for this merely to be withdrawal symptoms and I was basically experiencing a poisoning of the brain, neurotoxicity.

Cutting to today, I went back on a smaller dose at that time, 5 mg of Prozac, the idea being that this should/may clear up the toxic effects and withdrawal could begin again. Did not work, then 10 mg. Did not work and the symptoms became more difficult to deal with. Today I am back at 15 mg and have given up the idea of these issues ever clearing up. 6 months ago they were so bad I agreed to start using a small dosage of Xanax, another toxic drug, but it helped for very short periods, sometimes helping me fall asleep. Three months ago I bought some marijuana for the first time in 30 years.

All the symptoms are still with me today. A day without a visit of "the insanities" is now rare. Once in a while an attack is mild. Most are somewhere between disturbing to debilitating. A small dosage of Xanax is a 3-4 times a week event. A puff or two on a one hitter (there were no such things in my college days) occurs with about the same frequency. Both have their ameliorating effects but do nothing to halt the symptoms. Taking to bed on a bad day is frequent occurrence.

I believe I have suffered permanent brain damage due to not only the drug, but the length of time of my exposure. Again a quote from Dr Paul Cheney, known for his CFS clinic, as well as a believer in the severe dangers of SSRI's.

"Taken over 10+ years or so, these medications can lead to the loss of brain cells, causing neurodegenerative disorders."

I have no reason to believe otherwise in my situation.


Other stories in this series:

Seroxat Stories - Dumgoyne's Story

Seroxat Stories - 'Angela's Story - 2mg away from safety'

Seroxat Stories - 'Annie - My Story'



Saturday, November 13, 2010

Will GSK Lawyer, Lauren Stevens, Squeal Like A Little Piggy?

Well, that seems to be the train of thought on Cafe Pharma forum.

Cafe Pharma is a forum for reps, this particular forum is for reps and employees of GlaxoSmithKline.

Very interesting thread HERE

For Lauren Stevens back story - go HERE


Another lying lawyer?
Had fun telling my pharmacists about this one!
Thanks for providing me the ability to educate them on WHY to try and talk patients out of filling scripts of GSK products. Company lies and we cannot trust the information provided. Oh by the way, here is the behavior of the company lawyers....


Everyone, and I mean everyone, in GSK Medical and Marketing divisions is fully aware of the GSK's illegal off-label marketing practices. This was not the work of a rogue lawyer. It was official GSK policy to encourage off-label marketing. Hundreds of reps, dozens of marketing, medical, regulatory, and legal professionals within GSK are fully aware of the off-label violations that are a normal part of GSK's (and probably all of Big Pharma) work practice.

What baffles me, and I know Lauren personally, how she would ever put her name on something saying we don't have any off-label slide packs, when hundreds of copies of those slide packs exist and it would be impossible to prevent those slide packs from turning up.

The lawyers at GSK don't make the policies. They simply are assigned the task of creating some plausible justification for the policies that have been decided at the highest level of this company. Sure go ahead and make fun of the lawyer, but save your venom for the puppet masters, not the puppets.


GSK is making History here, I never heard about a case like this before, but again, why lying like that. And the sad part is she was eliminated of the company after drinking all that Kool aid. L Stevens is just 60 years-old. Now she will be out of jail when she is 85.. Pathetic!!


85? thats only 25 years! She is facing 2 charges that carry a possible 20 year sentence each, and 4 charges carrying 5 years each, thats 60 years possible! I love what her attorney said in the press too, like she actually has a leg to stand on! She will be squealing like a pig! If she was dirty enough to cover up for the slime she represented, do you think she'll keep her trap shut now? I bet your company leadership is coming unglued right now! All those years ago, and it is now time to pay the piper! Please let us in on how the national conference call went!


Bob Ingram, who I think is still being paid, and of course JP Garnier, relaxing in his chalet in the Alps are two that everyone knows. The buck did not stop with this attorney, everything had to go to the execs. and they knew it all. She will sing like Canary.


Also, Janice Whitaker


Tip Of The Iceberg

Since GSK as a corporation hasn't yet been charged directly with off-label marketing, it is obvious that the DOJ is putting the squeeze on the lawyer to cop a deal and squeel.

Lauren is on the hook for COVERING UP the off-label marketing.

The real deal is nailing the execs who endorsed the off-label marketing.

Lauren will squeal like a stuck pig and start naming names.

The top folks (past or present) in Medical and Marketing should be scared, very scared.

And for the rest of us - all of these gross violations of US law by GSK execs (whether willful GMP violations by GMS in Cidra or willful marketing violations by Medical will just make it tougher for GSK to get new products on the market.

Thank you very much GSK mgt.




Thursday, November 11, 2010

Seroxat Stories - Dumgoyne's Story.


The third in a series of stories sent in to me from readers of Seroxat Sufferers. This one is quite brilliantly written and, unlike the previous two stories sent in by readers, comes from a male perspective.

If any doctor or employee of the MHRA wants to know about risk/benefit, then read the following:

"Prior to Seroxat use, I was lucky enough to have enjoyed 40 years of decent sleep, albeit until my night time panic attacks. Since using the drug and more particularly since I started tapering, sleep is truly elusive. At best, I will get 3 hours per night."

Dumgoyne's Story

My Seroxat story started in 2001, not long after the birth of my son. I was going through a particularly stressful time at work, combined with two other major factors. Lack of sleep and a slow erosion of self confidence, following 10 years, supporting a partner, who was abused by a relative, as a child. It seemed that in order to make my partner feel safe, loved and comfortable, I had to make such huge emotional sacrifices, that in the end, all combined to result in a negative, depressive impact on my health.

I started experiencing strong night time panic attacks, then decided to visit my GP. I can honestly say, at that point, that I would have taken anything to feel better. This was a complete reversal of my normal prescriptive opinion ie; I was always ultra cautious as a rule, taking any drug of note, my motto being, stiff upper lip and determination will see me through.

I recall what followed, as if it were yesterday. My GP listened to me, then introduced what he called " a new breed of super drug", called Seroxat.

To be fair, unlike previous occasions, where I would normally say, no thanks, I listened enthusiastically, thinking, I just needed some form of relief from symptoms being suffered. Then, my GP made a comment, which I will never forget. As he printed off my prescription for 20mgs (tablet formulation), he stated, that I could be on this medication " for the rest of my life ". Amazingly, given my traditional outlook toward Doctors and their medical suggestions, I let this comment go, without further questioning!! This was a massive and devastating mistake.

Fast forward 3/4 weeks, my panic attacks had gone, associated use symptoms were pretty normal ie sexual issues, headaches, some stomach and bowel changes, along with an initial carefree feel, in myself. Nothing seemed to be a worry, I was able to cope well in the early stages, using this drug. Moving forward to month 10/12, all was well, or at least I thought it was. I will be fair and balanced in this respect, Seroxat did seem to have worked at this stage, but little did I know, that as each month passed, it was starting to ingrain it's Jekyll & Hyde DNA, well and truly into my system.

I did have follow up GP appointments from time to time, but when at 2 years of use, I was advised to start thinking of coming off the medication. All was well, my mood tended to be blank at this point, certainly comments had been made domestically, that I seemed to have changed. Describing why I know they were right, there were several family orientated losses, that would naturally have been emotional and tearful. ABSOLUTELY NO FEELING AT ALL, NO UPSET NO MATTER HOW HARD I TRIED. Think this was the start, when I knew something was wrong. Yes, I am perfectly aware of popular SSRI perception ie; they mask our original issues, through their cocktail of components, that leave us robotic and an empty emotional shell.

It was when my GP, tasked me to reduce in chunks of 5mgs per week, that things started to go pear shaped. He kindly advised me that "coming off Seroxat makes users feel exceptionally ill" A very kind and helpful gesture!!! So, I tried making suggested initial reductions, then reported back, 4 weeks later. After my first 5 mg reduction I was left in such a state, that I reverted back to same, so no progress made.

A period followed where I was again under pressure at work, so things were put on hold for a spell. When things improved, back to the GP, where I was now advised to opt for a new method. Reduce my dosage but experiment at each level, in the form of missing alternate days Seroxat intake, eventually trying to extend time without the drug in my system. This at every dose!!!! 18 months followed, trying this fantastically dangerous suggestion. I can safely say, that in my life, I have never EVER, felt the urge to take my own life. I have a beautiful son and I love life.

During this spell however, I ended up in a low that was so strong ie; of a level, way beyond any I had experienced in my life, that I continually considered ending my life. In addition, absolutely no relief from intense insomnia, which again was new to me. Little did I know, that my Doctor had given me pathetic guidance. It was at a point, where I decided to carry out my own research. I joined a large Seroxat forum and one lady member in particular, able to guide me in the early stages, back from severe withdrawal symptoms. This was the start of my learning curve, I immersed myself in all things Seroxat, taking in half lives, poop outs, advised withdrawal techniques and, in general, wakening up to the nightmare and mess I was in.

Waited 8-10 weeks to stabilise, then, just stayed there for a spell, thankful that my dark experience had gone. Extremely scary.

What followed was and is, without shadow of doubt, the most life changing, devastating nightmare. Two quality jobs lost, a partner of 16 years gone and symptoms so severe, that life has been virtually impossible to predict, plan and cope.

Rather than detail each 10% drop, how if felt and time scale, all I will do now, is detail symptoms I have suffered, changes in my normal persona and any other points of note:

Rage & Aggression - My now ex-partner, says to her family/ friends, when looking back on our last couple of years together, "that the man she knew and loved, had gone, taken away by a drug that had utterly changed him, into someone, she felt very scared of" Rage, confrontation and aggression, were not part of my normal day to day character, in any way. Yes a tad lacking in general patience, nothing major though.

I recall a particular event that overviews things well. I took my son to a children's play area one weekend, for a relaxing break!!! A typical squabble took place between my son and a slightly older girl. I ended up screaming at her to come down to me, in front of shocked onlookers. I was eventually asked to leave the building, in complete fury!

These symptoms are tough, very tough to battle. I try to explain how and why to anyone who is interested. I first noticed increasing rage and aggression, round about 17mgs, and is still there at 3.8mgs, 5 years later!

Irritable behaviour - This associated, unwanted Seroxat withdrawal symptom, is one that is hard to live with. Close family in their latter years, my son and friends, all know when things are bad or I have reduced my "medication". No logic to this, it just feels like everything is an invasion of personal space, requiring instant short shrift. My normal behaviour, most probably is stereo typically British ie; last to complain or kick up a fuss.
No chance of this using Seroxat, I will pick an argument with anyone, or stand my ground over the most stupid insignificant issues, it beggars belief!

All I try to do is apologise and hope people understand. Similar to above ie kicked in, round about 17mgs and is increasing, as I reach low levels.

Risk taking behaviour - One of my largest changes in normal persona, has been Seroxat's elimination of user inhibition. Although still an issue, I can feel some twinges of restraint, now. Put simply, Seroxat withdrawal, produced a person who was willing to break the law. My partner dreaded me going for any weekly shop, such was my uncontrollable urge to steal when at a supermarket. This again, completely out of character, I am a law abiding citizen, without a police record!

It didn't matter if it was a bottle of anchovies, t-bone steak or alcohol, nothing was safe!!! No explanation for this, other than I wanted to do something wrong for the hell of it, even when it was produce we had no need for!

I recall one particular day, prior to the split with my ex, we were having a BBQ and I took a total of 9 bottles of top wine in one visit!!! To say this is not me, is an under statement. Naturally I mentioned to my GP. In my opinion, this emotional void, where one is totally unafraid of consequence and implication, should be sufficient evidence alone, that this drug, changes and destroys lives.

Severe and sustained insomnia - Prior to Seroxat use, I was lucky enough to have enjoyed 40 years of decent sleep, albeit until my night time panic attacks. Since using the drug and more particularly since I started tapering, sleep is truly elusive. At best, I will get 3 hours per night, wakening at 2 or 3 am then no matter how relaxed or rested I am, never any chance of nodding back off. Rest and sleep in my opinion, are essential components when withdrawing, in order to refresh determination and focus. Needless to say, this symptom is highly draining.

Zaps/whooshes/dizziness/loss of balance - One of any positives that result from a long withdrawal programme, has been that to date, I believe I have avoided zaps. That said, from 7mgs down to 5, I started taking excessive dizzy spells, culminating in an episode, one Saturday morning, that was truly frightening. I was in bed and after getting up and making my son's breakfast, I lost all sight in terms of focus, all I saw was a blur, passing horizontally, no clear imaging or shape ie; just an eyeful of wallpaper moving right to left!!! All of a sudden I told my son I had a problem as I felt the most incredible dizziness and nausea. I literally couldn't stand up, I just had to lie where I was, on the kitchen floor and hope it ended. This lasted for what seemed a lifetime, but looking back, some 3/4 minutes, then things seemed to rectify. Intense nausea followed though, for a good 2 days.

This was not normal at all, what if I had been driving with my son on a motorway, we would have been in severe danger.

Worrying irrational thoughts - It concerns me detailing this associated change in persona. I am sure though, most of us can relate to similar. If involved in any Seroxat related heated debate, or, just going about daily business, from time to time, urges arise to inflict real harm on someone.

Terribly violent and gory thoughts result, I have had to talk to my ex partner and family about it. Again, this portrays myself as a budding Ted Bundy!!!! This is not me at all, I am a devoted family man, who puts family before all else. This emotion I believe, is linked to one's lack of inhibitions, caused by Seroxat use and withdrawal. Not talking an every day happening, but nevertheless, not nice to have a lack of cerebral control, to this extent.

High blood pressure and raised cholesterol - Never experienced either in my life. No family history and consider myself to be health conscious. I enjoyed a semi professional sporting career at International level, so keeping fit is a matter of pride for me. Seroxat intake has changed both, over the last 9 years. Not sure what else to say, other than when working, just prior to Seroxat use, all employees over 35, were granted free and complete medical check ups, at a BUPA clinic. With regard to blood pressure and cholesterol, both were prime.

Totally different whilst using Seroxat. No point in checking at the moment, both show irregular high levels.

Morose depressive episodes - During my extended taper, I have suffered, what can only be described as lowest of the low, depressive ruts. This medication was supposed to enhance life, recovering from any depression and anxiety, experienced pre-Seroxat, NOT present users with scenarios, where they have to overcome moods, that are SIGNIFICANTLY worse than any of us could ever imagine!

These intervals are regular for me, and tend to last 24 - 48 hours, have lasted 5 years and ongoing.

Joint pain/restless limbs - A difficult and particularly tiring symptom, noticed mainly at night. Never actually entered the London Marathon before, but thanks to GSK, have managed to complete training for it, without breaking sweat!!!! Nights in bed can be torture, such is my need to move, both arms and legs in particular. I notice this symptom, either after I have become stressed (which is often) or for a 2/3 week period, following a reduction. Again this has lasted for years, nothing suffered in this area, prior to Seroxat use.

Knees also seem to play up, for no apparent reason. Really problematic aches that feel so strange.

Strange muscle spasms - Started to notice this, during withdrawal. Totally out of the blue ie; in bed or relaxing, strange muscle pulls/ severe stiffness occur. These tend to manifest themselves in such strange areas ie; neck, below the shoulder blade and liver region. The only way I can describe these being, similar to taking cramp, down the back of a leg. These Seroxat cramps resulting from no physical exertion or activity. Never had episodes of this type, pre-Seroxat.

Suicidal thoughts - As previously mentioned, I had never had any such thoughts in 40 years, until I used Seroxat. Won't add anything to this, other than to say, I am thankful for my reputation ie; strength of character and determination. This has helped overcome these unwanted, chemically introduced thoughts.

Cravings - Never felt the need to binge on bad fatty foods or sugar overloads, pre-Seroxat use. Since taking the drug, a cocktail of, are a daily must have. No logic to this whatsoever and obviously sits very uncomfortably with me.

Other symptoms - Listed within this section, are a number of other symptoms, which I suffer regularly or, changes I have noticed that make no sense!:

noise sensitivity
light sensitivity
hair loss
deterioration of sight
rashes/ itching
weight gain
bowel issues
increased urinary frequency
brain fog / memory issues

Summary and conclusions - Without shadow of doubt, Seroxat has had a devastating impact on my life and those around me, who wished to show support. Whatever my medical issue, prior to Seroxat use, symptoms were certainly not going to lose 2 jobs and long term partner. My situation was not life changing or devastating. Seroxat use has turned my situation into financial and domestic ruin, not to mention, loss of self!!!
I have faced many challenges in my life, but nothing comes close to withdrawal from Seroxat. I can understand why so many fail. So difficult at times, to explain to family, friends and workmates (if you are working), how this all feels. I will try to do so now. In life we all have choices, choices we hope, reflect our personalities. We try to follow our chosen routes in sport, education, love and health, which will ensure we live life, as successfully and happy as possible.

Being on Seroxat, takes all choice away. All users, know in themselves, that something is significantly wrong with this SSRI. GlaxoSmithKline, state, as part of their Mission Statement, that their primary objective, is to improve lives.

I have no idea, how long I am going to be on Seroxat, all I know is that the damage is done. Users crave normality, back to their pre-Seroxat self. This does not exist. In order to remove oneself from Seroxat, so much changes, is lost and is suffered. How can we ever be the same again.

5 years tapering, in the knowledge, that someone in a Glaxo Boardroom, either tried to concoct a drug, so powerful in it's additive qualities, that it would result in use for life or, if the drug was not pre-destined in its defective nature, without doubt, it is one of the largest medical cock ups in history. Either way, both we and GSK know the score.

For me, my inspiration is my son. No matter how tough this may pan out to be, he deserves to live with his father, off Seroxat. Problem being, no user knows, how he or she will heal, after years on this drug. I just pray that if and when, I get to the point of discontinuation, where my doctor's initial words regarding use for life, are as ill advised as his original tapering advice.

Thank you for reading my story


Previous Reader's Stories:

Seroxat Stories - 'Angela's Story - 2mg away from safety'

Seroxat Stories - 'Annie - My Story'



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