Seroxat Secrets: “I really have to question the honesty and integrity of that website”

Some of you may notice I’ve removed a post from this site – it was the Britney Spears post that was here earlier.

I found out I’d been getting some flack about it from someone called ‘Jake’ at the UK Depression Forum – the link to the thread is here.

Jake wasn’t happy with the story or the source and concluded about me and Seroxat Secrets: “I really have to question the honesty and integrity of that website”.

That’s why I took the post down – you know, actually, I kind of agreed with ‘Jake’ on that one – and I really don’t want anyone to be able to question the honesty and integrity of what I’m trying to do here.

But then I thought ‘Jake’, what about the rest of Seroxat Secrets – surely you can’t dismiss all the FACTS here because I messed up with one post?

Or maybe you could if you have an agenda… below is ‘Jake’s response to the 10 Downing Street petition:

Whoa! I’m sure your campaign to ban Seroxat (generic paroxetine, brand Paxil in the U.S.) is well intentioned, but I think your reasons are erroneous, and worse, doing so would be very harmful to millions of people with depression, anxiety, OCD, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and post traumatic stress disorder. From a personal standpoint, it would be devastating to me, since paroxetine is the only SSRI that really knocks out my depression and anxiety–and I’ve tried almost all the antidepressants on the market.

Some corrections to your arguments for banning Seroxat:

1.That controlled clinical trials do not show Seroxat to be effective for depression.
–GSK’s two controlled clinical trials submitted to the U.S. FDA did show paroxetine (Seroxat) significantly superior to placebo in treating depression, which is the only way it could have gotten FDA approval.
–in addition to the studies submitted by GSK there have been numerous additional double-blind placebo controlled trials showing paroxetine superior to placebo in treating depression. Check it out by Googling paroxetine and randomized controlled trials and you should find many references. If you can’t find it, let me know and I’ll find some myself.

2. By focusing only on depression you’re forgetting that Seroxat has many other approved clinical uses, each of which is supported by 2 or more randomized clinical trials. These approved uses include GAD, social phobia, PTSD, OCD, and PMDD. In fact, paroxetine, amongst all antidepressants, has the broadest variety of approvals (and probably the most supporting evidence, with the possible exception of Prozac, which has been around longer).

3. As to side effects, no doubt about it that Paxil has some unpleasant side effects, and is quite possibly worse than the other SSRIs in terms of two particular side effects: sexual dysfunction and discontinuation. But the fact is that all the SSRIs have about the same side effects as Paxil, and the differences are really not all that great. If you want to ban Seroxat, then the same arguments should apply to almost all of the world’s commonly used antidepressants. The fact is that although these side effects are unpleasant, sometimes intensely so, the newer antidepressants, such as Seroxat, Prozac, Paxil, escitalopram, citalopram, and venlafaxine, are generally far safer than the previous generation of antidepressants (the TCAs) and safer than most other major classes of psychotropic medications, including antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. The arguments you endorse to dump Seroxat could much more aptly be applied to most antipsychotics and mood stabilizers–although as with banning Seroxat and the other SSRIs, the results would be devastating to millions.

4. The problem of withdrawing from Seroxat. Yes, discontinuing can cause very intense and difficult withdrawal symptoms, such as flu-like symptoms and shock-like “zaps.” All the other SSRIs and most other antidepressants also have discontinuation risks, as do most of the antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. For almost all these medications, the recommendation is to taper them gradually, to minimize these effects–although unfortunately some doctors don’t adequately communicate this to patients and many patients quit abruptly either out of ignorance or disregard. For a small minority the withdrawal effects can be very difficult despite a gradual tapering, but even amongst this majority the side effects often subside within a week or two. For even a smaller minority, the withdrawal can be extremely unpleasant over a longer period, but even for this group there are other techniques that can work–such as switching from Seroxat to Prozac, the latter being an SSRI that is almost always easier to discontinue.

It does need to be acknowledged that for the vast majority the withdrawal from Seroxat–and the other SSRIs–is usually not a serious problem, especially when recommendations are followed. After all, millions have stopped taking these meds without suffering serious problems.

5. The tradeoff in taking any medication. There isn’t any medication I know of that doesn’t have adverse side effects–after all, aspirin, Tylenol, and penicillin kill many each year due to adverse side effects. It’s all a matter of whether the benefits outweigh the adverse effects and risks. All the docs and all of us have to weigh the benefits and harms every time we take a drug. Seroxat and the other SSRIs all have risks, but they are far safer than many available alternatives, and they have proven benefits to millions, include myself and many others on this and other depression forums. I don’t think it’s an accident that suicide rates have dropped amongst every demographic segment after antidepressant use became widespread amongst that group.

As for me, I’ll put up with the sexual problems (now mild) because of the huge positive impact on my emotional state and quality of life. It’s not right to rob me and countless others of this choice.

Hmmm – honesty and integrity? You decide.


15 Responses to “Seroxat Secrets: “I really have to question the honesty and integrity of that website””


    Seems Jake has done his homework – alas it has all been from the GSK website


  2. RB Says:

    Yes its seems that “jake” does indeed have a pro-seroxat stance, and if we are to believe that Jake doesnt have an agenda, ( although i must say it seems that he might), then maybe Jake is a “Seroxat honeymooner”, and maybe he hasn’t been on Seroxat long enough just yet, to realize just how poisonous this particular SSRI can be to the human body and human mind. Banning Seroxat is not about taking away something that works as a medication for a certain ammount of individuals, it is about banning a drug which should never have been approved in the first place ( Think Thalidomide Jake…)

    I must say also that it does indeed seem that Jake sprouts information like GSK spokesperson. “Jake” seems to have missed a Study done in 2005 by Norwegian scientists on paroxetine . This results of this study were pretty damning for Seroxat and indicated a 5 to 7 fold increase in suicidal thoughts for Adults taking the drug. Maybe Jake only reads Studies funded by pharmaceutical companies? Maybe Jakes has lost his ability to reason through his Seroxat usage, ( for that is also a common side effect) Whatever the case may be, it seems to me that Jake is like an alcoholic in denial, afraid that someone might want to take his poison of choice away from him and if that is so then i feel sorry for Jake …

  3. admin Says:

    You know what guys, now you come to mention it…

    Can anyone else find the same or similar wording and sentiments around the world wide web, I wonder?

    We can compare and contrast.

  4. RB Says:

    I have seen similar posts from random “new members” on PaxilProgress, and i usually dismiss it as either someone who is completely naive and brainwashed by Big Pharma , totally ignorant or a “Mole”. Considering ” Jake” seems to come acrorss like a GSK drug Rep or at the very worst someone from the GSK PR department hired for damage limitation purposes, then maybe that is what he is. As someone wise once said to me once, “if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it is a duck”…

  5. admin Says:

    I’ve just read it again, RB. Try reading it out loud to yourself and you’ll see how well written it is – like a news report or even… a press release…

    Come on ‘Jake’ – let’s have a comment from you about all this.

    • Jake Says:

      Thanks for the compliment on the writing. Believe it or not, even people with depression/anxiety disorders taking antidepressants are sometimes literate. Do you think we all have drug-induced dementia (don’t bother with the wisecrack)?

      To simplify my argument: antidepressants all have adverse side effects that may outweigh the benefits. And paroxetine has worse side effects than many of the others (weight gain, sexual dysfunction, withdrawal problems). Also on the downside, antidepressants don’t work at all for 30-40% of depressed people. However, for millions (including me) they lessen or eliminate a life-ruining anxiety or depressive disorder and restore happiness. You all need to maintain a more balanced perspective and stop demonizing everyone recognizing the benefits of antidepressants.

      • admin Says:

        Jake – give it up mate.

        You’re fooling no one.

      • Jake Says:

        Dear Admin Person: Is rational fact-based discussion not allowed on this forum? Somehow I thought, apparently mistakenly, that you were more open to reality.

      • admin Says:

        I’m listening then Jake. Maybe you could answer a few questions to help me get up to speed…

        What do you take and how long have you been taking it?

        What’s the dose?

        How do they tell you it works?

  6. RB Says:

    Yes absolutely, It is uncannily similar to pharmaceutical propaganda, and every bit as patronising too…
    Ordinary people on “mental health forums” don’t phrase their opinions like this or in this way…
    Seems like GSK PR Department to me..

    Just some stuff of note from “Jake”

    Quote : “”As for me, I’ll put up with the sexual problems (now mild) because of the huge positive impact on my emotional state and quality of life. It’s not right to rob me and countless others of this choice.””

    I have never in all my many years of experience researching Seroxat through mental health forums and websites heard anyone attributing Seroxat as a “huge positive impact on my emotional state and quality of life” . The only people who speak like this are the representatives of the pharmaceutical companies or their spin “doctors” … This nonsensical blubbering by “Jake” sounds way too biased , protective, and defensive of Seroxat to be an actual users experience if the drug…

    His opening paragraph is particularly telling…
    Quote : “”Whoa! I’m sure your campaign to ban Seroxat (generic paroxetine, brand Paxil in the U.S.) is well intentioned, but I think your reasons are erroneous, and worse, doing so would be very harmful to millions of people with depression, anxiety, OCD, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and post traumatic stress disorder. From a personal standpoint, it would be devastating to me, since paroxetine is the only SSRI that really knocks out my depression and anxiety–and I’ve tried almost all the antidepressants on the market.

    Since when to Seroxat users discuss Seroxat as” Seroxat(generic paroxetine, brand Paxil in the U.S.)” ?.. I’m suprised he didn’t mention all the other brand names it falls under, just to make his point ..

    Since when have people used the phrase “knocked out” in regards to a med treating their anxiety or depression? And he has tried almost all the anti-depressants on the market?hmmm…? If he had tried all the Anti-D’s on the market then he would be drooling in a vegative state by now, and not sprouting articulately written posts on the wonders of Seroxat. The results of banning Seroxat he says would be devastating to millions, this is commonly used by GSK in defence of a ban. The only thing that would be devastated if Seroxat should be (rightly) banned is the reputation ( or whats left of it) of GSK. Seroxat is not prescribed to many new patients now if at all, I know of many doctors who refuse to prescribe it anymore, they just won’t take the risk, if there are “millions” still taking the drug , then it is most probably because they cannot come off it, so thats not much of a “choice” is it? …

    I dont believe for a minute that Jake is for real…
    As a matter of fact, I think “jake” is a “fake”…

  7. Tues Says:

    You know …….. if you’d done your homework you could easily have argued Jake under the table – the facts are out there –

    you can’t take on Pro-druggers – plants and trolls without those facts.

    It’s best to research any depression and drug boards before posting – many are set up by pharma to catch and keep clients – their autocratic – you’ll be wasting your time even trying to post if you don’t fit with their agenda.

    Oh! and if you do post – always expect banning – post removal and / or a backlash if you score a point.


  8. admin Says:

    Tuesday – lol.

    Don’t you worry about me and homework, I’ve done plenty of it.

  9. Tues Says:

    I take it my post has been removed because it’s anti SSRI/SNRI not solely anti Seroxat – in contravention of the Seroxat agenda or was maybe too honest about the actual Seroxat situation – but the anti psych drug action did not start with Seroxat.
    Perhaps I should point out that – and as I’ve repeatedly said ………. I / we have nothing against the litigation or the Lawyers involved. In fact we actively support them by ensuring they receive copies of any new pertinent and relevant articles – documents – reports etc we acquire – forwarding items directly to their lead person simultaneously to posting them on our boards – an action received and acknowledged with returned gratitude –
    but – sometimes it’s easier to see exactly what’s happening from outside the box ………
    What has happened in other UK class actions against Pharmaceutical companies?
    Where are the UK Seroxat activists at this point? When are they going to “be on the same side”?
    Where is their “honesty and integrity”? Or is it still one rule for them and another rule for the everyone else!
    Moving forward is a lot easier if you know where you are.
    “The truth passes through three stages ~ First, it is ridiculed ~ Second, it is violently opposed ~ Third, it is accepted as being self evident”
    Arthur Schopenhauer (1786 – 1860)
    “Oh! I’m not worried about you …….. but going onto a pro drug board – making half a point or being seen off re-enforces the pro-drug message to others reading it – the lurkers – non participating readers – those you’re hopefully trying to help and inform other wise.
    Also thus far those making half a point have merely enabled the pharmaceutical companies to move the goal posts ………. by adding warnings to the PIL they have been seen to be acting responsibly – in reality they have just shifted their liability and placed it on the patient by way of informed choice and from that point effectively removed their legal corporate culpability.
    Seroxat is no longer a threat ……… the licensing of generics removed GSKs max profits long ago – their CR version was introduced to reinstate it’s place in the profit stakes and make it harder to taper off – but was licensed a little late in the game as it’s release was almost coincidental to the start of USA litigation; and since the biased and fraudulent reporting of it’s supposed single rouge drug notoriety prescriptions have decreased – yet total prescriptions for SSRI / SNRIs have increased above that decline as the Expert Working Group reporting 2004 stated and as reported by Graham Aldred May 17 2004 ………
    “Results Total SSRI and related antidepressant prescribing between 1999 and 2003 There has been an overall increase in the number of prescriptions for SSRIs, venlafaxine and mirtazapine cashed in community pharmacies in England in the last five years, rising from 8.2 million prescriptions in 1999 to over 19 million prescriptions in 2003 (see figure 1). This increase is apparent for all the drugs studied except fluvoxamine, which has remained fairly constant, and paroxetine, which has decreased since 2001.”
    This shows two things – it’s not impossible to get off Seroxat and that the SSRI/SNRI problem is not being resolved merely shifted.
    One could even ask was there an industrial decision to lay GSK out as a sacrificial lamb to allow the other drugs in the class to prosper? Or it could just have been coincidence that the lawyers picked that drug and it was left to run it’s course ……. but the lawyers have shot themselves in the foot if they were hoping to pick one drug off at a time to maximise on legal funding rather than act on the class of drugs – because the warnings already put in place will now obstruct future actions against other manufacturers with the legal time limitations.
    But one thing’s for sure GSK are a big part of the UK economy
    “GSK and AstraZeneca’s contribution to UK economy is huge – 20/02/2007
    The contribution made by GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca alone is worth considerably more annually to the UK economy than any other industry, according to a new study.
    The report from the Office of Health Economics, which provides independent research, advisory and consultancy services on policy implications and financial issues within the pharmaceutical sector, shows that the additional net value of the BPG (British Pharma Group ie AstraZeneca and GSK) compared to other sectors is worth around £1 billion annually to the UK economy.
    The study, authored by Martina Garau and Jon Sussex goes on to claim that “many companies and sectors in the economy earn substantial incomes for their employees, shareholders and lenders,” but do not generate ‘economic rent’ in any significant amounts. The economic rent concept is used to estimate the net loss to the economy if the BPG companies were, hypothetically, to leave these islands and even if the UK labour and capital they employ were to be rapidly absorbed into their next best alternative uses, eg another industry or service sector in the economy.
    The OHE says that the R&D-based pharmaceutical industry “is exceptional in earning large amounts of economic rent for the UK” and the latter total of the two BPG companies is estimated to be around £400 million to £1.3 billion. In addition, because the two contribute positively to the UK’s trade balance, they help keep sterling strong and hence the cost of imports down.
    The study concludes that if the BPG companies were to cease their activities here, this would weaken the balance of payments, making it harder for the UK to pay for its imports, and this trade effect represents a further £0.6 billion to £2.9 billion of net annual benefit to the UK economy from the presence of the BPG’s manufacturing activities”
    the UK government won’t relinquish that and won’t risk it being knocked any more than it has been.

  10. admin Says:

    I think you know what I objected to in the original post… much prefer your edited version above. Can I just say that all these facts are great – and I think we can all agree why goverments here and in the US ‘listen’ so intently to Big Pharma.

    I admit I personally have a Seroxat agenda – that’s why I do what I do. The nine years I spent on Seroxat kind of focuses me so no apologies for that.

    I’m not stupid and I recgnise that the entire SSRI class has its problems. People do what they can – but my point is that we MUST all work together without any infighting – that’s what I have no time for.

  11. Matthew Holford Says:

    I don’t think the financial value of Seroxat/SSRIs generally to the manufacturer (and, incidentally, the UK economy) is in any dispute. I don’t think that detracts from the basic argument, which is, first, that they don’t work; second, that they’re extremely dangerous; and third, that they’ve been lied about. Any other discussion is a smokescreen.

    One may argue that the cash angle might be motivation for regulators/government/ownership to batten down the hatches and pretend it’s not happening, but that’s a different matter. Money is not a justification for keeping these things in circulation.

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