Seroxat increases suicidal thoughts – it’s official, or at least it will be official
from October this year. But only if you’re 25 years old or younger…
… if you’re older, even by a month or just a day, then you’re safe – so they
tell us and GlaxoSmithKline always tells us the truth, don’t you agree?
But no mention of withdrawal or addiction.
WARNINGS of the dangers of suicidal thoughts and behaviour are to be
included in the packages of anti-depressants in the UK. Warnings will be
carried in the patient information leaflet in the packets from October this
The direction was issued yesterday (Tuesday) by the Government’s
Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. (MHRA)
A notice has been sent to drug manufacturers. It mentions a review by
the Food and Drugs Agency in America, which looked at bupropion,
citalopram, duloxetine, escitalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine,
mirtazapine, nefazodone, paroxetine, sertraline and venlaxfaxine.
The review found no risk of higher sucidality in the general
population but said younger people were at higher risk and that there
were no differences in the risk between antidepressant classes.
A statement released by the MHRA says that the wording of warnings has
been agreed by the EU as has the time table for implementation.
The agreed wording reads:
“Thoughts of suicide and worsening of your depression or anxiety
disorder. If you are depressed and/or have anxiety disorders, you can
sometimes have thoughts of harming or killing yourself. These may be
increased when first starting antidepressants, since these medicines
all take time to work, usually about two weeks but sometimes longer.
You may be more likely to think like this:
If you have previously had thoughts about killing or harming yourself.
If you are a young adult.
Information from clinical trials has shown an increased risk of
suicidal behaviour in young adults aged less than 25 years with
psychiatric conditions who were treated with an antidepressant.
If you have thoughts of harming or killing yourself at any time,
contact your doctor or go to a hospital straight away.
You may find it helpful to tell a relative or close friend that you
are depressed or have an anxiety disorder and ask them to read this
leaflet. You might ask them to tell you if they think your depression
or anxiety is getting worse or if they are worried about changes in
The news was greeted as a victory by anti-drugs campaigner, Janice
Simmons, a grandmother from Great Stukeley in Huntingdon.
Mrs Simmons told The Hunts Post on Tuesday: “I’ve won. This is the
result of eight years’ work. Warnings of suicidal thoughts and
behaviour will now be carried on all anti-depressants.”
Mrs Simmons, 57, began her campaign after she discovered that her
second husband, John had been prescribed Seroxat years before she met
him and since become addicted to anti-depressants. Her help-group –
the Seroxat User Group – has had tens of thousands of hits on its
website. Mrs Simmons has gathered information from across the world.
She has begun a dossier of case histories of tragic effects on people
who have been prescribed anti-depressants.
This year she had a meeting with the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown to
discuss the problem. However, she has always conceded that the drugs
can help some people.
One of the issues Mrs Simmons discussed with Gordon Brown was the
length of time (four years) that the MHRA has taken to investigate
allegations against the manufacturer of Seroxat, GlaxoSmithKline.
It is alleged that the drugs giant withheld information that Seroxat
could cause suicide in under 18s. The allegations have always been
denied and GSK has said that Seroxat was never licensed for children.
Too little too late is what I say