What does Seroxat do and just how is it supposed to work?

I’m sorry – run that by me again will you Glaxo…?

When I started taking Seroxat in 1997, I wanted to know how this great new drug worked – it boosts the levels of serotonin in your brain and that’s what makes you stop feeling depressed I was told. It’s a simple chemical imbalance – and the leaflet that came with the tablets told me “Remember you can’t become addicted to Seroxat.”

In 2002 the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) still told us “these tablets are not addictive”, and that withdrawal problems “are not common and not a sign of addiction”.

“Remember you can’t become addicted to Seroxat.” had been dropped completely from the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) by 2003 when GSK said in it “Seroxat is one of a group of medicines called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and works by bringing the levels of serotonin back to normal.”

However by mid 2006 GSK admitted in the PIL “It is not fully understood how Seroxat and other SSRIs work…”

In 2007 the MHRA told us “A variety of factors can contribute to an individual’s predisposition to depression. Although it is believed that depression may be caused by a biochemical imbalance and it is recognised that serotonin plays a role in the development of depression it is considered that there is more than one final common pathway in the aetiology of depression, and we are not aware of an internationally agreed ’proper chemical balance of serotonin in the brain’ that would prevent or reduce the likelihood of experiencing depression.

As the precise role that serotonin plays in depression is still subject to ongoing research we really are not best placed to provide you with a response on this particular issue.”

I’m recapping on all this because in Australia it seems that Glaxo changed its mind yet again…. in Australia, “Aropax (the Aussie name for Seroxat/Paxil) corrects the chemical imbalance and so helps relieve the symptoms of depression. “

Go to Seroxat Sufferers to read some forthright views on this news item…

Go here to find out the shocking new prescribing information (in the UK at least).


20 Responses to “What does Seroxat do and just how is it supposed to work?”

  1. Matthew Holford Says:

    “…it is believed that depression may be caused by a biochemical imbalance…”

    Fuck me! Believed by whom, exactly – there is no evidence for this, as the FDA acknowledges? I once met a bloke who believed he’d been to the moon. He told me he’d been there, anyway. Doesn’t mean it was true though, does it? Although I imagine that in his reality it was.


  2. truthman30 Says:

    If i hadn’t been following the seroxat story from the beginning then I would be completely shocked at GSK’s unscrupulous behaviour in regards to the marketing and promotion of this poisonous little pill….

    GSK are nothing short of charlatans and snake oil merchants…

    Lets hope that the Aussies and Kiwis become more enlightened on the subkect of Aropax ( Seroxat ) soon…

    Possibly GSK is leaving itself WIDE open to more lawsuits down under… as it seems it continues to bullshit the folks on that side of the world with its chemical imbalance nonsense and lies…. How does GSK get away with it? …

  3. Matthew Holford Says:

    How indeed? The Culture of Blind Eye, I suspect.


  4. experimental chimp Says:

    The mechanisms behind most psychiatric medications aren’t fully known. For that matter, the mechanisms underpinning the effects of caffeine and alcohol are still being explored and debated.

    Here’s another good example: Paracetemol had been around for around 20 years before anyone began to understand how it worked. It was first sold in the UK in 1956. Sir John Vane’s Nobel-winning work on aspirin took place in 1971, and it was assumed that paracetemol worked in similar ways. Since then it’s become clear that this is not, in fact, the case. Today it’s still not understood exactly what happens to it in the body and how this produces the analgesic effect that it does.

    Now GSK does go too far in terms of marketing and Seroxat seems to be a less than ideal antidepressant in many way, but it’s hardly a secret that nobody really knows how antidepressants work. There’s competing theories – as there are with many medications. Some form of biological basis for depression seems likely, whether this eventually turns out to be levels of serotonin, other neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, or some complex interaction involving multiple of these systems.

  5. Matthew Holford Says:

    I’m not sure I follow you, Chimp. You seem to be suggesting that it’s OK to carry on prescribing a drug that the MHRA is unable to explain the benefit of, on the ground that we don’t know how it doesn’t work?


  6. truthman30 Says:

    Hey. just to quote Mr Chimp…

    “Now GSK does go too far in terms of marketing and Seroxat seems to be a less than ideal antidepressant in many way, but it’s hardly a secret that nobody really knows how antidepressants work. There’s competing theories – as there are with many medications. Some form of biological basis for depression seems likely, whether this eventually turns out to be levels of serotonin, other neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, or some complex interaction involving multiple of these systems”

    Interesting point Chimp, but still, i think you’re kind of missing it..

    We are talking here about a drug (Seroxat) which has been shown in clinical studies to increase suicidal thoughts , aggression etc in adults and in children…

    How could a drug which can cause so many dangerous and debilitating side effects be useful to treat people who are suffering from vulnerable illnesses such as depression and anxiety?…

    Surely, to prescribe a drug which possibly( and in many cases it does) make their condition worse is completely absurd?…

    GSK did not say from the beginning that they didn’t know how seroxat (SSRI’s) worked…

    They said it corrercts a “chemical imbalance” …
    Ans as admin so rightly pointed out, they have in fact admitted now, that they do not know how these drugs work…

    To me that could possibly be an admittance of fraud.. ?

    On the subject of there being a “biological basis” for depression… I would have to completely disagree..
    If there are biological changes, in the brain and the physical body during or at the onset of a depressive episode, these are most likely triggered from a trauma or an emotion…
    In other words how the individual “feels” …
    In the vast majority of cases, the physical/biological changes are a symptom of the sufferers condition, and they are not a cause…

    If any progress or healing is to take place ,
    The root cause of the indvidiuals suffering must be addressed before any drug is adminstered ( but this rarely happens) .

    Someone once said to me that SSRI’s are Chemical band aids
    And i think that is very true..
    They do not “treat” and illness, they merely mask it…

    Psychiatry now admits that there is absolutely no sceintific way of proviing that mental illnesses are chemical in nature…
    Yet for teh last two decades they perpetrated this myth, runied million sof lives in the process and make billions for the pharmaceutical companies… ( Its the scam of the century!)

    So what psychiatry has done in colusion with the pharmaceutical companies is commit a mass fraud on a population of millions of people….

    And among those millions of people are many vulnerable, sick and scared individuals…
    The psychiatric/pharma alliance has in fact bastardised mental illness and it has bought, sold and squandered the rights and lives of the “mentaly ill” in the process…

    The Dark and murky waters of the seroxat scandal is just pond scum compared to the big ocean of corruption which exists in psychiatry, drug regulation and the pharmaceutical industry…

  7. truthman30 Says:

    To get back to the subject of “How Seroxat Works”?…
    I have no doubt that GSK are telling the truth when they say Seroxat has an effect on the serotonergic part of the brain…

    Unfortunately this affect is detrimental …

    Depression itself, and the chemical changes which come with it, is not an “unnatural state of being” ..

    If sertonin levels become low as a result of depression , they will usually readjust in most cases on their own…

    Prescribing a drug which artifically and chemically interferes with a natural human process was always going to cause problems….

    Another lie by GSK, other drug companies and psychiatry is that depression is a “life threatening condition”…

    Not all depressed people will kill themselves…
    Depression cannot be classed in the same league as cancer and aids.. It is a completely different thing…

    Yet, GSK ran scaremongering Ad campaigns about depression and anxiety disorders pushing the “depression as a disease” model agenda….

    ( and we are now seeing similar campaigns with Cymbalta and the Atypical anti-psychotics)

    GSK didn’t sell millions of Seroxat pills on the basis of good science or efficacy…

    They just had very clever ad agencies and marketing people …
    The only people who have been “successful” with Seroxat are the ones who made money pimping it..

  8. Matthew Holford Says:

    Truthman said “On the subject of there being a “biological basis” for depression… I would have to completely disagree..
    If there are biological changes, in the brain and the physical body during or at the onset of a depressive episode, these are most likely triggered from a trauma or an emotion…”

    It’s a good point. If it’s biological, why does NLP work quite spectacularly (and if you have as your “norm” 20 years with a shrink, I assure you that 20 mins with a NLP coach really is a spectacle)?

    Does asking a person questions in a certain way cause their biochemistry to change? I shouldn’t have thought so, would you? The answer must lie somewhere else, then.


  9. experimental chimp Says:

    Matthew: What I’m saying is that not knowing how a drug works is not a reason to exclude it from prescription. In other words, if that were a criterion for banning a drug, we’d have to lose a huge percentage of medications, including paracetemol.

    With regards to the argument over whether depression (and mental illnesses) have a biological basis: I think there’s likely to be numerous factors influencing the development of mental illnesses. There’s lots of work being done on the genetics involved, as well as work with the newer imaging techniques (fMRI, for example), that suggest that some of these factors are biological (rather than psychosocial). I don’t doubt that there’s social and psychological factors that contribute to the development of mental illnesses, but from the evidence it seems likely that various biological factors have a significant role.

    As to NLP, there’s a conspicuous lack of evidence surrounding the efficacy of such techniques. That’s not an argument I particularly want to get into, but it certainly seems somewhat hypocritical to suggest that one flashily marketed therapy without much evidence to back up its claims (NLP) provides a refutation of another (Seroxat).

  10. truthman30 Says:

    The point is Seroxat doesn’t work!!!

  11. All better now Says:

    I dont agree it doesnt work. I took it for a couple of years and it helped me alot. IF you say, there is a side effect for some people… for the suicidal thoughts, agression, etc…. I will give merit to that comment.

    To flatly say it doesnt work … is simply wrong.
    It does help some people. I dont know the percentages. What is wrong with prescribing a medication… ALL medications have side effects… and CLOSELY monitoring that individual to see if they experience the side effects. Mind you, I think the medical profession has the wrong attitude and prescribes the pill and moves on to the next patient to make a buck… not giving the long term attention that is necessary to the one taking a new pill.

    All better now

  12. truthman30 Says:

    I would have to absolutely and totally disagree..
    Seroxat doesn’t work..
    If as you say it “worked” for you then I wonder in what sense do you believe it actually “worked”?…
    You say it helped you a lot?…
    Did it numb your emotions? .. Because thats what it does, and if maybe at the time you needed something like Seroxat to block out your emotions and make you numb and void to the circumstances of your life, then i could understand how you could have percieved it to have worked?…
    But in reality Seroxat has no real efficacy…

  13. Terry Says:

    Wow, you lot are really on GSK’s case arent you. Your use of aggressive tone and mixing up of issues to darken the name of GSK is patently obvious. GSK and other companies have always maintained that they are not sure what causes depression (not that they dont understand the pharmacological action of paroxetine and other SSRIs). (I did unfortunately work for this crowd and was training Manager for them in the S African market. Yes, I may have been brain washed in some respects, but I also tried to understand the pharmacology and pharmacodynamics (not invented by GSK) of this class of drug. I too have taken paroxetine and it did work. I did not have withdrawal problems on discontinuation, nor did I want to commit suicide. Yes, most depressives will emerge from the depressive trough cycle and get well, provided they dont commit suicide before this 6 week cycle ends. SSRIs are a crutch to help the patient normalise and lets face it are a whole lot better as a class of drug than the TCAs given their side effect profile. All pharmaceutical drugs have side effects and any one that doesnt is placebo. What might have an adverse reaction on me might suit you . For your comments to be taken seriously, you should drop the GSK bashing role and be more objective. Do you really think that this drug became a market leader and was/is prescribed by thousands of Drs over the world, if it didnt ‘work’ or if they thought it led to suicide or even suicide ideation? Get a grip lad. I am not defending the Co. as I had a very bad experience with them after 20 years service, but lets get some semblance of reality and ethical balance here.

  14. truthman30 Says:

    “Do you really think that this drug became a market leader and was/is prescribed by thousands of Drs over the world, if it didnt ‘work’ or if they thought it led to suicide or even suicide ideation?”

    Yes, I do really think that GSK knew Seroxat would cause problems such as aggression, suicidal thoughts and severe withdrawal well before Seroxat was relicenced and re-launched in 1998. Seroxat is the perfect crime, prescribe a drug which has risks of suicidal thoughts and behaviours to an already vulnerable group of people who are already at risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviours and how could the suffereing people ever prove that it was the drug? ..

    Very clever scam if you ask me..

    And that’s how it worked for so long, because it was a very clever scam, and a complete expoitation of the “mentally/emotionally ill”..
    They have even gone as far as to connect aggression with depression, which is a complete fallacy, and a myth..
    SSRI’s increase agitation (Akathisia) , that is a well established fact, this leads to aggression and extreme turmoil, and it is also linked to the reason why SSRI suicides and homicides are so unusually violent in nature..

    Your average non-SSRI suicidal person does not commit the act in such a disturblingly violent and impusive manner..

    SSRI’s cause this to happen..

    Yet, GSK for years said that Seroxat was not linked to self harm, suicide or aggression..
    And we know that that is BULLSHIT..
    They know that it was bullshit too..

    Avandia was a blockbuster also just like Seroxat was at one time, and a market leader, but look at how they played down the truth about Avandia causing heart attacks for years..( the same could easily have happened with Seroxat and a host of their other products and drugs)

    GSK are capable of anything..
    They just don’t take responsability for anything.
    Thats the problem..

    Also, maybe you should research Seroxats effects on the foetus, and Study 329 on paroxetine..
    Then come back and give us your opinion , maybe then you will undertand our completely justifiable cynicism here of GSK and its underhanded capability.. They just can’t be trusted can they? ..

    You say you were on paroxetine, and it worked? ..
    How long were you on it for?..
    Why were you prescfibed it?..

    I’m sorry, but i find it hard to believe you were on it yourself, you could easily be trying some attempt at damage limitation here for GSK.. But maybe you could prove to me that you were on Seroxat and don’t have a vested interest in GSK (maybe you still have stock options? do you?), but until i decide to trust you don’t have an agenda then I won’t trust you..

    Where is the proof of Seroxat’s efficacy?..
    Can u provide us with 10,000 testimonies from people who claim Seroxat worked for them, and they had no probelms with it?.. Because i can provide you with 10,000 signatures of people who despise this drug and GSK for what they did to them..


    (and thats just the tip of the iceberg..)

    Check out the petition above (almost 10 000 signatures, can you find me even just 100 pro-seroxat testimonies?…)

    And here’s another little excercise for you while you are getting informed about the seroxat scandal, why don’t you go and google “GSK Fraud” , see what you find, and then google, “GSK Seroxat” “GSK Paxil” “paroxetine side effects” and “Study 329” then read through the tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of documented stories, forums and users experiences of Seroxat/Paxil, guess what you will find? they are all NEGATIVE…

    Maybe you could start here : (on these Paxil/Seroxat addiction/Withdrawal forums)





    (‘ill leave you to find the others yourself)

  15. BOB FIDDAMAN Says:

    First of all ‘Terry’, thanks for your input.

    You do however seem to be missing the point here. GSK are being bashed because… well basically, they deserve it.
    Are you aware of the Paxil Study 329? Something GSK have NEVER been brought to task over. Shall we just pass it off as a minor misdemeanour?

    I am pleased Paxil gave you no problems, it certainly does not mean that it is a safe drug now does it? Or is it your position that Paxil is safe?

    Who is accountable for the adverse effects people are suffering at the hands off this drug? Do you blame their doctors, psychiatrists? Maybe you blame their depression?

    C’mon Terry. If you get an undercooked steak in a resturant you blame the chef, don’t you?

    The ‘if it didn’t work’ picture you paint is a straw man argument and you know it. I could throw the same argument at you about cigarette smokers who didn’t get heart disease or cancer.

    You talk about ethical balance in the same breath as GSK?

    To coin your phrase ‘Terry’ – Get a grip lad.


  16. truthman30 Says:

    Hey Terry..

    I did reply with a long post, but it seems to have disappeared somewhere in Cyberspace..

    In short you haven’t got a clue what you are talking about..
    But, in defense of my opinion, i offer you a little challenge..
    Find me 100 pro-Seroxat (positive testimonies of users experiience from the worlwideweb) and i might begin to listen to your opinion…but for the moment, it just doesn’t hold its weight..sorry to tell ya..

    Oh, and just to get you started on this challenge, with the click of a mouse button, you can see almost 10,000 signatures from people who report extreme negative effects from Seroxat/Paxil.. Its an online petition calling for this poison to be banned..
    And these people probably dislike GSK just as intensely as some of the posters on this blog too..(some possibly more so, particularly the ones whose friends and family members were driven to suicide from seroxat)

    Check it out..


    (remember all you have to find is 100 positive stories about seroxat, can’t be that hard can it now Terry?…
    It will never match the 10,000 i just provided for you, which is the tip of the iceberg..but nevermind)

    But on your way through this challenge, you just might learn a thing or two about Seroxat and GSK..

    Good luck Lad ! ..

  17. The Chemical imbalance ‘theory’… come on Glaxo - PROVE it now « seroxat secrets… Says:

    […] written on this issue before – to catch up please have a look here and here. Posted in Big Pharma, Drug Marketing, Glaxo, Paxil, Serotonin, […]

  18. sue Says:

    Enough with the scare stories. just cos Seroxat doesn’t work for you doesn’t me it would work for someone else.
    everyone is differant. just remember that when you start with your scare stories!!!!!
    A lot of people who take Seroxat suffer from anxiety and your stories are making therm worse.
    get over your bitterness

    • admin Says:

      It’s not just Seroxat Sue – it’s all SSRIs.

      My problem is that we have conned by the drug companies with fixed clinical trials and hidden negative data.

      They have lied to us just to make money.

  19. Carmine’s Choice… – GSK : Licence To (K) ill (Documenting GSK And Seroxat) Says:

    […] we have no real  accurate info on risks. The info that we have on risks is starting enough (see the PIL on Seroxat for some shocking stats) – I can only imagine what the real risks are though, considering […]

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