SEROXAT AND OTHER SSRIs

News and Views on the SSRI Group of Drugs

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SSRI CHRONICLE 1988 – 2004

Posted by shutah on August 14, 2007

1988  Prozac the first SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) launched

1990 Six patients became suicidal on Prozac according to report in scientific journal class

1990 – 2002  Medicine’s Control Agency later renamed Medicines and Health Regulatory Agency (MHRA) conducts four investigations into SSRIs. Concludes they are safe, effective and totally non-addictive

1998  Psychiatrist Dr David Healy starts a correspondence with MHRA raising concerns about increased risk of suicide with some patients. Agency declares them unfounded

2002 October:  Panorama program on reported side effects of Seroxat including addiction, aggression and suicide

2003 March: The new committee set up by the MHRA to review the safety of Seroxat disbanded after two members found to have shares in GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) makers of the drug

2003 May:  Panorama program based on 1500 emails describing Seroxat side effects, especially difficulties of coming off the drug

2003 June:  GSK issue new warning on possible problems with Seroxat when attempting to stop taking it

2003 June:  A new MHRA committee investigates SSRI side effects, especially in children

2003 December:  MHRA issues new guidelines advising against prescribing SSRIs, save Prozac, to anyone under 18 with depression because of an increased risk of suicide

2004 March:  Richard Brook resigns from MHRA committee because it refuses to publicise fact that the information on which the new prescribing guidelines are based had been available since 1990. He is threatened with legal proceedings

2004 June:  State of New York sues GSK, alleging “persistent fraud” in suppressing research showing suicide risk from Seroxat (Paxil in USA) to those under 18

2004 August: Leaked documents show an FDA employee Dr Mosholder, was prevented from presenting evidence of raised suicide risk in children taking SSRIs to an advisory committee

2004 September:  GSK $2.5m to settle the New York case saying the charges were “unfounded”. The company’s shares rose by one percent

2004 September:  An advisory panel of the FDA in the US recommends that all anti-depressants should come with a “black box label” warning that adolescents treated with the drug are more likely to become suicidal.

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