Antidepressant Paxil (Seroxat, Paraxetine)
Linked to Suicide Attempts in Adults
By Kevin Caruso
August 22, 2005
Red flags continue to be raised for the use of some antidepressants, and this time it is for the well known and widely prescribed antidepressant Paxil (Seroxat, Paraxetine).
Paxil is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline and is in the class of drugs known as SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors).
The drug has already been banned in the UK for use by children and adolescents because of an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts, and now a University of Oslo study is raising concerns that the drug may also cause increased suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts in adults.
The study, which was published in the BMC Medicine Journal, was originally presented to drug regulatory agencies in 1989, before the drug was approved for usage.
The study included 1,466 patients - 916 were given Paxil and 550 were given a placebo.
There were no suicides, but there were seven suicide attempts in the group given Paxil, and only one in the group given placebos.
Dr. Ivor Aursenes, the head of the research team stated: "Patients and doctors should be warned that the increased suicidal activity observed in children and adolescents taking certain antidepressant drugs may well be present also in adults. We also conclude that the recommendation of restrictions in the use of [Paxil] in children and adolescents conveyed by regulatory agencies lately should include usage in adults."
A spokesman for GlaxoSmithKline responded: "We take the safety of all our medicines extremely seriously and will, of course, review this study carefully when it becomes available. At this stage, it's not clear what method the researchers have used to arrive at these numbers or which clinical trials they have selected. However, we can say that these conclusions in no way reflect the picture that has been built up about the benefits and risks of [Paxil] in adults through an extensive clinical trials program involving 24,000 patients or through the use of this medicine in tens of millions of people around the world."
Sophie Corlett, director of Mind.org, a non-profit mental health organization, said: "This study would seem to be an extremely worrying addition to growing evidence raising serious concerns over the safety of [Paxil]. It confirms what Mind service users have long been telling us anecdotally. By ignoring what mental health service users themselves have said about the medication and its effects, the drugs regulators may well have caused lives to be lost."
This study is one more reminder that great care needs to be exercised by adults and adolescents when taking antidepressants. There ARE risks associated with taking Paxil or ANY antidepressant; however, those risks need to be balanced with the possible benefits, and the possible benefits include easing or eliminating depression and PREVENTING suicide.
Innumerable people have claimed that antidepressants have saved their lives.
If you or a loved one may need antidepressants, please do as much research as possible and ask as many questions as possible.
Know the risks.
And CAREFULLY monitor anyone who is taking the drugs, and IMMEDIATELY contact a doctor with any concerns.
If you or someone you know is suicidal, please go to the Home Page of this website for immediate help.
I love you.