The Bitter Pill

The Official Blog of UNITE – uniteforlife.org

Relentless and Tragic Marketing: Psychiatric Drugs from Before the Cradle to the Grave

by John Breeding, PhD and Amy Philo

Working with others, we strive to alleviate distress and to support and enhance the personal growth, transformation, individuation, self-determination, and clear and expanded awareness of individuals. Necessity dictates that we also spend a lot of time challenging aspects of the mental health profession that do the opposite—creating more distress, suppressing growth and transformation, violating self-determination, and dulling and blinding awareness. We call it psychiatric oppression, the systematic, institutionalized mistreatment of those judged as “mentally ill.” This essay focuses especially on the ever expanding encroachment of psychiatric oppression to more and more of the population, and to individuals who are less and less in need of actual help. This encroachment takes the form of mass marketing for psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry. One key aspect of oppression theory is the claim to virtue. For psychiatric oppression that claim is the notion that mentally ill people need their treatment; its growing extension is the concept of prevention, that potentially mentally ill people need treatment as well!

The Regressive Progression: Treatment to Prevention

“An ounce of prevention is a pound of cure.” Like all great aphorisms, this one, often associated with Ben Franklin, holds wisdom and is partly true, based on assumption. In this case, one must assume the role of victim of unnecessary malady that necessitates a cure…and that there is a felt connection or empathic relatedness to the one who suffers malady. Where these assumptions are not met, the aphorism is false. To wit, for the giant corporation of Halliburton and its government and military operations group, or for the mercenary army of Blackwater, going to war is worth a great deal more than diplomacy.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: "prevention", 'ADHD', adverse drug reactions, Amy Philo, anitdepressants and pregnancy, antidepressant side effects, antidepressants, antidepressants during pregnancy, antidepressants during pregnancy studies, antipsychotics, baby, Baby Matthew, big brother, big pharma, bigpharmavictim, Birth Defects, birth defects caused by antidepressant, child endangerment, choking, Christian Delahunty, Christiane Schultz, Collusion, congenital heart defects, Congress, Coon Rapids, courts, dead babies, drugging children, Drugging Vets, ECT, Effexor, Effexor in pregnancy, Elderly, electroshock, eugenics, FDA, FDA Warnings, forced 'treatment', Freedom Commission on Mental Health, heart defects, Indiana, Isaac Philo, Melanie Stokes, Mercy Hospital, mothers act, paxil birth defects, Paxil in pregnancy, pharmacology, Postpartum Support International, PPD, Pregnancy, psychiatric hospital, schizophrenia, screening, SSRI, suicide, Supreme Court, The Future of The United States, toxicity deaths, Zoloft, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Brown Victory Brings Hope of Stalling MOTHERS Act in Health Care Bill

“I have no interest in sugarcoating what happened in Massachusetts,” said Sen. Robert Menendez, the head of the Senate Democrats’ campaign committee. “There is a lot of anxiety in the country right now. Americans are understandably impatient.”

Menendez says Americans have high anxiety and are impatient? Oh geez Louise… Speaking of sugarcoating… I recall using that word in reference to Menendez and the MOTHERS Act pushers a few more than 10 times.

In epic upset, GOP’s Brown wins Mass. Senate race

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_massachusetts_senate

By GLEN JOHNSON and LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writers Glen Johnson And Liz Sidoti, Associated Press Writers 17 mins ago

BOSTON – In an epic upset in liberal Massachusetts, Republican Scott Brown rode a wave of voter anger to win the U.S. Senate seat held by the late Edward M. Kennedy for nearly half a century, leaving President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul in doubt and marring the end of his first year in office.

The loss by the once-favored Democrat Martha Coakley in the Democratic stronghold was a stunning embarrassment for the White House after Obama rushed to Boston on Sunday to try to save the foundering candidate. Her defeat on Tuesday signaled big political problems for the president’s party this fall when House, Senate and gubernatorial candidates are on the ballot nationwide.

“I have no interest in sugarcoating what happened in Massachusetts,” said Sen. Robert Menendez, the head of the Senate Democrats’ campaign committee. “There is a lot of anxiety in the country right now. Americans are understandably impatient.”

Brown will become the 41st Republican in the 100-member Senate, which could allow the GOP to block the president’s health care legislation and the rest of his agenda. Democrats needed Coakley to win for a 60th vote to thwart Republican filibusters.

The Republican will finish Kennedy’s unexpired term, facing re-election in 2012.

Brown led by 52 per cent to 47 percent with all but 3 percent of precincts counted.

One day shy of the first anniversary of Obama’s swearing-in, the election played out amid a backdrop of animosity and resentment from voters over persistently high unemployment, Wall Street bailouts, exploding federal budget deficits and partisan wrangling over health care.

For weeks considered a long shot, Brown seized on voter discontent to overtake Coakley in the campaign’s final stretch. His candidacy energized Republicans, including backers of the “tea party” protest movement, while attracting disappointed Democrats and independents uneasy with where they felt the nation was heading.

A cornerstone of Brown’s campaign was his promise to vote against the health care plan.

Though the president wasn’t on the ballot, he was on many voters’ minds.

“I voted for Obama because I wanted change. … I thought he’d bring it to us, but I just don’t like the direction that he’s heading,” said John Triolo, 38, a registered independent who voted in Fitchburg.

He said his frustrations, including what he considered the too-quick pace of health care legislation, led him to vote for Brown.

Coakley called Brown conceding the race, and Obama talked to both Brown and Coakley, congratulating them on the race.

The Democrat said the president told her: “We can’t win them all.”

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin said he would notify the U.S. Senate on Wednesday that Brown had been elected. Originally, he had said he might take over two weeks to certify the results of the special election, giving Democrats a window in which to try to rush through final passage of Obama’s health care plan.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., promised to seat Brown “as soon as the proper paperwork has been received.”

Brown will be the first Republican senator from Massachusetts in 30 years.

Even before the first results were announced, administration officials were privately accusing Coakley of a poorly run campaign and playing down the notion that Obama or a toxic political landscape had much to do with the outcome.

Coakley’s supporters, in turn, blamed that very environment, saying her lead dropped significantly after the Senate passed health care reform shortly before Christmas and after the Christmas Day attempted airliner bombing that Obama himself said showed a failure of his administration.

Days before the polls closed, Democrats were fingerpointing and laying blame.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, head of the House Democrats’ campaign effort, said Coakley’s loss won’t deter his colleagues from continuing to blame the previous administration.

“President George W. Bush and House Republicans drove our economy into a ditch and tried to run away from the accident,” he said. “President Obama and congressional Democrats have been focused repairing the damage to our economy.”

At Boston’s Park Plaza Hotel, giddy Republicans cheered, chanted “USA” and waved the “tea party” version of the American flag.

Even before Brown won, the grass-roots network fueled by antiestablishment frustrations, sought credit for the victory, much like the liberal MoveOn.org did in the 2006 midterm elections when Democrats rose to power.

GOP chairman Michael Steele said Brown’s “message of lower taxes, smaller government and fiscal responsibility clearly resonated with independent-minded voters in Massachusetts who were looking for a solution to decades of failed Democrat leadership.”

Wall Street watched the election closely. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 116 points, and analysts attributed the increase to hopes the election would make it harder for Obama to make his changes to health care. That eased investor concerns that profits at companies such as insurers and drug makers would suffer.

Across Massachusetts, voters who had been bombarded with phone calls and dizzied with nonstop campaign commercials for Coakley and Brown gave a fitting turnout despite intermittent snow and rain statewide.

Galvin, who discounted sporadic reports of voter irregularities throughout the day, predicted turnout ranging from 1.6 million to 2.2 million, 40 percent to 55 percent of registered voters. The Dec. 8 primary had a scant turnout of about 20 percent.

Voters considered national issues including health care and the federal budget deficits.

Fears about spending drove Karla Bunch, 49, to vote for Brown. “It’s time for the country, for the taxpayers, to take back their money,” she said. And Elizabeth Reddin, 65, voted for Brown because she said she was turned off by the Democrat’s negative advertisements, saying: “The Coakley stuff was disgusting.”

___

Liz Sidoti reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Beth Fouhy, Bob Salsberg, Steve LeBlanc, Karen Testa, Kevin Vineys and Stephanie Reitz also contributed to this report.

Filed under: anitdepressants and pregnancy, antidepressant side effects, antidepressants, antidepressants during pregnancy, Baby Matthew, Barack Obama, big brother, big pharma, bigpharmavictim, Birth Defects, Christian Delahunty, Christiane Schultz, congenital heart defects, Congress, dead babies, ECT, Effexor, Effexor in pregnancy, Harry Reid, Health Care debate, heart defects, Indiana, Manie, Melanie Stokes, mothers act, Pregnancy, prescription medication and pregnancy, The Future of The United States, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ron Paul’s Parental Consent Act of 2009: Contact Your Reps!

Please contact your Representative in Congress and ask them to sponsor H.R. 2218,  The Parental Consent Act of 2009.

Here is a link to the bill text: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-2218

Here is a great article by Dr. John Breeding explaining the background of the bill and the Bush Administration’s “New Freedom Commission on Mental Health” which Dr. Breeding appropriately coins the “No Freedom” commission.

To take action against specific Orwellian psychiatric programs included in recent versions of the Federal Health legislation, see this link:

Senate Nixes Public Disclosure of Revised Health Care Language – Take Action.

For more background on some of the bills now coming up in Congress to fulfill the goals of the “Freedom Commission” see:

http://tinyurl.com/BillionsPsych

http://tinyurl.com/ykqy8e2

Filed under: Barack Obama, Bush Family, Congress, Freedom Commission on Mental Health, The Future of The United States, , , , , , , , , , ,

Pharma Funding of Front Groups Pushing MOTHERS Act – Pringle: MOTHERS Act Fuels Multibillion Dollar Industry

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0904/S00076.htm

Mothers Act Fuels Multibillion Dollar Industry

by Evelyn Pringle

Motherhood has fallen prey to the psycho-pharmaceutical complex. If new legislation known as the Mother’s Act becomes law, the drugging of infants through pregnant and nursing mothers will no doubt increase.

Congress has rightfully refused to pass this bill for eight years. The official title is currently the “Melanie Blocker Stokes Mom’s Opportunity to Access Health, Education, Research, and Support for Postpartum Depression Act of 2009.”

The legislation was introduced in the House during the 110th Congress on January 4, 2007, by Illinois Democrat Bobby Rush and later reintroduced into both bodies of the new Congress in January 2009, after the bill died in the Senate last year.

Democratic Senator Robert Menendez from New Jersey, home to a large number of drug companies, and Richard Durbin (D-IL) are the main sponsors of the bill in the Senate.

In a March 30, 2009 speech on the House floor, Congressman Rush identified the target of this piece of legislation when he claimed that, “60 to 80 percent of new mothers experience symptoms of postpartum depression while the more serious condition, postpartum psychosis, affects up to 20 percent of women who have recently given birth.”

After the House voted to pass the legislation on that day, the Congressman stated: “H. R. 20 will finally put significant money and attention into research, screening, treatment and education for mothers suffering from this disease.”

However, he only mentions screening and treatment for postpartum depression. The true goal of the promoters of this Act is to transform women of child bearing age into life-long consumers of psychiatric treatment by screening women for a whole list of “mood” and “anxiety” disorders and not simply postpartum depression.

Enough cannot be said about the ability of anyone with a white coat and a medical title to convince vulnerable pregnant women and new mothers that the thoughts and feelings they experience on any given day might be abnormal.

The constant watching and barrage of questions such as are you depressed, are you anxious, are you moody, are you fearful of motherhood, are you sleeping well, are there changes in your eating habits, will predictably have the net effect of convincing many women that normal thoughts and emotions are a sign of mental disorders.

In the March 13, 2008 NewsWithViews article, “Branding Pregnancy as a Mental Illness,” Byron Richards writes:

“The Mothers Act has the net affect of reclassifying the natural process of pregnancy and birth as a mental disorder that requires the use of unproven and extremely dangerous psychotropic medications (which can also easily harm the child). The bill was obviously written by the Big Pharma lobby and its passage into law would be considered laughable except that it is actually happening.”

While mania, psychosis, agitation, hostility, anxiety, confusion, depression and suicidality are often cited as “symptoms” of mental illness, many of the same exact “symptoms” are listed as side effects on the warning labels for antidepressants, antipsychotics and anticonvulsants.

All of these drugs are now being prescribed to treat the “mood” and “anxiety” disorders that women will be screened for if the Act becomes law. In the case of pregnant women, no psychiatric drug has been FDA approved as safe for use.

The newly recruited customers will be stigmatized for life with labels of the most serious forms of mental illness simply because they are unlucky enough to become pregnant in the United States, where serious disorders lead to major profits from the prescribing of multiple classes of psychotropic drugs.

On September 1, 2008, Medical News Today ran a headline for a study that stated: “Americans Show Little Tolerance For Mental Illness Despite Growing Belief In Genetic Cause.” The study by University of Pennsylvania sociology professor Jason Schnittker showed that while more Americans believe that mental illness has genetic causes, the country is no more tolerant of the mentally ill than it was 10 years ago.

The study explored tolerance in terms of: unwillingness to live next door to a mentally ill person, having a group home for the mentally ill in the neighborhood, spending an evening socializing with a mentally ill person, working closely with such a person on the job, making friends with someone with a mental illness or having a mentally ill person marry into the family.

Multi-billion dollar industry

In an article for AlterNet on June 18, 2008, Dr Bruce Levine, author of the book, “Surviving America’s Depression Epidemic,” explains how the psycho-pharmaceutical cartel works. “Mental health treatment in the United States is now a multibillion-dollar industry,” he reports, “and all the rules of industrial complexes apply.”

“Not only does Big Pharma have influential psychiatrists… in their pocket, virtually every mental health institution from which doctors, the press, and the general public receive their mental health information is financially interconnected with Big Pharma.”

“The American Psychiatric Association, psychiatry’s professional organization, is hugely dependent on drug company grants, and this is also true for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and other so-called consumer organizations.”

“Harvard and other prestigious university psychiatry departments take millions of dollars from drug companies, and the National Institute of Mental Health funds researchers who are financially connected with drug companies.”

More Democrats than Republicans are supporting the Mother’s Act. The increased campaign funding to Democrats may well explain this turn of events. For the last eight election cycles the pharmaceutical industry has contributed far more to Republicans than Democrats. In the 2006 cycle the percentage was 28% to Democrats and 70% to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit group that tracks political funding.

But the Democrats were close to matching the Republicans for the 2008 cycle with $5,099,942 to Democrats compared to $5,680,871 to Republicans, which is probably why the Democrats would allow such an obvious drug marketing scheme to be implemented.

“The Mothers Act, while appearing like an Act of benevolence, is a dangerous and unnecessary measure that will result in the further over-prescription of drugs that are already grotesquely over-prescribed,” says Kate Gillespie, one of the lead attorneys handling SSRI birth defect lawsuits and Paxil suicide cases at the Los Angeles based Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman law firm.

“The Act is a slippery slope,” she warns, “toward the forced drugging of women of childbearing years with drugs of questionable efficacy and serious safety issues effecting mothers and their innocent children – drugs that can cause horrific side effects, including, suicidal behavior, violence and devastating birth defects.”

“Of course, mothers who truly cannot cope should be helped,” Ms Gillespie says, “but do we really need legislation requiring mothers to be screened and drugged?”

“Take out politics and Big Pharma and the push for this legislation just doesn’t make sense,” she states.

“For politicians, a much safer issue than pushing drugs for pregnant mothers is promoting the expansion of medical treatment for postpartum depression,” according to Dr Levine.

He says the Mother’s Act “omits relevant truths” about Melanie Blocker-Stokes, the woman the bill is named after, and the following information about her suicide should be made known:

“Blocker-Stokes… did in fact receive extensive psychiatric treatment. She was hospitalized three times in seven weeks, given four combinations of anti-psychotic, anti-anxiety, and antidepressant medications, and underwent electroconvulsive therapy (electroshock). But despite her psychiatric treatment — or because of it — Melanie Blocker-Stokes jumped to her death from the twelfth floor of a Chicago hotel.”

“There is no evidence that antidepressant use by depressed mothers lowers their likelihood of suicide,” Dr Levine says, “and there is a great deal of evidence that antidepressant use can make some people manic, agitated, and violent.”

Money-making promoters behind the Act

Katherine Stone runs an internet website called “Postpartum Progress” and posts a daily blog. She also serves on the board of Postpartum Support International as the public relations outreach chairwoman. Her Bio says she “is a nationally-recognized, award-winning advocate for women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.”

“In 2001,” Katherine reports on her website, that “she suffered postpartum obsessive compulsive disorder after the birth of her first child. The feeling of isolation and shame she suffered inspired her to create Postpartum Progress, which has become the most widely-read blog in the United States on postpartum depression, postpartum OCD, antepartum depression, postpartum PTSD and postpartum psychosis.”

On another page titled, “The Art of Psychiatric Medication,” Katherine tells women to hang in there if a medication does not work because for her diagnosis of OCD, she states:

“I’ve taken many medications, including Effexor, Celexa, Seroquel, Risperdal, Wellbutrin, Luvox, Cymbalta, etc. Throughout all of them, I was on the road to recovery. Some just worked better than others at treating my symptoms.”

She ends the commentary by telling women: “You will find the right medication for you, and you will get better.”

The prescribing of seven drugs, including two antipsychotics and five antidepressants, to treat OCD is a typical example of the profit-driven drugging that women snagged by the Mother’s Act will face, but it’s a far cry from the description Katherine wrote about regarding the comparatively minor treatment she received, when she stated in the June 7, 2004 issue of Newsweek, “in my case, that meant taking an antidepressant and going for weekly therapy sessions.”

Aside from all the serious health risks now known to be associated with these drugs, most women could not afford the 7-drug “cure” that Katherine ingested. According to DrugStore.com in December 2008, from first to last, at a middle dose for a 30-day supply, the drugs would cost: Effexor $197.86, Celexa $279.92, Seroquel $388.38, Risperdal $652.07, Wellbutrin XI $202.08, Luvox CR $135.99, and Cymbalta $366.62. The cost of “etc” is impossible to calculate without knowing how many more drugs she took.

In a March 11, 2009 Postpartum Progress blog, Katherine plugs herself for speaking jobs, along with a study that concluded “the Internet is a viable and feasible tool to screen for PPD.”

“I’ll be adding this study to the speech I give on how women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders use the Internet,” she reports, and then adds:

“If you’re interested in having me speak at your event, let me know!”

On March 10, 2009, Katherine’s headline read: “It’s Petition Signing Time! Get Out Your Virtual Pen & Support Women with PPD”, and reported “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 carried a live link to a 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.”

Katherine further told readers: “I know you’re thinking ‘but I already did that last year.’ Well that was then and this is now. Do it again.”

The 2007 Annual Report for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance shows this Big Pharma front group received between $150,000 and $499,000 from AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Wyeth. Abbott Labs, Cyberonics, Eli Lilly, Forest Labs, GlaxoSmithKline, Organon, and Otsuka American Pharmaceuticals each gave between $10,000 and $149,999.

The 2006 Annual Report shows that AstraZeneca gave the group more than $500,000. Abbott Labs, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Wyeth gave between $150,000 and $499,000, and Forest Labs, Glaxo, Janssen, Pfizer, and Shire Pharmaceuticals each gave between $10,000 and $149,000. The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance in Baltimore also received $5,000 from Eli Lilly in the first quarter of 2008, according to Lilly’s grant report.

In the section of the 2007 Annual report “at a Glance: How We Met Our Mission,” among the things accomplished by the group, it states:

“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.)”

After writing letters to Congress through the link established by the industry funded Alliance, those visiting Postpartum Progress will hopefully click on the link to Amazon and buy the book “Perinatal and Postpartum Mood Disorders: Perspectives and Treatment Guide for the Health Care Practitioner” by none other than the Perinatal Pro “expert,” Susan (Dowd) Stone, and Alexis Menkin, at a special price of $43.20, for a savings of $10.80.

Katherine also provides a link to the PerinatalPro website, where women can find treatment for all the “mood” and “anxiety” disorders diagnosed with internet screenings atBlue Skye Consulting,” where Susan is listed as the Managing Director and Owner.

She also served as president of Postpartum Support International from 2006 – 2008, as vice-president and Conference Chair in 2005 – 2006, and will chair the group’s President’s Advisory Council through 2010. This group brags of being the leading proponent of the Mother’s Act. On March 2, 2009, Susan’s PerinatalPro Blog announced: “The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act moves forward!” and stated:

“Thank you to Congressman Bobby L. Rush, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez and Senator Richard Durbin for your unceasing efforts on behalf of America’s mothers!”

She should have thanked these members of Congress for boosting her career status and yearly income from her treatment center, speaking fees and book sales.

On PerinatalPro, Susan posts a running list of supporters for the Mother’s Act. On March 27, 2009, the list included many drug company funded groups. For instance, the American Psychiatric Association is listed as a supporter. In 2006, the pharmaceutical industry provided close to 30% of the Association’s $62.5 million in financing, according to the July 12, 2008 New York Times.

In the first quarter of 2007, Eli Lilly gave the Association grants worth more than $412,000, according to Lilly’s grant report. The group also received $623,190 from Lilly in the first quarter of 2008.

In her PerinatalPro blogs, Susan has nothing but praise for Katherine’s website and directs visitors back to Postpartum Progress with a live link. On March 16, 2009, Katherine posted a “Quick Survey on Postpartum Anxiety,” and wrote:

“The fabulous Karen Kleiman has asked me to ask you to participate in a short, five-question online survey on anxiety. She says ANYONE can answer it, regardless of the age of their baby(s) and regardless of diagnosis or lack thereof. ANY mother should answer the questions. It’s super quick — I know because I took it myself.”

Kleiman must be fabulous because she has three books for sale on Postpartum Progress with links to purchase them on Amazon. In fact, there are a total of fourteen books for sale on Katherine’s site from which she most likely gets a kick-back with every sale.

Kleiman’s survey is an excellent example of the methods used to con women into suspecting they are mentally ill via the “expert” blogs. The preface states: “The questions on this survey can be answered by a new mother of an infant or an empty-nester with good recall of the early days with her baby. Please answer as honestly as you can.”

The question, capital letters and all, reads: “When you were carrying your baby down a flight of stairs, did you EVER, at ANY time, have ANY thought, image or concern that you could accidentally drop your baby?” The survey further tells women:


If you answered YES to the first question, please describe the type of worry you had:
Scary thoughts about dropping the baby, Scary images about dropping the baby, Both thoughts and images, Other.

How much distress did this cause you? A Great deal of distress, Some distress but I quickly got over it, Some distress that seemed to linger, Not much stress

Did this thought or image occur once or did it recur? Only once, It recurred frequently, It recurred persistently, It occurred off and on, Did you ever tell anyone about the fear of dropping the baby? (Please describe why you chose to tell someone or why you chose not to)

As a mother with good recall, the “honest” answer is yes, with two babies born 4 years apart, every single night as I stumbled out of bed half asleep for a nightly feeding, my normal fear instinct kicked in and warned me to be careful not to trip and fall down the stairs or drop the baby.

Women who take the survey are told nothing about what the results mean; but clearly the seed is planted that something is wrong if you “EVER, at ANY time, have ANY thought, image or concern that you could accidentally drop your baby”.

Katherine’s website also provides links to the “Top Women’s PPMD Treatment Programs & Specialists.” The first link on the list takes women to the “Emory Women’s Mental Health Program” that primarily focuses on “the evaluation and treatment of emotional disorders during pregnancy and the postpartum period,” according to Emory University’s website. Lilly’s 2008 first quarter grant report shows Emory’s Department of Psychiatry received $25,000.

The “experts” at Emory include some top pharmaceutical industry shills. For example, a link to “Articles” brings up roughly 90 studies and papers that include the co-author Dr Charles Nemeroff. Nemeroff is on an ever-growing list of academic researchers in the field of psychiatry under investigation by the US Senate Finance Committee for not disclosing millions of dollars of income from the makers of psychotropic drugs.

Emory’s investigation found he was paid more than $960,000 by Paxil maker, GlaxoSmithKline, from 2000 through 2006, but listed less than $35,000 on his Emory disclosure forms. All totaled, Nemeroff had earnings of $2.8 million from speaking and consulting arrangements with drug companies between 2000 and 2007, but only disclosed a fraction of that amount, according to the Senate Finance Committee reports.

On July 23, 2008, Medscape Psychiatry & Mental Health posted an article by Nemeroff titled: “Weighing Risk and Benefit for Treatment of Depression in Pregnancy and Post Partum”. On March 17, 2009, the Medscape website stated: “This article is temporarily unavailable.”

Maybe that’s because the “top expert,” Dr Nemeroff, recently stepped down as chairman of Emory’s psychiatry department.

************* epringle05@yahoo.com

(Article sponsored by the Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman law firm www.baumhedlundlaw.com)

(Evelyn Pringle is a columnist for Scoop Independent News and an investigative journalist focused on exposing corruption in government and corporate America)

Filed under: Melanie Stokes, MGH, mothers act, PPD, Pregnancy, shrinks disciplined, The Future of The United States

Effexor Baby’s Grieving Mother Protests Potential MOTHERS Act, Warns Others

Grieving Mother Christian Delahunty Warns Others About Effexor During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

(Newswire: http://christiannewswire.com/news/120709939.html)

by Amy Philo

“Please I beg you to learn more. Learn everything you can while there is time… Drugs, whether legal or illegal, should not be used during these most precious months of creation.”

April 2, 2009 — Christian Delahunty of Utah believes Effexor is to blame for the death of her six-week-old daughter Indiana, who passed away last September. Given the overwhelming evidence on the toxicity of Effexor and other psychotropic drugs for adults, children, and babies, it seems to be the obvious cause. But in the minds of those responsible for pushing Effexor on Christian and similar drugs down the throats of pregnant women across America, it may be “impossible” to prove that’s the case.

With Mommy

With Mommy

It is only with that mindset of denial, or simple ignorance, that anyone could possibly justify pushing for the passage of the federal legislation called “The MOTHERS Act,” that will increase the number of pregnant women and new mothers taking psychotropic drugs.

Following the birth of her son Anaid in 2001, Christian first started taking antidepressants around six months postpartum – but primarily for stress, fatigue, and trouble coping with her mother’s death. Eventually Christian settled on Effexor because it gave her the most energy. She says she felt medication was her only option because nearly everyone in her family, from aunts to her mother, had been on some kind of antidepressant and she believed that she probably suffered from some sort of hereditary chemical deficiency.

Although Christian had three children – Gavin, Ayla and Anaid, she knew her mother would have wanted more grandchildren. In 2004, she added another baby, Jake, to her family. During that pregnancy Christian switched from Effexor to Zoloft, a milder antidepressant, at her doctor’s recommendation, but went back on Effexor after she finished nursing.

In 2007 Christian approached a new family doctor about whether she should switch back to Zoloft because she wanted one more baby. She was taking 300 mg of Effexor XR (extended release). But the doctor told her, “Oh no, you and the baby will be fine. There are no studies that prove that the Effexor is even transferred to the baby in utero or in the breast milk.”

During her last pregnancy, Christian had developed gestational diabetes (a known effect of antidepressants), went into premature labor two months early (another effect of Effexor), and had to be put on bed rest. She delivered baby Indiana a few weeks early, one month before the due date (37 weeks is considered full term and 38-42 is a normal length for a pregnancy).

When Christian found out that the doctors planned to break her water rather than try to stop contractions, she says that she told her husband, “Matt you’ve got to grab me my Effexor.”

The attending doctor abruptly reacted with, “What?!”

This doctor, who worked with Christian’s regular OBGYN, explained to Christian and Matt that he had delivered many Effexor babies and had seen a lot of problems.  “It’s not good for the baby and it needed to be stopped in the first trimester,” he said.

Next he called and warned the NICU to get ready because an Effexor baby was coming.

When Indiana was born she had trouble breathing, scored low on her APGARs, and wouldn’t cry. Christian says she was floppy, excessively sleepy and nearly impossible to feed, and states:

“She was just a really sleepy baby and wouldn’t eat. She would eat for maybe ten minutes and fall asleep. To try and nurse her was extremely difficult. In the NICU they would have to shove a bottle into her mouth just to get her to have a little bit. I would have to wake her up to eat because she would go for too long and she was having problems with keeping her food down anyway. I would burp her and she would usually throw up most of what she would eat and I would try the other side.”

Indiana spent a while in the NICU during the hospital stay and had to be on oxygen and have an IV. She was also in and out of the hospital and doctor’s office after they got to go home. Indiana had jaundice and had to be checked for bilirubin levels four different times. She had been losing a lot of weight so she also had to go in for numerous growth checkups.

Christian says she had to work really hard to wake Indiana from a deep sleep for almost every feeding and that she had to wake her up to switch sides. Her excessive sleepiness never improved, even by five weeks of age.

On September 7, 2008 Christian nursed Indiana at 8 am and then put her down for a nap. Christian went back in to wake her up at 10 and found she was not breathing.

Indiana was rushed to Children’s Hospital by paramedics. The staff was finally able to revive her after 45 minutes and she spent the next five days on life support. But it was too late. MRIs showed Indiana’s brain had badly deteriorated and the family had to let her go. She died on September 13 at six weeks of age.

Indiana with Dad

Indiana with Dad

As reported by Vera Sharav, “In April, 2004, the National Toxicology Program – Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (NTP-CERHR) panel issued a Report after examining all the available published evidence about infants exposed to an antidepressant in utero and / or breast fed by mothers taking an antidepressant.”

Sharav continued, “The NTP-CERHR expert panel found reason for concern:

Late pregnancy exposures were associated with increased incidence of prematurity, reduced birth weight and length at full term, and poorer neonatal condition characterized by admission to special care nursery and adaptation problems (e.g., jitteriness, tachypnea, hypoglycemia, hypothermia, poor tone, respiratory distress, weak or absent cry, or desaturation on feeding).

“The authors concluded that the observed effects are specific to SRI exposure rather than underlying maternal depression.”

This report, titled “The REPRODUCTIVE and DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY of FLUOXETINE”, was originally available at http://cerhr.niehs.nih.gov/news/fluoxetine/fluoxetine_final.pdf.

As if the conclusions of the report were not bad enough, various studies demonstrate that antidepressants double spontaneous abortions and stillbirths and quintuple preterm births. Babies exposed to SSRIs have a six-fold increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN), a potentially fatal lung problem. Nearly a third of women who take SSRIs have a baby who dies, is premature or underweight, or who has seizures.

It seems that certain sectors of the medical industry aren’t paying attention. From 2004-2008 (through the 2nd quarter only) the FDA MedWatch Adverse Events Reporting Database amassed 647 adverse reaction reports (amounting to 432 babies’ cases, since some reactions are reported by lawyers, doctors and consumers for the same child)  for prenatal or neonatal Effexor exposure, including four reports of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Two Effexor-SIDS cases were specified as a breast milk exposure only, while one was listed as pregnancy exposure. For the other, with a coma followed by SIDS, the timing of exposure was not specified.

There were also 18 intrauterine deaths, 2 neonatal deaths, 2 stillbirths, 51 miscarriages (spontaneous abortions), and numerous other fatal or life-threatening birth defects, for a total of at least 77 deaths from Effexor alone, not counting the prenatal and neonatal deaths caused by the numerous other psychotropic drugs taken by women during pregnancy or breastfeeding over those four years.

Multiply these totals by a factor of between 10 and 100, because the FDA estimates that only 1-10% of adverse reactions are ever reported. (To see the 2004-2008 reports go to http://www.psychdrugdangers.com/MothersAct.html and then select SNRIs, and Venlafaxine from the drug tables.)

The American Academy of Pediatrics publishes and disseminates a long list of drugs that “may be of concern” in breastfed infants. The tables also appear in The Breastfeeding Answer Book (BAB) published by La Leche League (2003), which is given to leaders and subsequently used to counsel nursing mothers when they request information about drugs and breastfeeding.

In these tables, following a list of psychotropic drugs that “may be of concern” but nonetheless are claimed to have “no reported effects,” is a list of “Food and Environmental Agents” that have effects on breastfeeding. On the list are aspartame (NutraSweet) with the warning, “Caution if mother or infant has phenylketonuria” and a “Vegetarian Diet” with the warning, “Signs of B12 deficiency.”

It’s good to warn women about aspartame and diet, but what about drugs that do not have giant warnings plastered on them like NutraSweet does with PKU?

Effexor is not listed anywhere in the AAP drug tables. It seems psychotropic drugs must be incredibly safe in the mind of the Academy because even though numerous patients have nursed babies on the new antidepressants in the last two decades, there are apparently “no reports” of adverse effects on babies for most of them, at least according to the AAP.

“Drugs of Abuse” such as Amphetamine and Cocaine, Heroin and Marijuana are listed in the table with side effects identical to those listed for antidepressants in current warnings. These same side effects are absent from the AAPs tables for prescription psychotropics, with the exception of Prozac and a few antipsychotics.

The effects of street drug on infants include “Irritability, poor sleeping pattern” for Amphetamine, “Cocaine intoxication, irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, tremulousness, and seizures” for Cocaine, “Tremors, restlenssness, vomiting, poor feeding” for heroin, and none reported for Marijuana.

Prozac must be the only unlucky antidepressant that’s bad for breastfed infants, even though according to Thomas Hale, Ph.D. and kellymom.com (a breastfeeding information site), it’s the only antidepressant that’s “recommended” for pregnancy.  Prozac side effects listed in the BAB for nursing infants include colic, irritability, feeding and sleep disorders, and slow weight gain. Although in a 2002 Mothering Magazine article titled “But Is It Safe For My Baby? Medications and Breastfeeding,” Dr. Hale wrote that Prozac had been shown to induce coma in breastfed infants.

According to kellymom.com’s summary of Dr. Hale’s recommendations, “Effexor can also be used in breastfeeding mothers if it is efficacious. It may be effective against hyperactivity.”

However, kellymom.com later implies that Celexa is no safer than Effexor even though it’s an SSRI and therefore supposedly “weaker” because “There have been two cases of excessive somnolence, decreased feeding, and weight loss in breastfed infants,” according to Hale.

Kellymom.com does note that, “Lithium use by the breastfeeding mother is dangerous to the breastfed infant. Valium use by the breastfeeding mother entails a greater risk of infant sedation, and may perhaps increase the risk of SIDS.

Finally, a “Drug Hierarchy” of Hale’s first to last choice is listed as: Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, Effexor, and Prozac.

“Dr. Hale concluded his talk by saying that breastfeeding should be supported fully and not interrupted by mom’s needs for medication; and that treatment of postpartum depression can be accomplished relatively safely in breastfeeding mothers. So, in his consideration, moms should continue breastfeeding and should get drug treatment as needed for depression.”

http://www.kellymom.com/health/meds/antidepressants-hale10-02.html#Effexor

However according to Candace S. Brown, PharmD, BCPP, CFNP, writing for femalepatient.com, “Illet et al studied three cases of breast-feeding women using venlafaxine [Effexor], and reported M/P ratios of up to 4.7.28… Given their high M/P ratios and the limited amount of information available on these antidepressants [venlafaxine, bupropion, trazodone, and nefazodone], they are not recommended in lactating women at this time.”

Milk-to-Plasma Ratio: Medication concentration in milk is frequently compared with the concentration in maternal serum to quantify the extent of passage; this is known as the milk-to-plasma ratio (M/P). In general, compounds that are weakly protein-bound, highly lipid-soluble, weakly basic, and small in molecular size have higher M/P ratios. Ratios greater than 1 indicate that the medication is present in higher concentrations in breast milk than in maternal serum. The higher the M/P ratio, the greater the infant exposure to medication.

http://www.femalepatient.com/html/arc/sig/pharma/articles/article_3.asp

The article further explains that:

Infants’ abilities to absorb, metabolize, and eliminate drugs determine how these drugs will affect them. Compared with adults, infants have a higher gastric pH, causing basic compounds, which remain un-ionized, to have higher absorption rates than do acidic compounds.  Infants also have lower levels of albumin, resulting in higher amounts of free/unbound (and therefore active) medication. Liver metabolic enzymes are immature in infants, decreasing the rate of degradation of medication. In addition, neonates’ kidneys have a glomerular filtration rate that is 30% to 40% of that in adults. Finally, the blood-brain barrier in newborns is not fully developed, and central nervous system concentrations of some lipid-soluble compounds may reach levels that are 10 to 30 times those in serum. As a result of all of these factors, medications that reach the serum in neonates, as compared with those that reach the serum of adults or children older than 6 months, are more likely to be active, less likely to be metabolized and excreted, and more likely to cross into the brain.

Given the confusing and contradictory information found with so many varying sources, whether it’s their La Leche League leader or lactation consultant, a magazine article, or even a breastfeeding website, most new mothers will probably ask for a professional opinion from a doctor or pharmacist.  Either one should be readily able to offer the following information straight from the Effexor label, which can be found by merely “Googling” Effexor in breastfeeding or pregnancy:

[Effexor during pregnancy in animal studies resulted in a] “decrease in pup weight, an increase in stillborn pups, and an increase in pup deaths during the first 5 days of lactation, when dosing began during pregnancy and continued until weaning. The cause of these deaths is not known. Venlafaxine appears to cross the human placenta near term.

In a prospective study pregnancy outcomes of 150 women exposed to venlafaxine during first trimester were compared with the pregnancy outcomes of a group of pregnant women who received selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants and a group of women who received nonteratogenic drugs. The majority of the women in the venlafaxine group took 75 mg/day (range 37.5 to 300 mg/day) of venlafaxine immediate release form. Among the 150 women who were exposed to venlafaxine during pregnancy, 125 had live births, 18 had spontaneous abortions and seven had therapeutic abortions; two of the babies had major malformations.

Yet when Christian Delahunty approached her family doctor about switching from Effexor to a different medication when she wanted to have another baby, she was told that there were “no studies” showing that Effexor even gets to the baby during pregnancy or breastfeeding. According to Christian, the maximum dose of extended release Effexor is 225 mg. She was on 300 mg at the start of her pregnancy and throughout Indi’s life.

Perhaps Christian’s OBGYN and family doctor only recently graduated from medical school, or maybe they both had gone on vacation and missed reading emails when the FDA MedWatch and Wyeth issued a warning letter on June 28, 2004, specifically for doctors on the dangers of Effexor in pregnancy and stated in part, “Neonates exposed to Effexor, other SNRIs (Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors), or SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), late in the third trimester of pregnancy have developed complications requiring prolonged hospitalization, respiratory support, and tube feeding.”

Today, Christian spends the days coping with the loss of her daughter but says she feels inspired by baby Indi to help others not have to go through the same tragedy. Christian switched to Lexapro after Indiana died because she wanted nothing to do with Effexor, and then started tapering off the drug slowly. Her last dose was four days ago. Already she says, “I am actually starting to feel better because I don’t feel so controlled by a substance… If you don’t take your dose it affects you horribly. This is the first time I’ve been sober in eight years. It makes me want to cry because it did have so much effect on every part of your life. I was just on a rollercoaster ride, that’s what it feels like.”

“I cope by just praying to God, and in my mind having conversations with Indi. I have an incredible support system and I have to believe – and I think one of the biggest things helping me through this – is that I believe this was her purpose. We had to go through what we had to because she needed to make a difference. She needed to help other people realize that this is serious and it is real.”

“I told my OBGYN at my first consultation that I was on Effexor and she didn’t think there was anything wrong with it. Throughout the pregnancy, I had my doubts and my first instinct was that this wasn’t right, but I was being told that it was just fine. The delivering doctor brought up Effexor. After Indi passed away the thought just kept coming back to me and then I started doing my research and found out how dangerous it was. I Googled Effexor baby, Effexor dangers, Effexor and pregnancy… I was so shocked because it was so easy to do that and I should have done that before. Why didn’t the doctors know that? There is so much controversy over it, why don’t the doctors research more into it without taking the rep’s point of view saying it’s just fine?”

When asked what she thinks about The MOTHERS Act, Christian said:

“It puts so many babies at risk for developing so many different problems. And it puts the mother at risk. Postpartum is normal, it’s natural. It’s learning how to cope with your stress and your situation, rather than just taking drugs to forget about it or to mask what’s natural. There are so many people out there who I know are thinking like I thought – you either have family members on antidepressants or you know somebody – it’s just kinda normal, you know we’ll all start taking an antidepressant… Just because it’s prescribed from a doctor it doesn’t make it safe.”

“I trusted my doctor and that mistake – it cost me. It cost my whole entire family. That is why I have to believe that this was Indi’s purpose. Educate yourselves. If the doctors aren’t going to be educated then we need to. We need to take the power back.”

By the way, the March of Dimes, a pharma-funded group that endorses The MOTHERS Act as well as the use of antidepressants during pregnancy, does warn against the use of caffeine in pregnancy due to a risk of miscarriage.

To learn more about the dangers of “The MOTHERS Act,” go to uniteforlife.org.
Please go to this link to watch a video in memory of baby Indiana: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGX_34TmT4w

Note: This article was updated with the latest MedWatch information on July 28,2009. For more reports on drugs commonly given to nursing mothers such as antidepressants and Zyprexa, go to http://momsandmeds.wordpress.com/2009/06/24/breastmilkexposure/

Filed under: antidepressants, Birth Defects, child endangerment, Christian Delahunty, Congress, dead babies, drug "safety", drugging children, Effexor, Effexor in pregnancy, eugenics, experimentation, FDA Warnings, Indiana, mothers act, pharmacology, PPD, Pregnancy, The Future of The United States, toxicity deaths, , ,

Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death?

“The house of every one is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defence against injury and violence as for his repose.” - Sir Edward Coke, 77 Eng. Rep. 194 (1604).

Whether you’re in the U.S., England, or Antactica… Human Rights are innate and must not be deprived. Regardless of what the society at the time tolerates, you have the right to life, liberty, control over your own body, mind, spirit home, and the right to prohibit someone else from depriving you of any of these rights without “due process” or adequate moral  justification. Our rights have been written down for us (here in the U.S.A.) by wise men:

Constitutional Amendments (Bill of Rights)

Fourth Amendment

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Ninth Amendment

“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

But just because someone tells you your rights do not exist, does not stop you from having those rights. Certain rights are “inalienable.” Stand up for yourself. Help us protect our rights and stand up for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Don’t give me death… but I’ll keep my liberty, thank you very much!

Filed under: The Future of The United States,

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