by Orissa Mora-Kent
Health Impact News
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, and Nordic Cochrane Centre, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark have conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the relationship between antidepressant treatment and increases in suicidality and aggression. Their study, published in the British Medical Journal, was based on 64,381 pages of clinical reports reveals new information on harms – pharmaceutical antidepressant treatment actually doubles the risk for suicidality in children and adolescents.
“SSRI induced suicidality was first reported in 1990 but only became generally recognised after a BBC Panorama programme focused on it in 2002,” according to the study.
Also, many cases of aggressive behavior (assault and hostility) are reported but little systematic research has been done on those cases, explains the study.
“Perpetrators of school shootings and similar events have often been reported to be users of antidepressants and the courts have in many cases found them not guilty as a result of drug induced insanity.”
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are some of the most frequently prescribed drugs of our time, according to the study. Yet, it has been recognized for some time that there are serious harms associated with SSRI and SNRI usage, so why, when a patient is at their most vulnerable, are doctors putting potentially lethal weapons in their hands?
What happened to “first do no harm”?
Meta-Analysis of 70 Drug Trials
The objective of the study was to learn what serious harms are associated with use of selective serotonin and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.
Clinical study reports for the following five drugs, obtained from the European and U.K. drug regulators, were systematically reviewed and meta-analyzed:
- duloxetine (Cymbalta),
- fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem),
- paroxetine (Paxil, Seroxat),
- sertraline (Zoloft),
- and venlafaxine (Effexor).
Criteria for inclusion in the study: “double blind placebo controlled trials that contained any patient narratives or individual patient listings of harms.”
Out of 18, 526 patients, the researchers counted 16 deaths, 155 suicidality events, and 6 suicides. Suicide attempts, suicide ideations, aggressive behavior and akathisia were all observed and counted as well. The researchers note shortcomings in the studies they looked at, suggesting the problem could be far worse:
Information was limited on adverse events in these summary reports and it was not reliable. The number of serious events was always mentioned but the cases were not always explained and the reports focused on the most common adverse events.
Systematic reviews of harms are needed for a balanced view of medical interventions, particularly to elucidate the occurrence of rare but serious events. Clinical study reports are far more reliable than published trial reports, but even using these we were unable to unravel the true number of serious harms. The trials had many shortcomings, in both the design and the reporting of the trials in the clinical study reports, and therefore our numbers are likely to be underestimates.
“Just Say No” to Antidepressants
The researchers stated:
We believe ours is the first comprehensive review of randomised controlled trial data using clinical study reports for aggressive behavior and akathisia, and our finding of the doubling of aggression in children and adolescents is novel. (emphasis added)
Therefore, they suggest:
“…minimal use of antidepressants in children, adolescents, and young adults, as the serious harms seem to be greater, and as their effect seems to be below what is clinically relevant.”
See Other Articles on the Dangers of Antidepressants:
There are many alternative therapies one can employ when treating depression that are notably safer.
It is high time for a new paradigm in mental health. Drugs are not the solution to stress and depression. Non-drug alternatives are not only safer, but can be more effective than pharmaceutical drugs as well. (Virgin Coconut Oil More Effective than Drugs in Combating Stress and Depression.)
See Articles on Natural Therapies for Depression:
Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, ADD, ADHD, Depression, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Schizophrenia