Generic Paxil Suicide Lawsuit

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

Saturday, April 26, 2014

How Do You Like Your Fish... Battered?

An old story yet one that is worthy to resurface every now and again.

It concerns Prozac [fluoxetine], the antidepressant drug that British regulators recognise as being safe in the pediatric population.

Whilst other SSRi's have been flagged for use in children the MHRA see no problem at all in prescribing it to those under the age of 18, in fact, in 2005 the MHRA were still advising health care practitioners to prescribe Prozac to children despite a strong recommendation from the European Medicines Agency that it increases susceptibility to suicidal feelings and aggression. [1]

Their stance seems rather bizarre given that, in 2011, they found that Prozac may cause a small increase in the risk of heart defects in the  unborn child.

As we know, antidepressants can cause feelings of aggression which, in turn, can lead to thoughts of self-harm and even suicide. The evidence is well documented.

Quite why the MHRA choose to bury their heads in the sand when it comes to Prozac baffles me.

In the latest edition of Aquatic Toxicology, fish exposed to the antidepressant Fluoxetine exhibited a range of altered mating behaviours, repetitive behaviour and aggression towards female fish.

The authors of the study set up a series of experiments exposing a freshwater fish (Fathead Minnow) to a range of Prozac concentrations. Following exposure for 4 weeks the authors observed and recorded a range of behavioural changes among male and female fish relating to reproduction, mating, general activity and aggression. 
"With increased aggression, in the highest level of concentration, female survivorship was only 33% compared to the other exposures that had a survivorship of 77–87.5%. The females that died had visible bruising and tissue damage," according to Rebecca Klaper.

It would, as consumers, be beneficial if we could compare data to see how the MHRA arrived at their decision to approve Prozac - here's where it takes a rather conspiratorial twist.

Peter Gotzsche, co-founder of the Cochrane Collaboration, submitted a request to the MHRA to see the Prozac data. Bizarrely, the MHRA informed him that they had shredded the vast majority of the clinical evidence it held on the treatment and the Prozac.

Convenient huh?

So what of the fish study above, will the MHRA look into it?

I doubt it, in fact anytime I have contacted the MHRA to air my views on antidepressant use in children I have been met with the same cut and paste answer from their pharmacovigilance team, "The findings of the CSM Expert Working Group on the safety of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants...blah, blah, blah, bloody blah".

With fish being exposed to Prozac and aggression being noted one would think that this would sound alarm bells at the MHRA - to be honest they are too busy back-slapping one another by publishing letters on their website that acknowledges just how great they are at protecting the British public.

Their latest being a letter showing how, after an MHRA investigation, two men were sentenced to 8 months imprisonment [suspended for two years] for multiple importations of counterfeit condoms.

John Wilkinson, the MHRA’s Director of Medical Devices, said:

“It’s vital that people buy condoms from well-known reputable retailers and pharmacies. People should also be aware that if they buy condoms from illicit websites there is no guarantee that the product that arrives will be safe to use or of good quality.

“Counterfeit condoms look real but they are badly made and anyone using one has a higher risk of catching a sexually transmitted disease or having an unwanted pregnancy.

Heaven forbid we have unwanted pregnancies in the UK...then again, more kids = more Prozac [potentially]

So, while the MHRA are covering themselves in garlands for halting the sale of dodgy raincoats, they continue to allow drugs, that make fish aggressive, to be prescribed to children.

Way to go MHRA!

The MHRA are wholly funded by the pharmaceutical industry. Their CEO is Dr Ian Hudson. No surprise that he used to be World Safety Officer at SmithKline Beecham [now GlaxoSmithKline]

Here's Hudson in action.

No fish were harmed in the making of this video.

Bob Fiddaman

[1] UK regulator backs Prozac for children

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