Know risks of antidepressants — (Dayton Daily News)

Original letter no longer available

Dayton Daily News,  Opinion

7 January 2006

AS A RESULT OF OUR DAUGHTER, DENISE’S, recent suicide two weeks after she began to take Effexor, we feel everyone should know that the antidepressants present serious risks to mental health as well as their potential for helping.

The danger is high during the beginning weeks of taking these drugs. It is also high during the time when people try to stop using them. Many patients have committed suicide and murder during both phases.

Selective Serotonin Re-Uptake Inhibitors, SSRIs, are intended to keep the “feel good” hormone in the brain longer, masking symptoms rather than curing the disorder. They fall into several groupings and are marketed under many names, among them Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, and Celexa. The FDA-mandated testing before they were introduced revealed that the dangers existed, but the criterion used allows the drug to slip through.

The requirement is that the drug produce the promised effect on 95 percent of patients. Thus, the SSRIs are still marketed heavily in spite of numerous lawsuits by bereaved families. Side effects need to be enumerated, and they are, but in very fine print at the end of the patient advisory sheets.

Our loss is permanent, but if this information saves your life or the life of someone you love, we will be very grateful.

DON AND JANE GREINER

CENTERVILLE