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Taking Paxil (Seroxat) since 1966?

Posted by shutah on June 26, 2007

According to this article John Travolta believes that “psychotropic” medication is “at the bottom of the Virginia Tech massacre, the Columbine shootings, and other similar incidents.

“John Travolta told W Magazine that he has been taking the anti-depressant, Paxil since he was 12 years old. He claims that without it he would not be alive today. This says a lot about the drug and what someone like him thinks about it. He is an excellent example of a person who has had a good experience with Paxil and thinks the world of it. It’s hard to believe that a person has been on a drug for so long, but all that means is experience.”

If, as the article states, Mr Travolta has been taking Paxil since the age of 12, then it would have been in 1966 that he began taking the drug (as he was born in 1954).  However, according to research, NeuroSearch (a Danish Biotechnology company founded in 1989) were involved in the discovery of Paxil, one of the first SSRIs for the treatment of depression.  So, how is it possible for someone to have been taking Paxil since 1966?  

Oh, and a side issue of note, NeuroSearch and GSK are “collaborating” ….

Depression: The advantage of the antidepressant being developed by NeuroSearch is that it is effective after just one to two weeks compared to between two and six weeks for those currently on the market. NeuroSearch is collaborating with GlaxoSmithKline on this compound.


3 Responses to “Taking Paxil (Seroxat) since 1966?”

  1. As you say, it’s not possible for someone to have taken Paxil since the 60’s. The earliest SSRIs were being developed in the early 80’s and Paxil is one of the latter ones (first marketed in the early 90’s).

    However, doesn’t strike me as a bastion of fine journalism. In this case it seems to have got its facts mixed up a bit. What Travolta said was:

    “I still think that if you analyze most of the school shootings, it is not gun control. It is psychotropic drugs at the bottom of it.”

    This was reported on a site called Hollywood Rag. Someone called Jonathan Jaxson saw this and blogged about it on JJ’s Blog: John Travolta has hit a nerve…. JJ commented:

    “Is John speaking of anti-depressents, such as Paxil??? I have been on Paxil since I was 12 years old and without it, I would have already died.”

    What seems to have happened is that Robert Binstock, who wrote the article you cite, has misread JJ’s blog post, failed to do any fact checking at all, and posted a horrendously garbled story that bears only a tangential relationship to the truth.

    It’s JJ the blogger who claims to have been on Paxil since he was 12. (A reasonable claim, since his MySpace profile lists him as being 23). Travolta, being a scientologist, doesn’t really approve of psychotropic drugs and would therefore be unlikely to state that he was a long term user of them.

  2. shutah said

    Many thanks for clarifying the point. I shall endeavour to be more vigilant with my source material in future.

  3. Lawsathome said

    hmm yes i thought this odd too and in fact looked up the original w magazine article. no mention of it there but a good spot of light reading! sorry to be the bearer of bad news – but i’m a believer in checking both sides of stories where possible to get a balanced view!!

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