Negative research spun to look good, coming off SSRIs, Veteran deaths on psych drugs: Thursday news and blogs

Happy reading:

  • Negative research often spun to look good: study | Reuters — Most of the readers of this blog are well aware of this phenomena in clinical trials of pharmaceuticals. Most people aren’t aware however, so it’s good that these things get noted in the media. Scientists are no strangers to spinning their research, a new study — presumably not spun — shows. — More than half of 72 reports examined by French and British researchers had dressed up their conclusions to make it seem as if new treatments were beneficial, even though they weren’t according to the statistics in the report.
  • Coming Off Antidepressants Can Be Tricky Business : NPRI’m posting this just to illustrate how abysmal mental health and psychiatric drug coverage is in the mainstream. This piece is on the choice to come off antidepressants. The fact that the SSRIs often have an awful and sometimes even dangerous withdrawal syndrome is not even mentioned! This is nothing short of criminal, but who is at fault? This coverage on NPR is pretty much conventional wisdom. For anyone who doubt the sometimes traumatic and very real withdrawal of SSRIs check out Paxil Progress, a forum of people getting off these drugs. Also there is a serial story of a woman’s nightmare journey off of Effexor here. What generally happens when people go into withdrawal is the doctor tells them it’s “their disease” and that they need to stay on the drug to avoid relapse. Instead we find when people stick out the withdrawal syndrome and come off carefully and sanely (also something most docs don’t know how to advise) people invariably recover and feel better.
  • 2 drugs’ suicide warnings toughened – The Boston Globe — Johnson & Johnson strengthened warnings about the risk of suicide with its Ultram and Ultracet painkillers after deaths were reported in patients who have histories of emotional disturbance or drug abuse.
  • Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD Announces: Vets’ Deaths Are Not Suicides or ‘Overdoses’ but Sudden Cardiac Deaths Due to Prescription Antipsychotics and Antidepressants — CNBC — Upon reading the May 24, 2008, Charleston (WV) Gazette article “Vets Taking Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Drugs Die in Sleep,” Baughman began to investigate why these reported deaths were “different.” And, why they were likely, the “tip of an iceberg.” Andrew White, Eric Layne, Nicholas Endicott and Derek Johnson were four West Virginia veterans who died in their sleep in early 2008. Baughman’s research suggests that they did not commit suicide and did not “overdose” leading to coma as suggested by the military. All were diagnosed with PTSD. All seemed “normal” when they went to bed. And, all were on Seroquel (an antipsychotic) Paxil (an antidepressant) and Klonopin (a benzodiazepine). — They were not comatose and unarousable — with pulse and respirations or pulse intact, responsive to CPR, surviving transport to a hospital, frequently surviving. These were sudden cardiac deaths.

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