MentalHealthRightsYES - for Mental Health Rights
 
Making Obscene Profits: Crippling Generations; Targeting Children
 
In an article in TheGuardian on Wednesday October 1, 2003 entitled
Scientist in rethink over druglink to suicide, Sarah Boseley, health editor reported:
 
Thescientist who led the latest trial of an antidepressant drug given to
 
children,which claimed that it was effective and safe, has conceded to the
 
 
Guardianthat the drug's potential to cause suicidal thinking needs to be
 
investigated.
 
Lastmonth the Journal of the American Medical Association published results
 
fromtwo trials of children treated with Pfizer's antidepressant drug
 
Lustral,known in the US as Zoloft.
 
Seventeenchildren who were given the drug were pulled out of the trial
 
becauseof side effects, compared with five who were given a placebo. Only
 
10%more children improved on the drug than improved on a placebo.
 
Theresearchers nonetheless concluded "the results of this pooled
 
analysisdemonstrate that sertraline (Lustral) is an effective and
 
well-toleratedshort-term treatment for children and adolescents with major
 
depressivedisorder".
 
Thelead author of the study was Karen Wagner of the department of
 
psychiatryat the University of Texas. She was also one of the authors of
 
studiesof a similar antidepressant, Seroxat, which was banned for use in
 
childrenin June by the UK licensing body, the medicines and healthcare
 
productsregulatory agency.
 
TheMHRA said a re-analysis of the data from the Seroxat trials showed an
 
increasein the numbers of children who became suicidal on the drug. The
 
studiesthat Dr Wagner and colleagues carried out on Seroxat in children had
 
alsoconcluded that Seroxat was effective and well tolerated.
 
Askedwhether she still believed both drugs were safe, after the MHRA ban on
 
Seroxatand the inquiry that has now been launched by the US regulator, she
 
replied:"I think it requires further investigation and looking at the
 
entiredatabase of these medications. With regards to paroxetine [Seroxat],
 
itis being investigated."
 
In1998, without any published trial data and based on the “consensus opinion” ofEmslie,
 
Wagnerand others, TCMAP began widespread usage of these SSRI’s and other drugs on
 
children within theTexas state Juvenile Justice system and state Foster Care System.
 
By some accounts,antidepressant drug prescriptions for children in the United States has
 
increased over 500%from 1999 to 2003, with tragic results. Example:
 
Paxilwas one of the wonder drugsrecommended by the TCMAP “expert consensus” panel
 
and prescribed intreatment of children when the drug was brand-new and relatively untested.
 
Since then, Paxil hasbeen linked to a myriad of violent and deadly side effects in adolescents.
 
Lawsuits have namedPaxil as factors in murder, suicide, debilitating disease and school
 
shootings. Additionalcerebral and cardiac problems have been linked to the drug. In June of
 
2003, the FDA issueda warning that Paxil should not be prescribed to persons under 18 due
 
to the alarmingnumber of suicides by children on this drug.
 
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