Will we destroy ourselves from within with drugs? — (The Times-Tribune)

SSRI Ed note: Journalist writes about drugs that cause suicidality, mentions 2 students she knew who committed suicide after being prescribed Prozac.

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The Times-Tribune

Shirley Caudill

CBS News reported recently that the asthma drug Singulair may cause suicide. My readers who know me would know that the information put me on my soapbox about pharmaceuticals. Thirty-one million prescriptions were written for it in this country last year. The company declares that there is no connection, according to CBS News. But I wouldn’t doubt it. Look on the Internet. The dangers are there.

Will we destroy ourselves from within with drugs?

The same thing has been said about several of the drugs for depression. I don’t doubt it. Two of my son’s classmates who were on Prozac committed suicide while they were in college.

I was prescribed Singulair for asthma. After I took it for three days while I was in Scotland, I became very depressed, although nobody had mentioned the fact that it causes depression.

I didn’t take another Singulair tablet, and decided I would stick with my old faithful Intal inhaler.

My son Dana also has asthma. After he took Singulair, he became depressed as well and his whole personality changed. He is always such an upbeat person and decided he certainly wanted no part of the drug. Like me, he tries to leave “well-enough” alone and give his body a chance to heal itself.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I went to pre-med school and certainly am not a doctor. I always say that I know just enough to scare myself to death… and not enough to heal myself (tongue-in-cheek). But there are a few things I do know for sure.

If you sense a touch of bitterness there… you got that right. Pills killed my mother. Pills contributed to the death of my grandmother. Several people in my family became addicted to prescription medications… simply because they trusted their dear doctor to do the appropriate thing.

I could write a book about the negative effects of prescription medications in my own family, but I won’t bore you with that diatribe. I will briefly mention a few of the scenarios. After all, we are all entitled to our own “educated” or uneducated opinion.

Mother’s brother took an aspirin a day at his doctor’s advice. He started bleeding internally and was given 98 units of blood, but kept on bleeding. His kidneys shut down and we turned off his life support.

My husband Jeff was kept on Amiodarone for two years after heart surgery. It wiped out his thyroid function, according to doctors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. They said he shouldn’t have been on it but two months, if at all. He didn’t have irregular heartbeat in the first place.

He had to go on dialysis after heart surgery as well, suffering permanent kidney damage from the contrasts used to check his heart. Not once… but three times in a week at three different hospitals.

He has been given drugs for high blood pressure when he has never had high blood pressure in the first place. They gave him nitro for chest pain when he never had chest pain in the second place. I asked a pharmacist about it and he said, “It is part of the ‘gold standard’ when a heart patient goes to the emergency room.”

Being my usual sarcastic self, I said, “Yeah right.. ‘GOLD’ is the key.”

It makes no sense to think that nearly everybody up and down the pike needs a whole “shaving kit” full of pills.

We all know that pharmaceutical companies are a multi-billion dollar business; they control too much of this country; commercials on television convince people that they need to take drugs for restless legs, acid reflux, and the beat goes on!

I read a book in the 1950s. I believe it was by J. Edgar Hoover, the first director of the FBI. It said we would not have to worry about communism; we would destroy ourselves from within with drugs. I believe it… but that is my own opinion.

Shirley Caudill of London is a former newspaper editor/publisher and longtime freelance columnist. She is a Nashville native who has lived in Kentucky 40 years. She has six children, 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren and is married to a retired Army First Sergeant. She can be reached at shirleycaudill@windstream.net