On Seroxat

Aim in my personal development: Become more ruthless.
Not less caring, only less careful, more carefree. No more tiptoeing for other people.

I saw a program about Seroxat the other day, known in the US as Paxil. It’s the antidepressant i took for a year’s time.
Having suffered from what I believe to be is side effects from the acne medicine Roaccutan for years, I think it’s pretty ironic that Seroxat’s proven to be hasardous too. How much shit can one person get prescribed?
But I’ve been lucky. Seroxat has worked for me. What is scaring is the side effects others have had.
You take this medicine because you suffer from depression, some patients so much so that they are considering to end their lives. So they get these pills, hoping to feel better. But one of the side effects of the pills is that you actually feel worse the first couple of weeks. And that might be enough to throw you off that cliff.
The program talked about numerous suicide cases where Seroxat might have had a triggering effect.
In one case in the US it is believed that Seroxat might have caused a normally calm man to get agressive and kill his wife, daughter and grandchild before committing suicide. The court found that the company making Seroxat,
GlaxoSmithKline, was hiding raw data from tests showing that there was indeed a hightened risk of suicide when taking the medicine. The company had stated that there was no such risk.

Seroxat has proved no better than placebo pills when treating people under 18. But young people also experience the side effects of Seroxat. Doctors are now adviced not to prescribe Seroxate to under 18s.

The European Medicines Evaluation Agency has started an investigation of paroxetin, the active ingredient in Seroxat.

I remember reading about the side effects when I first got the medicine, and inspite of the depth I was down in then, I couldn’t help but laughing. It was just too much.

Here’s the list (in Swedish):

Vanliga (mer än 1 person av 100): Diffus obehagskänsla, svettningar, viktförändring, svimning, yrsel, hjärtklappning. Sömnlöshet, rastlöshet, darrighet, ångest, nervositet, koncentrationssvårigheter, myrkrypningar, kraftlöshet, sömnighet. Minskad sexuell lust, störd sädesuttömning och impotens hos män. Illamående, kräkningar, diarré, förstoppning, gasbildning, muntorrhet (noggrann munhygien är viktig), minskad aptit, matsmältningsrubbningar, smakpåverkan. Gäspningar. Urineringsbesvär. Dimsyn.

Mindre vanliga (1 person av 100 upp till 1 person av 1000): Vätskeansamling, törst, kärlvidgning (ger värmekänsla). Humörsvängningar, mani (överaktivitet), minskad sexuell lust hos kvinnor. Tandgnissel, sväljningsbesvär. Klåda, hudutslag. Förstorad pupill. Öronsusningar. Muskelsvaghet.

Sällsynta (mindre än 1 person av 1000): Låg natriumhalt i blodet främst hos äldre personer (tidiga tecken är matthet och sömndruckenhet). Förhöjda leverenzymvärden, leverpåverkan som t ex inflammation i levern (hepatit) ibland förenad med gulsot. Koordinations- och rörelserubbningar, krampanfall. Stora eller många små blåmärken, blodförändring (trombocytopeni). Grön starr. Mjölkflöde ur bröst. Svårighet att tömma urinblåsan. Serotonergt syndrom (symtom kan vara rastlöshet, förvirring, svettning, hallucinationer, förstorade reflexer, muskelkramper, rysningar, hjärtklappning eller darrning). Överkänslighetsreaktioner (t ex i form av svullnad av bl a ansikte, läppar, tunga och svalg eller nässelutslag).

Sällsynta fall av vaginalblödning, mag-tarmblödning och övriga hud- och slemhinneblödningar har rapporterats.

Fascinating, huh? Would you want to take a medicine like that?

Some URLs for further reading:
BBC’s pages about the tv program on Seroxat It was shown in the UK in October 2002.
A follow-up program in May 2003
A video discussion on BBC (RealPlayer)
Seroxat/Paxil side effects
Q&A about Seroxat from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in the UK. They have formed a working group following the tv program.
“A long, hard and painful process” Sarah Venn became addicted to Seroxat.

Further articles can be found in the media section of the Seroxat Users Group’s site.

lotta

Web veteran, journalist, blogger since 1998, loves creativity and originality, photography and her family. [More]

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