Toxicity of Prozac??

Claude de Contrecoeur cyrano at pasdemerde.touic.com
Sun Jun 29 06:36:12 EST 1997


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Article 13 of 13

Subject:      The Great Prozac Serotonin Fraud (updated repost)
From:         woaple at burgoyne.com (Woaple)
Date:         1997/06/09
Message-Id:   <5nhhmb$9fj at news.burgoyne.com>
Newsgroups:   sci.med.pharmacy
[More Headers]

On April 6, 1995, I posted a message in sci.med.pharmacy on the
subject "Prozac-induced chronic serotonin syndrome."  If you are
interested in reviewing it, go to the Pharmaceutical Information
Network (PharmInfoNet) home page on the Web, and look under
sci.med.pharmacy Selected Archives, Prozac (fluoxetine HCl) Threads,
Thread 20.  The URL is
<http://pharminfo.com/drugdb/proz_arc.html#arc_proz_20>.  It may be
elsewhere on the Web-- but I haven't looked for it.  I have also
posted several previous versions of "The Great Prozac Serotonin
Fraud," under the subject title "Prozac-induced chronic serotonin
toxicity."  I am still receiving e-mail from Prozac victims all over
the world who describe many of the debilitating symptoms listed in
these postings.  As I have stated, Prozac-induced chronic serotonin
toxicity is manifested by central and autonomic nervous system
dysfunction, with resulting organ pathophysiology.  In my case, the
symptoms (generally in descriptive rather than technical medical
terminology) I continue to suffer from more than six years after I was
prescribed Prozac for a moderate depression are the following: stupor
(chronic plus major episodes--feel drugged, dazed, "zonked"); forehead
aches; blurred vision; memory loss; incoordination; reading
difficulties; writing difficulties; eye aches; eye muscle twitches;
chronic dry, red, stingy eyes and swollen lids; sympathetic nervous
system hyperactivity (electric-like buzz and surges through head,
chest, arms); nerve twitches and tremors; muscle twitches; ringing in
head and ears; cardiac arrythmias (chronic PVCs and episodic
tachycardia); chronic dry mouth and throat; respiratory congestion
(cough, chest rale, shortness of breath); episodic uncontrollable
yawning; episodic cold sweats and chills; episodic itching and rashes;
GI tract problems (diarrhea, bloating, flatulence, belching); appetite
reduction; frequent urination; muscle stiffness and fatigue; general
fatigue; decreased libido and sexual dysfunction; elevated cholesterol
levels; sleeping problems; depression (chronic plus major episodes);
chronic apathy; episodic anxiety, frustration, restlessness and anger.
EVERY ONE OF THESE SYMPTOMS, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, HAS BEEN REPORTED IN
MEDICAL LITERATURE AS A SYMPTOM OF HYPERSEROTONERGIC ACTIVITY OR
TOXICITY.

The poor souls who have sent e-mail to me, like me, are desperately
searching for anything that will help them recover from the toxic
effects of Prozac.  Thus, I am continually asked for answers and
advice in regard to their terrible experiences with Prozac and other
SSRIs.  I apologize to those of you who have sent me e-mails to which
I have not replied.  I simply don't have the answers you seek, and I
don't have the energy or the time to individually reply to all of you.
The following message is primarily for you, all other Prozac victims
and potential victims, and your families and friends.  It is also for
the medical profession, the scientific community, the FDA, and anyone
else who wants to find out the truth about Prozac.

Before we go any further, I want to make it absolutely clear that I am
not and have never been a scientologist, nor have I ever been
associated in any way with the Church of Scientology or any of its
so-called front groups like the Citizens' Commission on Human Rights.
Frankly, about the only thing I know about scientologists is that they
oppose the use of Prozac and have become the scapegoat and whipping
boy for Eli Lilly & Co.'s despicable propaganda campaign to discredit
all opposition to Prozac as part of some kind of extremist or cultist
plot.   Lilly's tactics are doomed to fail because the truth will
eventually prevail.  It just so happens that the scientologists are
right in their opposition to Prozac, and I applaud them for speaking
out against this toxic drug.  Now, let's get down to business.

First, you need to educate yourself about Prozac, other SSRIs, and
other antidepressants and psychiatric drugs.  I have been doing this
now for more than five years, after it became painfully obvious to me
that psychiatrists, other doctors, and health care professionals as a
whole are shockingly ignorant of the toxic effects of Prozac and other
serotonergic drugs.  In order to find the truth about why Prozac
almost killed me, and why I have not been able to recover from its
toxic effects, I embarked on an educational crusade to teach myself.
I am not a medical doctor, but I have a doctorate degree in another
profession and am considered by my peers to be a very intelligent
person.  I also was the Administrator and then Executive Director of a
drug crisis center and free health clinic in the 1970s for over a
year, and I know quite a bit about many illicit street drugs and the
street scene of the 60s, 70s and 80s.  This knowledge has enabled me
to see the unmistakable parallels between the pharmacology of street
drugs and psychiatric drugs, especially serotonergic antidepressants
like Prozac.  Over the last five years, I have studied medical
textbooks and read books about Prozac and psychotropic drugs in
general.  I have conducted dozens of MEDLINE computer searches of
medical journal articles, and read hundreds of these articles.  I have
been to the medical library of a major university more than 30 times.
I have talked with the authors of books about Prozac, with
pharmacologists, with medical doctors, and with Prozac victims from
all over the world.  Thus, you be the judge of what I am about to tell
you.

Get the following books and read them cover to cover:

PROZAC: PANACEA OR PANDORA? (1994)
By Ann Blake Tracy
Cassia Publications
P.O. Box 1044
West Jordan, Utah 84088
Phone: (801) 280-2041
(This is a 400+ page softback book, which can be ordered by contacting
Ann Tracy at the phone number above.  Ann is a friend of mine, and
probably has as much information about the toxic effects of Prozac as
anyone else in the world.)

TALKING BACK TO PROZAC (1994)
By Peter R. Breggin, M.D.
St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10010
(This is a 250+ page hardbound book, which can be found at a large
bookstore.)

TOXIC PSYCHIATRY (1991)
By Peter R. Breggin, M.D.
(Same publisher as above.  This is a 400+ page hardbound book, which
can also be found at a large bookstore.)

THE POWER TO HARM (1996)
By John Cornwell
Penguin Books (USA, England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand)
375 Hudson Street (USA address)
New York, New York 10014
(This is a 300+ page hardbound book, that can also be found at a large
bookstore.  It is the compelling story of Prozac and the infamous
Wesbecker case, which will be discussed later in this posting.)

I have known Ann Tracy since 1992, and have talked with her dozens of
times.  It was her book, PROZAC: PANACEA OR PANDORA?, along with Dr.
Breggin's TALKING BACK TO PROZAC, that really focused my research
efforts on serotonin toxicity caused by Prozac (and other serotonergic
drugs).  Although a condition of serotonergic hyperstimulation called
the "serotonin syndrome" has been described in medical journal
literature since the 1960s, I am willing to bet that the doctors you
Prozac victims have seen know nothing or virtually nothing about it,
and probably have never heard of it.  This was my experience, and it
underscores the unbelievable ignorance throughout the medical
profession of serotonin syndrome and serotonin toxicity in general.
Get the following medical journal articles and read them very
carefully:

Brown TM, Skop BP, Mareth TR.  Pathophysiology and management of the
serotonin syndrome.  The Annals of Pharmacotherapy 1996 (May);
30:527-533.

Mills KC.  Serotonin syndrome.  American Family Physician 1995;
52(5):1475-82.

Bodner RA, Lynch T, Lewis L, Kahn D.  Serotonin syndrome.  Neurology
1995; 45:219-23.

Sternbach H.  The serotonin syndrome.  American Journal of Psychiatry
1991; 148(6):705-13.

These articles are excellent in their analyses and discussions of
"serotonin syndrome," which is an *acute* toxic syndrome caused by
serotonergic drugs like Prozac, either alone or in combinations.  At
least some doctors in the medical profession are on the right track
and have recognized the potential of many psychotropic serotonergic
drugs to cause severe serotonin toxicity.  However, the medical
profession as a whole has failed to recognize that serotonin syndrome,
particularly when exacerbated my misdiagnosis and treatment with more
serotonergic drugs, can become a chronic toxic syndrome which may last
for years, and may end up being permanent, degenerative, and/or
untreatable.  I know this from my own experience, and I know there are
thousands of you Prozac victims out there who also know exactly what I
am talking about.  For our sakes, I pray there is an effective
treatment.

The treatment options in the above articles for acute serotonin
syndrome have not worked for me and, in some instances, made me worse.
I believe this is primarily because there are distinct differences
between *chronic* serotonin toxicity and *acute* serotonin syndrome,
although many of the symptoms manifested are the same or very similar.
Chronic serotonin toxicity cannot be treated effectively with 5-HT
receptor antagonists.  I believe potential treatments for this
condition should include some kind of serotonin depleting agent.
There are such drugs, but most are either too dangerous, toxic or
experimental; or are not available in the USA to the public.  I am
aware of two that should be but are not available to the American
public.  One of them is tianeptine (which I will discuss in some
detail later), developed and marketed in France.  Tianeptine is an
"anti-Prozac" drug--it *enhances* or *accelerates* the reuptake of
serotonin, exactly the opposite of Prozac and other so-called
selective serotonin reuptake *inhibitors* (SSRIs).  The other of these
serotonin depleting drugs is fenclonine (DL-para-chlorophenylalanine),
which inhibits the biosynthesis of serotonin.  I believe
pharmaceutical fenclonine is made by a drug company somewhere outside
the USA, but I have been unable to find it.

If you want more information about the toxic effects of Prozac and
other SSRIs, the following articles and letters represent just a few
of many that have been published in medical journals:

Nierenberg DW, Semprebon M.  The central nervous system serotonin
syndrome.  Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics 1993; 53(1):84-88.

Ruiz F.  Fluoxetine and the serotonin syndrome.  Annals of Emergency
Medicine 1994; 24(5):983-985.

Hoehn-Saric R, et al.  A fluoxetine-induced frontal lobe syndrome in
an obsessive compulsive patient.  Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 1991;
52(3):131-133.

Steur ENHJ.  Increase of parkinson disability after fluoxetine
medication.  Neurology 1993; 43:211-213.

Markel H, et al.  LSD flashback syndrome exacerbated by selective
serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants in adolescents.  Journal
of Pediatrics 1994; 125(5)(part 1):817-819.

Lipinski JF Jr, Mallya G, Zimmerman P, et al.  Fluoxetine-induced
akathisia: clinical and theoretical implications.  Journal of Clinical
Psychiatry 1989; 50:339-342.

Stoukides JA, Stoukides CA.  Extrapyramidal symptoms upon
discontinuation of fluoxetine (letter).  American Journal of
Psychiatry 1991; 148(9):1263.

Rosenblat JE.  Toxicology and drug interactions: two more cases of
fluoxetine withdrawal (and SSRI withdrawal symptoms online).  Currents
in Affective Illness 1994; 13:15-17.

Ellison JM.  SSRI withdrawal buzz (letter).  Journal of Clinical
Psychiatry 1994; 55:544-545.

Berlin CS.  Fluoxetine withdrawal symptoms (letter).  Journal of
Clinical Psychiatry 1996; 57(2):93-94.

Sandler NH.  Tardive dyskinesia associated with fluoxetine (letter).
Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 1996; 57(2):91.

Flint AJ, Crosby J, Genik JL.  Recurrent hyponatremia associated with
fluoxetine and paroxetine (letter).  American Journal of Psychiatry
1996; 153(1):134.

If you read the books and medical journal articles and letters listed
above, you will probably know much more about Prozac, other SSRIs,
serotonin toxicity, and the toxic effects of psychiatric drugs in
general than 99.9% of the health care professionals you might see for
help.  You might also want to monitor the website of the Prozac
Survivors Support Group, Inc. at the following URL:
<http://www.dcn.davis.ca.us/~jonb/prosurv.html>, and the newsgroup
<alt.support.survivors.prozac>.

Once you have educated yourself, you should try to find and educate an
open-minded and competent doctor or other health care professional.
This will not be an easy task, as doctors are generally quite arrogant
about their supposed superior knowledge, and seldom do they want to
listen to mere patients who have the audacity to question them.  Be
persistent and insistent.  Give them copies of the literature, or at
least a list of it.  Any doctor who is not interested in reading the
latest medical literature about serotonin syndrome and other
serotonin-induced symptoms has no business prescribing serotonergic
drugs like Prozac.  If the doctors I saw had known anything about
serotonin syndrome, they should have immediately seen that Prozac and
other serotonergic drugs I was given were poisoning me with their
profound serotonergic effects.  I would guess that many of you Prozac
victims out there will reach the same conclusion after you have read
the literature I have suggested.  And by all means, don't stop
there--you will find hundreds of references in this literature to
other books and articles.  Go get them,  read them and tell your
doctor about them.

I want to reiterate to everyone in cyberspace that I am not a medical
doctor and I am not attempting to give medical advice to anyone.  Only
a competent doctor or other health care professional, who knows your
complete medical history and other relevant information in regard to
your case, should advise you what to do.  I will suggest that it is
generally not advisable to abruptly stop using Prozac or other
psychiatric drugs, unless you are suffering an acute toxic reaction of
some kind.  You should consult with the doctor you have educated and
discontinue using Prozac under his/her supervision, by tapering off
rather than abruptly going "cold turkey."  Abrupt cessation can result
in serious withdrawal and rebound symptoms.   Gradual tapering off may
also result in milder withdrawal and rebound symptoms which your
doctor needs to recognize.  Otherwise, you may be misdiagnosed and
given drugs (e.g., more serotonergic drugs) which may exacerbate your
condition.

How do I have the audacity to challenge the
medical/pharmaceutical/governmental establishment in regard to the
safety and efficacy of Prozac and other serotonergic drugs? These
people must know what they are doing, don't they?  They wouldn't
approve the use of these drugs if they are unsafe and potentially
toxic, would they?  We're talking about a lot of very smart people,
aren't we?  Surely they would warn us of the dangers of using these
drugs, wouldn't they?   *If you believe any of this poppycock, it's
time to wake up and smell the coffee!*   Here in America, the drug
companies, the medical profession and the FDA are *never* going to
adequately protect us from dangerous drugs.  The system just does not
work that way.

When I was first referred to a psychiatrist for depression resulting
from chronic neck and back pain,  I had no idea what had happened to
the psychiatric profession over the last 30 years, and particularly
over the last 10-15 years.  I guess I expected somebody like the
psychiatrist from MASH, Dr. Sydney Friedman.  I was perplexed as to
why I was never asked obvious questions.  Rather, all this
psychiatrist was interested in was diagnosing me with an illness and
prescribing psychiatric drugs.  Years later, after my own experiences
and research, I now understand what has happened.  Over 30 years ago,
in fear of competition from psychologists and other health care
professionals for patients, the American Psychiatric Association (APA)
formed "deliberate action" committees which actually sought out and
created incestuous partnerships with pharmaceutical companies like
Lilly.  Thus, it comes as no surprise that psychiatrists, who set the
standard for use of psychiatric drugs throughout the entire medical
profession, push the use of Prozac and other dangerous psychiatric
drugs.  This new breed of neurochemical and electroshock doctors
dominate the profession, the National Institute of Mental Health
(NIMH) and the advisory committees of the FDA which evaluate
psychotropic drugs.  The APA receives millions each year in cash
contributions from the drug companies which produce these drugs.
Psychiatrists and other doctors, and their universities and hospitals,
receive huge grants from the drug companies to conduct clinical trials
and other studies of them, along with a multitude of other perks
(e.g., junkets, conventions, free samples, inside information
regarding new drugs and potential investments, etc.).  The end result
is an unethical, incestuous and corrupt partnership, which has become
an extremely profitable, symbiotic gravy train for all concerned.
Remember, a dog does not bite the hand that feeds him.  Asking
psychiatrists to conduct clinical trials of psychotropic drugs, trials
bought and paid for by the companies making the drugs, is like asking
the Columbian cocaine cartel to conduct a clinical trial of the safety
and efficacy of cocaine through a survey of the opinions of cocaine
dealers as to whether their customers suffer any dangerous adverse
effects from using cocaine.  What do you think the outcome of such a
"clinical trial" is going to be?  The clinical trials of Prozac were
just about  as absurd and fraudulent--Dr. Breggin points this out in
great detail in TALKING BACK TO PROZAC.  The system is inherently
biased and corrupt, and must be dramatically changed to protect the
public, not the profits and power of the pharmaceutical companies and
the medical profession.  Psychiatrists will *never* admit that Prozac
and other psychiatric drugs are dangerous--to do so would be to admit
unethical and negligent conduct in treating their patients, thus
opening themselves up to malpractice liability and public censure.  I
submit that psychiatrists and their partners, the drug companies, have
defrauded and duped the entire medical profession and the public
regarding the alleged safety and efficacy of Prozac and many other
psychiatric drugs.  History is going to be a very harsh judge of this
current black period of psychiatry, and of the medical profession in
general, for allowing psychiatry to get out of control to the point of
using you and me as human lab rats.

The pharmaceutical industry and medical profession (and psychiatrists
in particular) have a dismal history of failing to warn the public of
the profoundly dangerous effects of mind-altering psychiatric drugs.
Valium and Librium (tranquilizers) were promoted as safe in regard to
potential abuse, until the Justice Department and the FDA were finally
forced to place curbs and controls on them.  It took the medical
profession over 30 years to recognize that neuroleptics (antipsychotic
drugs) can cause untreatable and nightmarish neurological disorders
such as tardive dyskinesia, tardive dystonia and tardive akathisia.
These same disorders can also be caused by Prozac.  Many psychiatrists
still know virtually nothing about these drug-induced permanent
disorders, and even deny they are caused by psychiatric drugs despite
overwhelming medical evidence to the contrary.  Amphetamines were
embraced and touted by psychiatrists as antidepressants in the 1950s
and 60s--and it took over 20 years after their introduction into
clinical medicine to accurately describe amphetamine-induced paranoid
psychoses.  New side effects, such as speech-blockage, are still being
attributed to tricyclic antidepressants after over 20 years of
extensive use.

Eli Lilly, the maker of Prozac, has a particularly sordid history of
unleashing dangerous drugs on an unsuspecting public.  Dr. Breggin
points out in TALKING BACK TO PROZAC that in 1957  Lilly introduced
Darvon (propoxyphene) with great fanfare, promoting it via magazine
advertisements and detail men as a potent painkiller without the
potential for abuse and addiction shown by earlier painkillers, such
as codeine.  Lilly constantly emphasized that Darvon was a non-
narcotic and therefore non-addicting analgesic.  The 1963 PDR states
outright that Darvon "does not have characteristics that would lead to
abuse of the drug and to addiction."  In 1977, the Justice Department
reported that it was widely abused as an addictive drug and should be
classified as a narcotic.  Lilly continued to deny everything as it
raked in $140 million from what was then the third best-selling
prescription drug in America.  At the same time, Darvon became the
second most frequently mentioned drug in coroner's reports, only
behind heroin in its association with drug-related deaths.  In 1978,
Lilly was still relentless in its fraudulent promotion of Darvon,
despite the fact that Ralph Nader's Health Research Group petitioned
the government to have Darvon banned, and the U.S. Senate held
hearings.  Finally, in 1980, *more than 20 years after Lilly first
marketed Darvon to the public,* the FDA required Lilly to issue
warnings regarding addiction and suicidality dangers.

In 1982, Lilly's anti-inflammatory arthritis drug Oroflex was finally
pulled from the market after dozens of patients died from taking it.
In 1985, Lilly was criminally prosecuted for failing to report deaths
and illnesses from Oroflex to the FDA.  Lilly pleaded guilty  in June
of 1985 to 25 counts of failing to report such adverse reactions.  A
top Lilly executive, who headed Lilly's research division, also
pleaded guilty to 15 criminal counts.  In an ironic twist of fate,
this information came back to haunt Lilly a decade later in the now
infamous Wesbecker case.  Read John Cornwell's book THE POWER TO HARM
for a captivating and chilling account of this case.

If  you are not familiar with the Wesbecker case, here is a brief
synopsis.  Joseph Wesbecker, a longtime mental patient, went on a
shooting spree in September of 1989 at a Louisville, Kentucky printing
plant where he formerly worked, killing eight people and injuring 13
others before killing himself.  Wesbecker had been taking Prozac for
less than a month.  Those injured, and the families of those killed,
sued Lilly, alleging that Lilly knowingly mislabeled and marketed a
defective drug (Prozac) which caused Wesbecker to become homicidal.
Much of the testimony centered on whether Lilly adequately tested
Prozac and whether it fairly reported the test results to the FDA,
which approved Prozac for public use.  After Lilly introduced evidence
to show that it had a "particulary good" reputation for fully
reporting to the FDA, Circuit Judge John Potter ruled that the
plaintiffs could introduce evidence about Oroflex as rebuttal evidence
to Lilly's claims. *However, the plaintiffs never introduced that
evidence!* The jury, in the narrowest of verdicts, found that Prozac
did not trigger Wesbecker's murderous spree.  Lilly immediately issued
press releases and crowed that the Wesbecker decision was a complete
vindication of Prozac.

The truth finally surfaced about the jury verdict mentioned above.
The cover story of the New Jersey Law Journal, Vol. CXL-No.5, Monday,
May 1,1995, exposes "The Secret Deal That Won the Prozac Case."  As it
turns out, the plaintiffs, *pursuant to a secret deal with Lilly, and
unknown to the jury and the judge,* purposely withheld the devastating
Oroflex evidence against Lilly which probably would have changed the
ultimate outcome. *In other words, Lilly bought off the plaintiffs
during the trial, who then quietly agreed to play dead before the jury
got the case!*

Upon finding out about the secret deal, Judge Potter was outraged.  He
considered this a fraud upon the court and the public, and ordered the
lawyers for Lilly and Wesbecker's victims to appear before him and
divulge the details of their agreement.  The response of the lawyers
was to ask the Kentucy Court of Appeals to stop Judge Potter from
doing this.  In documents filed with the Court of Appeals, Judge
Potter strongly suggested that both sides lied to him when they told
him no money changed hands before the verdict:  "Lilly sought to buy
not just the verdict, but the court's judgment as well."  Judge Potter
further stated that Lilly "gave the verdict the widest possible
publicity," but withheld from the public knowledge that it had struck
a secret deal to keep the damaging Oroflex evidence from the jury.
Judge Potter continued his assault on the unethical agreement by
stating that it is "the court's duty to protect the integrity of the
judicial system,"  and that "secrecy is certainly not important to the
millions of people taking Prozac and the thousands of doctors
prescribing Prozac.  They want the truth."  Potter further stated that
the public silence and cooperation by Wesbecker's victims "were bought
and paid for."

The Kentucky Supreme Court, in a 7-0 decision, backed Judge Potter and
ruled that Lilly and the plaintiffs must divulge their secret
agreement.  For you cyberlawyers, the citation is Potter v. Eli Lilly
and Co., 926 S.W.2d 449 (Ky. 1996).  The Court stated: "In this case,
there was a serious lack of candor with the trial court and there may
have been deception, bad faith conduct, abuse of the judicial process
or perhaps even fraud.  That is what the investigation and hearing is
to determine.  We cannot tolerate even the possibility of such conduct
at either the trial or appellate level."  Lilly has done everything in
its power to cover up its fraud and delay it as long as possible.
However, to all of you out there in cyberspace, watch for the
revelation that Lilly paid millions of dollars to buy the Wesbecker
verdict.  So, the truth is out that Lilly's "great victory" and
"complete vindication" of Prozac *was a total fraud!*  Does this
surprise me?--not in the least.  Lilly is a company with no
conscience.  It always has been and always will be.  There are still
approximately 160 other civil cases pending against Lilly nationwide
over Prozac's safety.  I hope that Lilly gets its butt kicked in every
one of them, as money is the only language that Lilly understands.
Eventually, if enough Prozac victims prevail in the courts, the FDA or
the Justice Department may be forced to take some action against Lilly
and Prozac.

However, don't hold your breath for any action by the FDA.  After
clinical trials lasting only five or six weeks, Prozac was approved by
the FDA for use by the public.  That's right, five or six weeks!  The
FDA had no idea at that time of the long-term abuse potential or
adverse effects from Prozac use--and still has no idea.  The bogus
Prozac clinical trials were "whitewashed" and bought and paid for by
Lilly.  There have never been to this day the objective clinical
studies or trials necessary which would show the dangerous
pharmacodynamic properties and effects of Prozac.  Nobody will pay for
such studies or trials--they are the last thing that Lilly wants to
see done.

In 1991, the FDA was pressured into reviewing claims of Prozac-induced
suicidality and violent, aggressive behavior by several groups,
including Nader's Health Research Group and the Prozac Survivors
Support Group.  In response, the FDA held a sham hearing in September
of 1991 before its advisory committee on psycho-pharmaceuticals.  Dr.
Breggin discusses this hearing in detail in TALKING BACK TO PROZAC.
Of the nine-member committee and their consultants, almost all were
psychiatrists, committed to maintaining the good name of psychiatry
and its use of Prozac and other psychoactive drugs.  Shockingly, five
of the nine committee members had direct conflicts of interest because
of their financial ties to drug companies.  Two had participated as
clinical investigators for Lilly in the Prozac trials.  One had done
several dozen paid lectures for Lilly, was supervising $500,000 of
drug company grants at his university, and had $200,000 in grants
pending from Lilly.  Other committee members had financial ties to
other drug companies which make serotonergic drugs.  When these
inherent conflicts of interest were pointed out to the FDA, its
response was *not* to disqualify anyone, but rather to grant complete
"waivers" to the five members of any conflicts so they could
participate in the hearing.  Only drug companies who made
antidepressants were invited to make formal presentations, but Lilly
was the *only* company to do so.  Although the FDA attempted a ruse by
stating that the hearing was not about a specific drug or drug
company, Prozac held the center of attention throughout the hearing.
Citizens were allowed to informally address the committee for only a
few minutes each.   Dozens of Prozac victims and their family showed
up to tell their accounts of suicidal and violent behavior caused by
Prozac.  The widow of Del Shannon, the pop singer, was there with a
heart-wrenching story of how Prozac induced her husband to commit
suicide.  I believe she still has a huge lawsuit pending against
Lilly.  At the end of the one-day hearing, the advisory committee,
without taking anything under advisement, summarily and unanimously
voted there was no "credible evidence" that Prozac or any other
antidepressant caused suicidality or violent behavior.  End of
hearing-- end of dispute--*big surprise!* This sham provides a graphic
example of the vise grip the drug companies have on every aspect of
the mental health profession, from psychiatrists to the FDA itself.

Another example of the pharmaceutical/medical/governmental cartel at
work to the detriment of the public health is provided by the recent
revelations about the cause of stomach ulcers and stomach cancer.  In
1983, an Australian doctor named Barry Marshall proved that a
bacterium called H. pylori causes ulcers.  In so doing, Dr. Marshall
challenged half a century of belief that ulcers were caused by stress
and too much stomach acid.  What to you think was the response of the
drug industry and the international medical community?  Was Dr.
Marshall lauded as a medical savior for millions of people and
showered with awards? *Absolutely not--he was ridiculed and vilified
as a quack who did not know what he was talking about!* The makers of
Zantac, Tagamet, Pepcid AC, and the over-the-counter (OTC) acid
blockers attacked Dr. Marshall with a vengeance and tried to destroy
him.  The medical profession as a whole joined in this witch-hunt.
Dr. Marshall referred to this cartel as the "Acid Mafia."  Driven to
desperate measures, Dr. Marshall ingested H. pylori himself to prove
it causes ulcers and can be cured with antibiotics--and almost died.
It took almost *13 years* for the FDA to finally acknowledge that Dr.
Marshall was right and to approve an antibiotic treatment for stomach
ulcers.  Dr. Marshall says that with such antibiotics, in two to five
years 90 percent of the peptic ulcers in the U.S. can be wiped out.
During the last 13 years, millions of people in the U.S. and
throughout the entire world have needlessly suffered from ulcers.
Moreover, many people have needlessly died from stomach cancer, which
can be caused by H. pylori and ulcers.  And guess what--in a
miraculous coincidence, Tagemet, Zantac and Pepcid AC got OTC approval
from the FDA for use against heartburn at just about the same time the
FDA announced to the public that Dr. Marshall was right and approved
his antibiotic treatment of ulcers.

The bottom line is that the pharmaceutical companies, the  FDA and the
medical profession are *not* going to always act in the best interest
of the public health, and are certainly not going to protect us from
the dangerous adverse effects of psychoactive drugs before they cause
havoc.  This is happening right now with Prozac and other serotonergic
psychiatric drugs.  The psychopharmaceutical cartel is like a runaway
train careening down the wrong track at breakneck speed.  Anyone or
anything that gets in the way is run over.  The drug companies supply
the fuel for the train, the psychiatric profession is the engineer,
and the general medical profession is the conductor.  We are the
passengers.   Once our doctors throw us on the train, it is almost
impossible to get off--the train is out of control and will not slow
down for anyone.  If you try to jump off to save yourself, almost
certain injury or death awaits you. *This train must be slowed down,
switched to the right track, and required to stop at stations along
the way so people can get safely on and off.*

Just as the "Acid Mafia" kept the cure for ulcers from us for 13
years, the "Serotonin Mafia" is now raking in billions of dollars a
year while poisoning us with dangerous serotonergic drugs like Prozac.
There is so much money being made that drug companies are tripping
over each other like Keystone Kops to get new serotonergic drugs
approved and marketed to the public.  All right, so we know the drug
companies are driven by greed, and the FDA is their  rubber stamp and
puppet when it comes to psychiatric drugs, but surely our great
American medical profession will do something to stop this serotonin
mania.  Maybe, but don't count on it very soon.  The entire health
care profession has been duped and defrauded by Lilly and the other
drug companies who make these drugs.  Psychiatrists are their storm
troopers, who control the medical school curriculum regarding the
safety and efficacy of these drugs, and who set the standards and
disseminate this fraud to the rest of the medical profession.  The end
result is that the medical profession suffers from a terminal case of
Cranial Rectal Inversion Disorder (CRID, or CRIDLOCK).  Doctors have
their collective head so far up their collective butt that they cannot
see the truth, which would be right in front of their collective face
if it were not buried where it is.  Unfortunately, if history
continues to repeat itself as it often does in the medical profession,
it may be years or even decades before there is a collective "oops,
how could we have known?"  Well, you can find out right now by pulling
your head out and opening your eyes and ears.  The evidence is already
overwhelming that Prozac, other SSRIs and other serotonergic drugs
cause serotonin toxicity, with resulting debilitating symptoms and
adverse reactions, probably in millions of people worldwide.  You just
have to get off the train and take the time to look at the evidence
and listen to the victims of these drugs.

Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) is involved, either directly or
indirectly, in a myriad of brain and bodily functions--it is one of
the real "workhorse" chemicals of the human body.  The CNS
serotonergic system is unbelievably extensive, but 5-HT is present
throughout the body and 90% of it is actually located in the GI tract.
A dysfunctional serotonin system can wreak havoc in many other bodily
systems, not just the CNS.  For years now, perhaps decades, we have
been told by the psychopharmaceutical cartel that the primary
biological basis of depression is a deficit of 5-HT in the human
brain.  Thus, *every antidepressant marketed in the U.S. increases
brain serotonin levels to one degree or another.*  Prozac, the first
SSRI, and the rest of these so-called "selective serotonin reuptake
inhibitors," have the most profound effect on serotonin levels, not
only in the brain but also throughout the entire body.

Therefore, if the serotonin deficit theory for the biological basis of
depression is correct, then a drug that has a mechanism of action
exactly the opposite of Prozac, one which *enhances or stimulates* the
reuptake of serotonin and thus *diminishes serotonergic
neurotransmission,* would cause depression and certainly could never
be an antidepressant. Well, guess what?! *There is such a drug, it is
an antidepressant,  and it has blown apart the serotonin deficit
biological basis of depression!*  After being told by numerous doctors
and pharmacologists here in America that no such drug exists, I was
absolutely shocked to recently find out that French scientists
developed such a drug in the 1980s, and it has now been clinically
tested in thousands of humans in the 90s, and proven to be an
*antidepressant* with at least the same efficacy and *far fewer
side-effects* than Prozac or the standard reference tricyclics. *The
generic name of this drug is tianeptine, and it is marketed in France
as tianeptine sodium, under the trade name Stablon.*  It was developed
and is now sold by Ardix Laboratories, 25 rue Eugene Vignat, 45000
Orleans, France; telephone: +33 1 46 40 33 33.  It may also be
marketed by Servier Laboratories of France, as Tianeptine Servier.  I
think (I am not sure) Servier's address is Gidy, 45400 Fleury-
les-Aubrais, France.

Get the following medical journal articles and read them very
carefully:

Wilde MI, Benfield P.  Tianeptine. A review of its pharmacodynamic and
pharmacokinetic properties, and therapeutic efficacy in depression and
coexisting anxiety and depression.  Drugs 1995; 49(3):411-439.

Invernizzi G, et al.  The efficacy and safety of tianeptine in the
treatment of depressive disorder: results of a controlled double-blind
multicentre study vs. amitriptyline.  Neuropsyschobiology 1994;
30:85-93.

Guelfi JD, et al.  Clinical safety and efficacy of tianeptine in 1,858
depressed patients treated in general practice.  Neuropsychobiology
1992; 25:140-148.

Stress, Serotonin and Tianeptine.  Symposium at the 8th World Congress
of Psychiatry.  Athens.  British Journal of Psychiatry 1992;
160(suppl. 15):6-75.

Labrid C, et al.  Neurochemical and pharmacological properties of
tianeptine, a novel antidepressant.  British Journal of Psychiatry
1992; 160(suppl. 15):56-60.

Loo, H. et al.  Long-term use of tianeptine in 380 depressed patients.
British Journal of Psychiatry 1992; 160(suppl. 15):61-65.

Malka R, et al.  Long-term administration of tianeptine in depressed
patients after alcohol withdrawal.  British Journal of Psychiatry
1992; 160(suppl. 15):66-71.

Gjuelfi JD.  Efficacy of tianeptine in comparative trials versus
reference antidepressants.  British Journal of Psychiatry 1992;
160(suppl. 15):72-75.

Juvent M, et al.  Lack of cardiovascular side effects of the new
tricyclic antidepressant tianeptine.  A double-blind,
placebo-controlled study in young healthy volunteers.  Clinical
Neuropharmacology 1990; 13(1):48-57.

If you are interested in laboratory animal studies and a few more
articles on human use of tianeptine, do a MEDLINE search of
tianeptine.  You can access MEDLINE absolutely free at the following
URL for HealthGate:
<http://www.healthgate.com/HealthGate/MEDLINE/search.shtml>.

The tianeptine clinical studies appear to establish both its
short-term and long-term efficacy as an antidepressant.  It also
reduces anxiety in patients with coexisting depression and anxiety.
It has a much better tolerability profile than other so-called
serotonergic antidepressants like Prozac.  It is particularly useful
in elderly patients and patients withdrawing from the effects of
alcohol.  Alcohol interferes with the central metabolism of serotonin
and increases brain serotonin levels.  This is one reason why
serotonergic drugs like Prozac should *never* be given to alcoholics
or recovering alcoholics, and in my opinion, to anyone who has abused
alcohol or is currently drinking at all.  The same conclusion applies
to virtually all of the common street drugs (e.g., cocaine,
amphetamines, LSD, PCP, marijuana, opioids), which have serotomimetic
properties of one form or another.  Ann Tracy, in her book PROZAC:
PANACEA OR PANDORA?, discusses serotonin and serotonergic drugs,
including many street drugs, at great length.  She has done an
excellent job, and includes a lot of medical references to back up her
conclusions.

*THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT PROZAC AND OTHER SEROTONERGIC PSYCHOTROPIC
PRESCRIPTION DRUGS SHOULD NEVER BE GIVEN TO INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE A
LONG-TERM HISTORY OF ALCOHOL AND/OR DRUG ABUSE.*

*The efficacy of tianeptine (Stablon) as an antidepressant appears to
prove that too much, not too little, brain serotonin causes
depression.*  So how can Stablon and Prozac both be antidepressants,
when they have exactly opposite actions on brain serotonin levels?  I
suppose one hypothesis could be that an imbalance of serotonin in the
brain, either an excess or a deficit, can cause depression.  The
problem with this theory is that it has been disproven by the
tianeptine clinical trials.  Another possible hypothesis is that there
may be a final common effect of both serotonin reuptake inhibitors and
enhancers which gives both of them antidepressant activity.  Recent
tests on rats indicate the possibility of a common effect in certain
norepinephrine pathways in the brain.  However, this is still theory,
and there is no scientific proof linking these pathways to an
antidepressant effect in rats or other lab animals, let alone humans.

*I submit the answer is that Prozac and its SSRI progeny are not true
antidepressants.* The medical profession is repeating the same mistake
it made over 30 years ago with amphetamine, a mistake also made by
Sigmund Freud with cocaine over 100 years ago.  Freud wrote that
cocaine produces "exhilaration and lasting euphoria, which in no way
differs from the normal euphoria of the healthy person...You perceive
an increase of self-control and possess more vitality and capacity for
work...In other words, you are simply normal, and it is soon hard to
believe that you are under the influence of any drug."  Sound
familiar?  Sounds to me like the same thing we are hearing from Prozac
users all over the world, if they are lucky enough not to have
developed toxic serotonin symptoms.  None of this surprises me in the
least. *Cocaine and amphetamine are serotonin reuptake inhibitors,
just like Prozac!*

If Prozac is not a true antidepressant, then what is it?  I agree with
the biologist Claude de Contrecoeur who posted a lengthy message in
sci.med.pharmacy on June 20, 1996 (and reposted later), who asserted
that Prozac anesthetizes emotions and thus blunts feelings.  As Claude
stated, Prozac and other SSRIs take away a part of your personality by
suppressing or reducing your feelings and emotions, euphoric or
dysphoric, and you become a kind of "satisfied zombie."  The increase
in brain serotonin levels is the primary mechanism of action that
causes this anesthetizing effect.  But this is only part of the
pharmacodynamic action of Prozac.  Coupled with this mind-numbing
effect is the *stimulant effect* of excess serotonin on your central
and autonomic nervous system.  Ask any competent pharmacologist or
medical scientist who isn't part of the Serotonin Mafia--it is not
even a debatable question.  In addition to playing a critical role in
the central nervous system, serotonin also modulates the sympathetic
nervous system.  Thus, when Prozac increases serotonin, it "revs up"
your sympathetic system.  This is a classic stimulant effect of drugs
which are classified as sympathomimetic.  Cocaine, amphetamine, LSD
and PCP all have this effect--as do the recent plagues from the
Serotonin Mafia unleashed upon the public:  the combination
prescription drugs phentermine and fenfluramine ("phen-fen") for
obesity, and the latest obesity drug just approved by the FDA for use
in America, dexfenfluramine.  Appetite suppression and an energizing
effect are two of the hallmarks of stimulants, and all of these drugs
have these effects, including Prozac.

I am not suggesting that you try this, but I submit that many of you
satisfied Prozac users out there would get just about the same effect
from a few meth tabs and a few stiff shots of booze.  The alcohol will
numb your emotions and the methamphetamine will energize you and make
you feel pretty damn good.  In fact, you can do this every day for
months or even years, and probably not be depressed.  Unfortunately,
there are a few problems with this treatment.  First and foremost,
you will eventually become physically and psychologically dependent on
the alcohol and speed to feel good.  In blunt terms, you will become
an addict.  Also, Isaac Newton's law of gravity is also a law of
pharmacology--*what goes up must come down.*  It is  simply not
possible to pump a stimulant into the human mind and body on a daily
basis without an eventual devastating and debilitating burnout, or
death.  Sooner or later there is a terrible price to pay, and Sir
Isaac will be there to collect when the inevitable crash occurs.

Am I suggesting that Prozac is addictive, as well as being a
stimulant? *That is exactly what I am suggesting.* Addiction is a
medical concept and a technical term, subject to differing definitions
depending on the source.  This was aptly illustrated at a trial in
California a few years ago where nine expert medical witnesses
testified on the characteristics of addiction.  Factors such as
physical dependence, emotional dependence and tolerance were
identified.  However, they could not all agree upon a single
acceptable definition.    One of the doctors testified that the term
"addiction" leads to nothing but confusion, and is one of the worst
terms ever invented by the medical profession.

After you cut through all the medical mumbo jumbo and psychobabble, it
isn't all that hard to figure out a workable definition for addiction
or, if you prefer, chemical dependency.  Tolerance is *not* a
necessary element--people can smoke the same number of cigarettes or
drink the same amount of coffee every day for decades, and get the
same feeling every time.  These people are addicted to the nicotine or
caffeine, but do not have to continually smoke more cigarettes or
drink more coffee.  Also, I have personally known people who used the
same dose of methamphetamine every day for over ten years (until Sir
Isaac came to collect his inevitable dues).  So what is a good
workable definition of addiction?  I suggest  that *a person is
addicted to a drug  if  he/she needs to continue taking the drug to
prevent withdrawal, despite the adverse effects the drug has on
his/her life.*  I think that is pretty simple and understandable.

Does abruptly stopping Prozac use cause withdrawal symptoms?  If you
have used it on a long-term basis, it is a virtual certainty that you
will suffer withdrawal and rebound reactions upon abrupt cessation.
You may suffer these reactions after only short-term use.  Any health
care professional that tells you otherwise is suffering from a
terminal case of CRIDLOCK, or is simply not telling you the truth.
*Many of you Prozac victims out there know exactly what I am talking
about.*  Despite the Serotonin Mafia, reports of Prozac and SSRI
withdrawal symptoms are even finally showing up in medical journals.
Prozac survivors have been telling the medical profession about
withdrawal and rebound symptoms ever since Prozac hit the market in
1988.  This is why it is generally not advisable to abruptly quit
taking Prozac, especially without proper medical supervision.  I have
personally communicated with dozens of people who have suffered
terrible withdrawal and rebound symptoms.  I have experienced them
myself.  I know that Ann Tracy, the author of PROZAC: PANACEA OR
PANDORA?, has personal knowledge of hundreds of withdrawal and rebound
cases.  To all of you Prozac or other SSRI users out there, please do
not put this to a test--it is too dangerous.

Serotonin toxicity is a pervasive problem with illicit street drugs,
and presents a similar toxic profile in prescription antidepressants,
particularly Prozac and other SSRIs.  Many other serotonergic
psychiatric drugs also can cause serotonin toxicity.  Prozac, other
SSRIs, cocaine, amphetamine, LSD, PCP and a long list of other street
drugs are brothers and sisters and cousins- -all members of the same
toxic serotonin family.  I call this the "toxic serotonin continuum."
I am willing to bet that the vast, vast majority of you Prozac users
out there have never heard a word about serotonin syndrome or
serotonin toxicity.  The medical profession has had this information
for years and even decades, but it has been successfully suppressed by
the Serotonin Mafia.

Furthermore, the medical profession has known for decades that too
much brain 5-HT is a causative factor in schizophrenia and other
psychotic disorders.  In fact, right now the pharmaceutical companies
are spending millions of dollars developing new antipsychotic drugs
which *block* serotonin neurotransmission by antagonizing 5-HT2
receptors. The medical profession has also known for at least 30 years
that excess 5-HT in the human brain can cause psychotic behavior
because LSD mimics 5-HT, the mechanism of action of LSD that causes
hallucinations and bizarre psychotic reactions.  It has also been
known for at least as long than elevated blood 5-HT levels have been
associated with autism and severe mental retardation in children.
Despite all of this information known to the medical profession, you
and I have not been told a damn thing about it and, in fact, have been
led to believe that increasing serotonin with drugs like Prozac is a
panacea for curing depression and a host of other mental problems and
medical ailments. *This is the BIG LIE perpetuated by the Serotonin
Mafia!*

What then, in the final analysis, is Prozac? *I submit that Prozac is
an addictive, emotion-numbing stimulant that can cause acute serotonin
syndrome and chronic serotonin toxicity* (not to mention a myriad of
other devastating conditions, including suicidality and other
untreatable neurological disorders).  If this falls under your
definition of an antidepressant, then I guess you can call Prozac an
antidepressant.  I reject such a designation as unscientific,
erroneous and fraudulent.  Prozac is no more an antidepressant than
cocaine or amphetamine.  *History is going to record Prozac as one of
the great medical frauds of the twentieth century.*  I am sure my
statements will ruffle a lot of feathers, particularly those of the
Serotonin Mafia.  I could care less.  However, I do care about all of
the good, decent doctors and other health care professionals who have
simply been duped and deceived about the safety and efficacy of Prozac
and other serotonergic drugs.  Before any of you begin flaming me on
your computer, all I ask is you first do two things: (1) take the time
to read the medical literature I have listed in this posting; and (2)
print out this posting and save it in a safe place.  Some years from
now virtually everything I have said will be proven to be true.  I
want you to remember what I said and when I said it.  History will
vindicate me.

Why am I doing all this?  Read my sci.med.pharmacy posting of April 6,
1995, and you will know why.  I am no better now and, in many ways, I
have deteriorated significantly.  To my knowledge, there are no
effective treatments here in America for chronic serotonin toxicity,
and I have tried them all, believe me.  My life has been devastated by
Prozac and the CRIDLOCK of the medical profession.   *I'M MAD AS HELL,
AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY MORE!*  I want all of you Prozac
victims and Prozac survivors to go stick you head out a window and
yell it out: *WE'RE MAD AS HELL, AND WE'RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT
ANYMORE!* Then I want you to do something about it!  I can't do it
alone, but together we Prozac victims who are online have the power to
make something happen.  Use the awesome power of the Internet--the
Serotonin Mafia cannot silence us.  Contact as many people with power,
money and influence as you can.  Tell them how Prozac has devastated
your life or the life of someone you care about.  Demand an objective
investigation of Prozac.  To all you Americans, demand an explanation
why our pharmaceutical industry has not developed a serotonin reuptake
*enhancer* like the French drug tianeptine.  Contact Ardix and Servier
Laboratories in France and ask why tianeptine hasn't been submitted to
the FDA for approval here in America--put some pressure on Ardix and
Servier to market tianeptine at least in Canada or Mexico, if not in
America.  Contact news organizations, investigative journalists, news
magazines, newspapers, television news programs, senators,
representatives, Ralph Nader, the new FDA Commissioner, the Surgeon
General, and anyone else you can think of that can help us.  Sooner or
later some of these powerful and influential people are going to agree
that we are right, or will themselves become victims of Prozac or its
progeny, either personally or through someone they love, and will use
their positions to take on the Serotonin Mafia.  Some day the BIG LIE
will be exposed, and we will prevail.

To those of you who want to ask me questions I can't answer in regard
to your personal problems, please don't.  I'm sorry, but it would be
inappropriate for me to even attempt to give you medical advice
regarding your personal situations, and I simply don't have the energy
or time to send individual replies.  To those of you who want to
vilify and flame me, you're wasting your time.  Nothing you say will
bother me, nor will it deter me in my purpose.

Long live all Prozac survivors!











-----------------------------------------------------------
woaple at burgoyne.com
**Time spent fishing cannot be deducted from a man's life**




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