Look out – here come dogs on Prozac – 2

Way back in February 2007 I wrote about this bizarre little idea from Lilly:

A few days ago in my post about Glaxo’s year end results, I explained that one of the ways drug companies can extend the cash generating life of their products is to get them approved for say, use in children and as we all know, Glaxo tried hard enough on this idea with Seroxat. Even I’m taken aback by this news story from the AHRP – the FDA has approved Prozac for prescription to… dogs. There are 61.5 million dogs in the U.S. – so with help from psychiatry and the FDA guess who has been eyeing this “underutilised” market population? Eli Lilly is repackaging its antidepressant, Prozac, as a veterinary drug under brand name, RECONCILE. “I’ve seen shy dogs become sociable, fierce dogs become friendly, and neurotic dogs become normal,” says Manhattan animal psychiatrist Bert Barkowitz. And his patients seem to agree.

I have no comment – sometimes there are no words.

Now read on on – this from Fox News:

Clinically Depressed Poodle Mauls Former French President Chirac
Thursday, January 22, 2009

Former French President Jacques Chirac was rushed to a hospital after being mauled by his pet dog who is being treated for depression, in a dramatic incident that rattled the ex-president’s wife.

The couple’s white Maltese poodle, called Sumo, has a history of frenzied fits and became increasingly prone to making “vicious, unprovoked attacks” despite receiving treatment with anti-depressants, Chirac’s wife Bernadette said.

“If you only knew! I had a dramatic day yesterday,” she told VSD magazine. “Sumo bit my husband!”

Mrs. Chirac, 74, did not reveal where the former president was bitten, but said, “the dog went for him for no apparent reason.”

“We were aware the animal was unpredictable and is being treated with pills for depression. My husband was bitten quite badly but he is certain to make a full recovery in weeks.”

Chirac was taken to a hospital in Paris where he was treated as an outpatient and later sent home.

The 76-year-old was president of France for 12 years until 2007.

I can’t help wondering what could have made Sumo “increasingly prone to making “vicious, unprovoked attacks”….

Perhaps part of the answer can be found here, in a post I wrote a couple of years ago:

Seroxat and Violence – the link is made

Published on September 12, 2006, this study by David Healy, Andrew Herxheimer and David B. Menkes deals with an issue that cannot be ignored. So many people take Seroxat and find it starts to give them unexplained violent and aggressive episodes.

“Recent regulatory warnings about adverse behavioural effects of antidepressants in susceptible individuals have raised the profile of these issues with clinicians, patients, and the public. We review available clinical trial data on paroxetine and sertraline and pharmacovigilance studies of paroxetine and fluoxetine, and outline a series of medico-legal cases involving antidepressants and violence.

Both clinical trial and pharmacovigilance data point to possible links between these drugs and violent behaviours. The legal cases outlined returned a variety of verdicts that may in part have stemmed from different judicial processes. Many jurisdictions appear not to have considered the possibility that a prescription drug may induce violence.

The association of antidepressant treatment with aggression and violence reported here calls for more clinical trial and epidemiological data to be made available and for good clinical descriptions of the adverse outcomes of treatment”.

The link to the paper is here and I suggest you scroll down to the end and read the 9 cases listed in the annex.

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