The Bitter Pill

The Official Blog of UNITE – uniteforlife.org

Frequency of Drug Adverse Reactions Such as Psychosis & Suicidal Ideation

This is just an example of the reactions noted on a Zoloft label (p. 26)

“Infrequent: depression, amnesia, paroniria, teeth-grinding, emotional lability, apathy, abnormal dreams, euphoria, paranoid reaction, hallucination, aggressive reaction, aggravated depression, delusions;

Rare: withdrawal syndrome, suicide ideation, libido increased, somnambulism, illusion.”

Certain “experts” would like to claim that Postpartum Psychosis afflicts 1/1000 women, oh, oops I think they upgraded it to 1 in 500. Gee I wonder how that could have happened? SSRI anyone?

According to the drug label, 1/100 to 1/1000 is an “infrequent” event, and fewer than 1/1000 is a “rare” event.

So if PPP is the big worry that prompts a “need” for the MOTHERS Act, how is 1/1000 having suicidal ideation so much better than 1/1000 being “psychotic?” And how is 1/100 having hallucinations and aggression, abnormal dreams, paranoid reactions and delusions with depression better? Seems like that’s psychotic too…

According to the BLACK BOX SUICIDE warning, 4% of patients taking an antidepressant developed suicidal ideation (not 1/1000 as is mentioned on the RARE section of the original labeling).

“Frequent” means it occurs in at least 1/100 patients or more. So I would say that 4% suicidal ideation is a frequent event, not a rare event, wouldn’t you?

Go to the link above for the Zoloft label and scroll to about page 26… and check out what some of the other fun frequent events are… including the “frequent” psychiatric disorder of none other than “yawning,” and the “frequent” back pain, weight increase, appetite increase, and chest pain! Oh joy!

Filed under: Zoloft,

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Slams Youth Depression Screening

ROCKVILLE, Md., March 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now recommends screening adolescents for clinical depression only when appropriate systems are in place to ensure accurate diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care. This applies to all adolescents 12 to 18 years of age.

In a separate recommendation, the Task Force found insufficient evidence to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening children 7 to 11 years of age for clinical depression. Treating clinically depressed youths with SSRIs is associated with an increased risk of suicidality (suicidal thoughts, preparation and attempts of suicide) and, therefore, should only be considered if careful clinical supervision is possible.

Filed under: antidepressants, suicide, ,

In Memory of Matthew Schultz, Effexor Baby

Matthew Schultz with Mom and Dad

Matthew Schultz with Mom and Dad

Matthew Peter Schultz just after he died

Born February 21, 2009

7 pounds 3 ounces

Died 2 hours after birth

Effexor

Filed under: Baby Matthew, Christian Delahunty, Christiane Schultz, Effexor, Indiana, Julie Edgington, Manie, mothers act, Pregnancy, ,

Thank You Texas House Public Health Committee

So, today (er, um, yesterday) I got to testify on behalf of CHAADA and myself at the Texas House Public Health Committee meeting. So many interesting bills were being discussed, but the one I was in Austin to support is House Bill 2163 – Sylvester Turner is the sponsor.

It establishes a preauthorization protocol to help review the prescribing of antipsychotics to children under the age of 11 who are covered by Medicaid.

I was truly thankful for the amazing advocates who came forward to speak for the bill. Although I only got three minutes, I think the point was easy to make, and honestly after being given the ‘privilege’ of listening to about 2 hours of testimony from psychiatrists and watching the Committee’s reaction to their responses and answers to pointed questions about drugging babies and overmedicating children with dangerous drugs, all in all it was nice to know that someone in government is concerned about our children – namely our public health committee. I commend them and look forward to seeing what they can accomplish for Texas kids.

This bill would provide a speed bump in the road of drugging children under the age of 11 in the Medicaid system with antipsychotic drugs (something that is done for drugs all the time in managed care except for apparently when it comes to psychotropic drugs for children).

Let’s be clear – these drugs kill adults. Their long term use is associated with a shorter lifespan by about 25 years, attributable to things like diabetes and weight gain caused by the drugs, as well as sudden death and heart problems.

During my three minutes I discussed what happened to me within only three days of Zoloft ‘treatment’ and how I was able to recover simply by stopping the drugs a few months later.

I am so thankful that I never went down the road of Zyprexa or other drugs or ECT, and I know that the Black Box Suicide Warning from 2004 was a big part of my decision to taper off of Zoloft and see if I could get better that way rather than weaning Isaac and going straight to Zyprexa. Warnings, speed bumps, second opinions, thoughtfulness – these are GOOD things when it comes to psychotropic drugs. Were it not for the issuance of the Black Box warning in 2004 I can’t say with any certainty that I would be alive or that Isaac would be, or my mom, husband, or Spooky & Oliver. Nor would Toby have been born… Every time I see someone who testified at that FDA hearing in 2004 or hear about how someone was working on getting those black box warnings for years before I even went on Zoloft, it makes me extremely emotional. I just want to hug all you guys right now! (Virtual Hug)

Yet some of the people advocating AGAINST this bill are pretending that they were FOR the review of the polypharmacy (such as 5 psychotropic drugs being given at one time to a foster child) in a bill that passed a few years ago in Texas (Car v. Wrench, you know who you are…). Yes, these people were FOR that bill so strongly that now they oppose adding a preauthorization to the Medicaid drug protocol for antipsychotics for children under 11. That’s about as believable as DBSA’s claim below that they are in favor of helping mothers. Or Biederman’s claim that Risperdal is safe for 3 year olds. Very credible.

I don’t understand the attitudes of people who are so opposed to the idea that anyone could possibly question their almighty authority in drugging kids. The stats presented to the committee by Rep. Turner included numbers of babies under the age of 2 in Texas receiving atypical antipsychotic drugs…

This situation is unconscionable. Texas is currently leading the nation in number of prescriptions for antipsychotics in children. I hope that our legislature will be up to the task of a real investigation and can be proactive. It’s hard to do anything to help children stay alive with odds stacked against them and people who are more concerned with getting a larger paycheck than with whether a child dies or a family is suffering with a sick child and doesn’t understand how to help them recover.

Sometimes the answer is just to stop drugging. It’s that simple.

There is a huge blind spot for the fact that the psychotic effects of antidepressants and ADHD drugs are leading to the prescribing of antipsychotics and that none of these drugs is truly safe or effective for what is claimed. It’s like a 2 year old trying to rescue a caterpillar from the grass, picking him up and accidentally picking off a leg, and then picking off the rest of the legs to make it look more even. If your definition of safe and effective = dangerous, deadly and disfiguring, or perhaps if today is opposite day, or this is Alice in Wonderland and the Queen of Hearts is calling the shots and writing the dictionary… maybe.

Nevertheless I was glad to see some admission from psychiatrists and certain lobbyists that there was a possibility that some of the drugs they prescribe are being given unnecessarily. I guess I better go check the sky to see if there really are pigs flying.

Filed under: pharmacology

MOTHERS Act and DBSA – pHARMa Front Group – Who cares about money?

FRONT GROUP FINANCIAL INFORMATION: DBSA

This research was conducted by Evelyn Pringle… I hope you can note the inserted comments from her and look below to read my comments, which I’ll leave off the article portion and put in the comment box.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

2005 Annual Report

http://www.dbsalliance.org/pdfs/05annualreport.pdf

Sue Bergeson, President, DBSA

ALLIANCE LEAGUE ($500,000 AND ABOVE)

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals

LEADERSHIP CIRCLE ($150,000-$499,999)

Abbott Laboratories
AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
Cyberonics, Inc.
Eli Lilly and Company Foundation
Pfizer Inc


FOUNDERS CLUB ($10,000-149,999)

Forest Laboratories
GlaxoSmithKline
Janssen Pharmaceutica Products
Neuronetics, Inc.
Shire Pharmaceuticals Group


ADVOCATE COUNCIL ($5,000-9,999)

Dr. and Mrs. Edward M. Scolnick


PLATINUM ($1,000-4,999)

Merck & Co. Inc.
Lori L. Altshuler, M.D.
Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D.
A. John Rush, M.D.
Mr. Robert C. Schwartz


GOLD ($500-999)

Dr. and Mrs. Mark S. Bauer
Gregory Simon, M.D.


SILVER ($150-499)

Johnson and Johnson
Joseph Biederman, M.D.

Linda L. Carpenter, M.D.
Dr. Ron C. Melzer
National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
Charles O’Brien, M.D.


MATCHING GIFT COMPANIES

GlaxoSmithKline
Merck & Co. Inc
Pfizer Foundation

EMPLOYEE GIVING

Abbott Laboratories

======================

2006

Drug company money to Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance in 2006

(Evelyn’s note:

The 2006 Annual Report for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance shows that AstraZeneca gave the group more than $500,000 in 2006. Companies that gave between $150,000 and $499,000 included Abbott Laboratories, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Forest Laboratories, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen, Pfizer, and Shire Pharmaceuticals each gave between $10,000 and $149,000.)

2006 Annual Report

http://www.dbsalliance.org/pdfs/2006AnnualReport.pdf

=======================

2007

Depression and Bipolar Alliance

Annual Report

http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/DocServer/FINAL_AnnualReport07.pdf?docID=2761

This list reflects donations received through December 31, 2007.

LEADERSHIP CIRCLE ($150,000-$499,999)

AstraZeneca
Pfizer Inc
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals

FOUNDERS CLUB ($10,000-149,999)

Abbott Laboratories
Cyberonics, Inc.
Elli Lilly and Company
Forest Laboratories
GlaxoSmithKline
National Association of State
Mental Health Program Directors
Organon, Inc.
Otsuka American Pharmaceutical, Inc

PLATINUM ($1,000-4,999)

Abbott Laboratories Employee Giving Campaign

GOLD ($500-999)

Lori L Altshuler, MD
David Dunner, MD
Kay Redfield Jamison, PhD
A. J. Rush, MD
Martha Sajatovic, MD
Gregory Simon, MD, MPH
TAP
Dr. James Walker

SILVER ($150-499)

Dr. and Mrs. Paul Berkowitz
Joseph Biederman, MD
Dr. Judith A. A. Cook
Dr. and Mrs. Alan Harris
Dr. Roger W. Helfrich
Nada l. Stotland, MD

CONTRIBUTORS TO THE REBECCA LYNN CUTLER LEGACY OF LIFE FOUNDATION

Abbott Laboratories
AstraZeneca
Eli Lilly and Company
Janssen
Organon, Inc.
Pfizer Inc
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals

EMPLOYEE GIVING COMPANIES

Abbott Laboratories
Eli Lilly and Company
GlaxoSmithKline
Merck Partnership for Giving
Pfizer Foundation

2007 at a Glance: How We Met Our Mission

(Among other things listed are):

Promoted Melanie Blocker-Stokes Postpartum Depression Research & Care Act at invitation of Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.)

Promoted MOTHER’s Act at invitation of Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)

Launched consumer smoking cessation initiative, funded by Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation’s Smoking Cessation Leadership Center

First-ever DBSA Hope Award for lifetime achievement presented to Frederick K.
Goodwin, MD, & Kay Redfield Jamison, PhD

Active in development & promotion of “Depression Is Real” PSA campaign

=======

DBSA 2007 Fall Newsletter “Outreach”

The issue states: “DBSA gratefully acknowledges its Leadership Circle, Organizations that contributed a minimum of $150,000 during 2007.”

ABBOTT LABORATORIES
ASTRAZENECA PHARMACEUTICALS
PFIZER INC
WYETH PHARMACEUTICALS

http://www.dbsalliance.org/pdfs/outreach/Outreach_Fall2007.pdf

Under “Our 2007 Legislative Milestones” it lists:

DBSA was honored to be asked personally by Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Representative Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) to help introduce the postpartum legislation in Illinois.

=========

DBSA Spring 2008 Newsletter “Outreach”

The issue states: “DBSA gratefully acknowledges its Leadership Circle, Organizations that contributed a minimum of $150,000 during 2007.”

ABBOTT LABORATORIES
ASTRAZENECA PHARMACEUTICALS
PFIZER INC
WYETH PHARMACEUTICALS

http://www.dbsalliance.org/pdfs/outreach/Outreach_2008Spring.pdf

It also publishes the following message which explains where some of the drug money went:

Speaking Out for New Moms

Six years ago, after giving birth to her first child, a successful 41-year-old sales manager plunged to her death from a Chicago hotel’s 12th floor as firefighters pleaded with her. Melanie Blocker-Stokes took her own life, despite medical help and the support of family and friends.

Melanie’s tragedy soon prompted legislation in both the U.S. House and Senate. If passed, the Melanie-Blocker Stokes Postpartum Depression and Research Act and the MOTHER’s Act will help the families and women afflicted by postpartum depression (PPD) through lifesaving educational programs and screening services.

In January, DBSA sent an Advocacy Alert asking you to write your legislators in support of these PPD bills. Thousands of you sent letters to Congress through our Legislative Action Center (LAC). As time went on, instead of contacting individual legislators, you began to ask specific congressional committees (like the House Committee on Energy and Commerce), to support a vote rather than just a bill.

Unfortunately, rumors and lies began circulating on the Web, as outspoken opponents began asking people not to support these bills. While they called themselves “experts,” none of them had any expertise in mental health or any PPD-related field. They claimed the legislation was just a conspiracy by big pharmaceutical companies to push new moms to take unnecessary medication.

Tell that to the more than 800,000 women who will develop a diagnosable postpartum mood disorder this year! To debunk these myths, on April 8, DBSA sent you another alert marked “Urgent.” Your response has been nothing less than amazing-unprecedented, Web experts tell us! Just nine hours after our alert, you’d sent 1,200 letters to legislators.

In the next two days, you sent 6,300 more. After one month, you’d sent over 15,000 letters speaking out against the PPD rumors! And, for the first time, other groups are proactively joining us.

Organizations and blog sites like Postpartum Support International (PSI), Postpartum Progress, Moms Speak Up, Becoming Me, Beyond Blue and EmpowerHer are linking their readers to our LAC so that even more letters reach Congress.

Did you know that as few as five letters can make a difference in how your legislator votes? Even if you’ve already sent a letter supporting PPD legislation, please send another.

Help us reach the 20,000 mark for letters supporting PPD legislation! Write Congress today at http://www.DBSAlliance.org/Advocacy.

================

Some of the drug money funneled through the DBSA is apparently being spent the same way this year by utilizing the postpartum front groups operating on the internet.

==========

Note from Evelyn:

On March 10, 2009, Katherine Stone’s headline on the Postpartum Progress Blog read:

“It’s Petition Signing Time!  Get Out Your Virtual Pen & Support Women with PPD”

Her blog reports “that Susan Stone over at Perinatal Pro is alerting everyone to the new petition created by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance to support the Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act.  She states that last year’s petition generated more than 24,000 signatures.  The petition has been reintroduced this year to try and get this legislation passed once again.”

The blog carries a live link to an advocacy alert page where “you can scroll down, enter your zip code and generate letters of support in a matter of seconds for the Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act that will be sent to your local Congresspeople and Senators.”

Ms Stone further advises: “I just sent my letters.  I know you’re thinking “but I already did that last year.”  Well that was then and this is now.  Do it again.”

Filed under: "prevention", Amy Philo, antidepressants, antipsychotics, big brother, Birth Defects, child endangerment, Christian Delahunty, Congress, dead babies, drugging children, ECT, Effexor in pregnancy, Elizabeth Torlakson, eugenics, experimentation, Harry Reid, Indiana, Isaac Philo, Manie, Melanie Stokes, mothers act, Paxil in pregnancy, pharma payments to doctors, pharmacology, PPD, Pregnancy, profit,

Biederman Pushed Risperdal for Pre-School Children

Yes, this is the same guy who earlier stated that he was ranked right below God. Things that make you go, “hmmmmmmm.”

http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2009/03/20/court-papers-biederman-told-jj-study-results-would-be-positive/?mod=crnews

Court Papers: Biederman Told J&J Study Results Would Be Positive

biedermanCourt documents are coming to light that suggest Harvard psychiatrist Joseph Biederman told Johnson & Johnson, before certain trials of its drugs were started, that he expected positive results.

Biederman is one of a number of prominent doctors targeted by Sen. Chuck Grassley’s investigation into conflicts of interest among doctors. Late last year, he agreed to stop working on clinical trials sponsored by industry until completion of a probe of his alleged lack of disclosure of more than $1.6 million in payments he received from companies including J&J and Eli Lilly, both makers of prominent psychiatric drugs.

According to court documents, Biederman made a presentation to J&J execs in which he displayed a slide that referred to a proposed study of the company’s antipsychotic Risperdal, known generically as risperidone, in preschool children, the New York Times reports. The trial “will support the safety and effectiveness of risperidone in this age group,” as NYT quotes the slide.

Another slide discussed a trial that would compare Risperdal with competitors in managing pediatric bipolar disorder. The trial “will clarify the competitive advantages of risperidone vs. other neuroleptics,” as NYT quotes it the documents.

Biederman’s attorneys are trying to get a judge to seal his testimony and accompanying documents in a multistate suit in which he is a key witness, saying they “could be immensely damaging to him, both personally and professionally,” the Boston Globe reports. The suit involves more than 2,000 patients, including children, who say they have been injured by drugs known as atypical antipsychotics. Growing use of psychiatric drugs in children has been a center of controversy in the past couple of years.

Biederman didn’t comment in the NYT or Globe stories, but he has written before that J&J’s financial support for a research center with which he was involved didn’t interfere with the center’s research findings. J&J has also said funding it provided the center “followed strict guidelines to ensure scientific independence and did not direct the content or conclusions of the research.”

Filed under: drugging children, Preschool Psychopharmacology Working Group,

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