Showing posts with label PTSD medications. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PTSD medications. Show all posts

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Mother of Fallen Soldier Speaks Out About PTSD

Mother of Fallen Soldier Speaks Out About PTSD
By Hilary LeHew
Story Created: Jun 22, 2013

WSIL TV -- A Sesser mom speaks out about post-traumatic stress disorder after suffering through the death of her son.

In honor of National PTSD Awareness Day, many are hoping to teach others how to visibly recognize the invisible wounds.

There's a street sign along Route 148 that bears the name of a soldier who died as a result of PTSD, but there are other signs of the disorder that local professionals are hoping others will learn to see.

"They were going to re-deploy him in January," says Tammie Severs about her son. "He was ready to go. He wanted to finish his job."

Severs became the mother of a fallen soldier the day before Veterans Day in 2009.

"He died on about 12 medications in less than 72 hours," she says.

Her son, Travis Picantine, died at 23 of an acute intoxication of prescription medications while seeking rehab for PTSD.

"Travis trained for two years to be frontline on infantry," Severs explains. "You go, you do your job, then you come home to a small town like this and there's nothing here for you."
read more here

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ambien could be a nightmare for those with PTSD, study says

Ambien could be a nightmare for those with PTSD, study says
MSN News
By Michelle McGuinness
June 18, 2013

Psychologists found that taking Ambien may make people with anxiety or PTSD remember negative memories more strongly.

People with anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder who take Ambien to help them sleep may be resting uneasy.

Psychologists at the University of California campuses in Riverside and San Diego found that Ambien may actually make people remember and respond more strongly to negative memories.

The schools said in a news release that zolpidem, the main ingredient in Ambien, enhances a process that occurs while we're sleeping and moves information from short-term to long-term memory.
read more here

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

PTSD study reveals "There's not a single pharmacological treatment out there"

Brain-imaging study links cannabinoid receptors to post-traumatic stress disorder
May 14, 2013
Psychology and Psychiatry

In a first-of-its-kind effort to illuminate the biochemical impact of trauma, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center have discovered a connection between the quantity of cannabinoid receptors in the human brain, known as CB1 receptors, and post-traumatic stress disorder, the chronic, disabling condition that can plague trauma victims with flashbacks, nightmares and emotional instability. Their findings, which appear online today in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, will also be presented this week at the annual meeting of the Society of Biological Psychiatry in San Francisco.

CB1 receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system, a diffuse network of chemicals and signaling pathways in the body that plays a role in memory formation, appetite, pain tolerance and mood. Animal studies have shown that psychoactive chemicals such as cannabis, along with certain neurotransmitters produced naturally in the body, can impair memory and reduce anxiety when they activate CB1 receptors in the brain. Lead author Alexander Neumeister, MD, director of the molecular imaging program in the Departments of Psychiatry and Radiology at NYU School of Medicine, and colleagues are the first to demonstrate through brain imaging that people with PTSD have markedly lower concentrations of at least one of these neurotransmitters —an endocannabinoid known as anandamide—than people without PTSD. Their study, which was supported by three grants from the National Institutes of Health, illuminates an important biological fingerprint of PTSD that could help improve the accuracy of PTSD diagnoses, and points the way to medications designed specifically to treat trauma.

"There's not a single pharmacological treatment out there that has been developed specifically for PTSD," says Dr. Neumeister. "That's a problem. There's a consensus among clinicians that existing pharmaceutical treatments such as antidepressant simple do not work. In fact, we know very well that people with PTSD who use marijuana—a potent cannabinoid—often experience more relief from their symptoms than they do from antidepressants and other psychiatric medications. Clearly, there's a very urgent need to develop novel evidence-based treatments for PTSD."
read more here

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Claim: Pill mill tied to Fort Riley soldier overdoses

Claim: Pill mill tied to Fort Riley soldier overdoses
Apr. 23, 2013
By Heather Hollingsworth
The Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, MO. — A Kansas doctor was charged Tuesday with operating a pill mill for painkillers and antidepressants after police and Fort Riley officials raised concerns about overdoses — some of them involving soldiers and their families.

The U.S. attorney’s office alleged in a criminal complaint that Michael P. Schuster, 53, conspired to illegally distribute controlled substances. The charges were filed the same day that the FBI searched Schuster’s clinic, called Manhattan Pain and Spine. The clinic is in Manhattan, Kan., about 15 miles from Fort Riley, a U.S. Army base that is home to the 1st Infantry Division.

“Prescription drug abuse is the nation’s fastest growing drug problem,” said U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom in a written statement. “Health care providers are a critical part of our effort to keep the public safe. Without proper controls, prescription drugs are just as dangerous as any street drug.”
read more here

Concern over anti-psychotic drug given to soldiers

Concern over anti-psychotic drug given to soldiers
ABC News
Lateline By Michael Vincent
April 24, 20113
Updated 11 minutes ago

Psychiatrists in Australia and the United States are calling for a review of the use of anti-psychotic medications to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.

Australia's Department of Defence has confirmed an almost 600 per cent increase in the use of one particular anti-psychotic, Seroquel, in just five years.

Soldiers have told Lateline the drug, originally intended to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, is being prescribed just to help them sleep.

Lateline spoke to special forces soldiers from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. All have PTSD, and some have received psychological counselling, but others have not.

All say military doctors or GPs sanctioned by the Defence Department prescribed them Seroquel as a sedative.

One soldier, who Lateline has called Trooper M to protect his identity, has been a user of the drug for the past year.

He is only 23 and served as a special forces soldier on one tour of Afghanistan that left him with anxiety and nightmares.

Trooper M sought help when the nightmares became too much.

"So the mental health nurse liaised with one of the medical officers and from that... before I saw a psychiatrist or anything like that, they decided that Seroquel would be the choice of medication."

He says he does not know why, and just followed what he was being told.

One night, he accidentally took 400mg.

"I didn't wake up for over 24 hours. It was a bit of a wake-up call," he said.
read more here

Monday, February 25, 2013

Navy answer to PTSD, numb them!

Got PTSD? Take a pill. When that doesn't work, they drink. They do drugs. They do anything possible to numb what they do not want to feel. Numbing is not healing yet, the Navy decided that it is "better than nothing" so they pay money to do it. Yep, it isn't free. Someone is making money on this one and not healing them will keep feeding pockets of drug companies, research groups with huge grants and in the end, morticians handling the funerals of at 22 veterans a day that should have livesd!
Naval Medical Center San Diego’s clinical trial reducing sufferers’ symptoms with injections that numb nerves in the patients’ necks
By Nathan Max
FEB. 24, 2013

James Hardy has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder for more than a decade.

A retired Navy intelligence officer who deployed 10 times over a 28-year career, including seven deployments into combat zones, Hardy, 53, first suffered what he described as a nervous breakdown in 2000. Six years later, he started drinking heavily, became distant from his wife and three children, suffered anxiety issues and was aggressive and confrontational.

That was before he participated in a clinical trial for an experimental PTSD treatment at Naval Medical Center San Diego. Hardy is one of about 30 patients receiving Stellate Ganglion Block injections in his neck, and he said the shots have worked.

As part of the study, Hardy received three injections that led to relief from his symptoms ranging from one day to three weeks, he said. The procedure is meant to numb nerves in the neck that can cause physical arousal and therefore allow patients to feel more calm and decrease the symptoms of PTSD.
read more here

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

PTSD veterans given drugs against guidelines

Not my typo for a change. It was UPI's.
PSTD vets given drugs against guidelines
Feb. 12, 2013

IOWA CITY, Iowa, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder are prescribed psychiatric drugs not supported by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs guidelines, researchers say.

Dr. Thad E. Abrams and Dr. Brian Lund, both of the Center for Comprehensive Access and Delivery Research and Evaluation, Iowa City Veterans Affairs Health Care System, and colleagues analyzed fiscal year 2009 electronic pharmacy data from the Veterans Health Administration for 356,958 veterans with PTSD who were receiving medications from VHA prescribers.
read more here

Friday, December 7, 2012

Lawsuit says VA Doctors did not monitor medications of suicidal corpsman

Sister’s suicide triggers lawsuit against VA
By Patricia Kime
Marine Corps Times
Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Dec 6, 2012

On Veterans Day 2010, former Navy corpsman Kelli Marie Grese, 37, swallowed an unknown quantity of the antipsychotic Seroquel — her fourth suicide attempt in eight months using the same drug.

That time, she succeeded. She never regained consciousness.

Her death is the subject of a $5 million lawsuit filed against the Veterans Affairs Department in the U.S. District Court in Newport News, Va., alleging VA physicians failed to monitor her medications and prescribed them excessively.

Her twin sister, Darla Grese, also a former Navy corpsman, filed the suit, saying physicians at Hampton VA Medical Center, Va., ignored her pleas to quit doling out prescriptions to her sister, a known addict deemed at “moderate risk for suicide.”

“I’m hoping better attention will be placed on how many pills are being written and quantities,” said Darla Grese.

She traces her twin’s mental health problems to 1996, when she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after a break-in at the sisters’ off-base housing in Naples, Italy.
read more here

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Doctors taking a closer look at crime by veterans

Doctors taking a closer look at crime by veterans
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Published: November 10, 2012

PITTSBURGH — Crime committed by veterans appears to be an increasing problem, but doctors who broadly attribute it to PTSD could be ignoring other important factors.

Medical professionals weren't sure why some veterans are at an increased risk for arrest, notes a study published last month in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, but many supposed those with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury would show higher rates of criminal arrests.

"We have to go beyond PTSD if we want to have answers to these questions," said forensic psychiatrist and professor at New York University Michael Welner, who spoke on the subject Friday at Duquesne University's Cyril W. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law.

He was not an author of the study but referenced it in his presentation during the two-day conference, "Post-Combat Problems in the 21st Century."

Dr. Welner said getting stuck in "a box of PTSD" and traumatic brain injury doesn't account for potential causal factors, such as criminal and drug histories.

To suggest war makes a veteran more at risk of committing violent crimes is disparaging and rebuffs important values they have learned in the military, Dr. Welner said. Murder and shocking crimes by veterans are, in fact, exceptionally low, he said.
read more here

Monday, November 5, 2012

Military Mental Health “Treatment” Becomes Frankenpharmacy

Two Soldiers Prescribed 54 Drugs
Military Mental Health “Treatment” Becomes Frankenpharmacy
The mental health watchdog Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) announces the second in a four-part series by award-winning investigative journalist Kelly Patricia O’Meara exploring the epidemic of suicides in the military and the correlation to dramatic increases in psychiatric drug prescriptions to treat the emotional scars of battle.

The second installment covers psycho-pharma’s disastrous chemical experimentation within the military ending in sudden unexplained deaths, including those of Marine corporal Andrew White and Senior Airman Anthony Mena who were prescribed a total of 54 drugs between them, including Seroquel, Effexor, Paxil, Prozac, Remeron, Wellbutrin, Xanax, Zoloft, Ativan, Celexa, Cymbalta, Depakote, Haldol, Klonopin, Lexapro, Lithium, Lunesta, Compazine, Desyrel, Trileptal, and Valium.
by Kelly Patricia O’Meara
October 30, 2012
The devastating adverse effects mind-altering psychiatric drugs may be having on the nation’s military troops are best summed up by Mary Shelley’s Dr. Frankenstein, writing “nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.”

Just as the fictional character, Dr. Frankenstein, turned to experiments in the laboratory to create life with fantastically horrific results, the psychiatric community, along with its pharmaceutical sidekicks, has turned to modern day chemical concoctions to alter the human mind.

The result is what many believe is a growing number of equally hideous results culminating in senseless deaths, tormented lives and grief-stricken families.

The nation’s military troops are taking their lives at record numbers and seemingly healthy soldiers are dying from sudden unexplained deaths. That’s a fact. The data are clear, yet, despite growing evidence pointing to the enemy among us, the monstrous psycho-pharmacological experiment continues (see Part 1: Psychiatric Drugs and War: A Suicide Mission).
read more here

Why isn't the press on suicide watch?

Friday, November 2, 2012

When PTSD articles fail to tell the whole truth, suffering goes on

When PTSD articles fail to tell the whole truth, suffering goes on
by Chaplain Kathie
Wounded Times Blog
November 2, 2012

I just read an article "Does PTSD Cause Violence?" that appeared to have a lot to offer in the discussion involving the different type of PTSD veterans and police officers are hit by than what civilians end up with. While civilians can suffer from traumatic events that happen once in their lives, usually they do not have to face it happening over and over again.

Abuse is different from other traumatic "events" in a person's life. Abuse is a continuing cycle with the constant fear of repeated threats to their lives and wellbeing. For abuse victims, if they live with the abuser, events feed what living with trauma has already done to them. Victims are told to get away from the abuser but until that person is in jail or has died, the fear remains until the survivor can be sure they are no longer in danger. They cannot begin to heal until the threat is gone.

In attempting to remove the idea that PTSD veterans are dangerous the article misses too much that needs to be discussed. Apparently the authors have not discovered what a flashback is or they would know what happens if a veteran is having a flashback and some decides to yell at them or touch them, especially a spouse. Nightmares, well they are just as bad if someone goes about waking them up the wrong way. They put "flashback" in the list along with hyper-arousal but while attempting to eliminate the fear some people have they cut out some really important details.

Does PTSD Cause Violence? Article from Badge of Life
By Andy O’Hara, Sergeant (ret.) California Highway Patrol and Founder, Badge of Life,
Richard L. Levenson, Jr., Psy.D., CTS, Vice Chairman, Badge of Life

Are veterans (or police officers) with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) a danger on the streets? Are combat veterans with PTSD returning home as “trained killers?”

We have all read these newspaper headlines: “PTSD made him a Murderer!” “Psychologist: Killer has PTSD!” “War damaged vet kills girlfriend; PTSD to blame?” “Officer uses PTSD defense for strangling, battering his wife.”

These are the kind of headlines making the rounds as thousands of military veterans return from our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Not only is society fearing them, but some police departments are warning their personnel to “be on the watch” for veterans in general (as if you can tell them apart), with the implication that military service alone carries the threat of having the “PTSD germ.”

Defense attorneys are always open for a ready-made opportunity to suggest that a suspect was conditioned by the military into responding to any stress situations with violence—and thereby commit a murder. The media, of course, sees a story guaranteed to generate both interest and controversy throughout the extended length of a trial, and the headlines, as we have seen, inflame and arouse a variety of passions.

The unfortunate consequence of this sensationalism, sadly, is to stigmatize not only veterans with PTSD, but all PTSD sufferers, as being potentially dangerous.

This is not really new. To begin with, society has always tended to view the mentally ill as “dangerous.” Mental Health America reports that characters with mental illnesses are depicted in prime time television shows as the most dangerous of all demographic groups: 60 percent were shown to be involved in crime or violence. Also, most news accounts portray people with mental illness as dangerous. The vast majority of news stories on mental illness either focus on other negative characteristics related to people with the disorder (e.g., unpredictability and unsociability) or on medical treatments.

Simply put, PTSD is “fear” based, not “aggression” based. The DSM-IV-R (Diagnostic Statistical Manual, Revised) is clear. In brief, the primary features of the this illness are:
· flashbacks
· withdrawal
· numbing
· hyperarousal
· and isolation.

Violence is not included. In fact, not one single research study exists linking violent behavior with the diagnosis of PTSD. While, anger and agitation are common symptoms of PTSD, these feelings tend to be turned inward, contributing to making it the terribly painful disorder it is. Combined with depression, it is not unusual for the sufferer to become suicidal. But a diagnosis of PTSD, in itself, does not make a person violent towards others. Again, the concern should be more that they will be a danger to themselves, not others. There is a possibility, of course, that unintentional harm could come to others as the result of a suicide attempt, not only by gunshot, but though an intentional automobile accident, jumping from a building, or any other number of self-destructive acts. John Violanti, Ph.D., in his book, “Police Suicide: Epidemic in Blue,” points out the interesting phenomenon of “suicide by suspect,” in which an officer consciously or unconsciously wishes to die and willfully involves himself in situations of extreme danger or confrontation with a criminal, thereby increasing the risk of death. Even so, in these situations the danger to others is indirect and unintentional.

Here are just two of them the authors said do not exist.

VA research shows that male vets with PTSD are two to three times more likely than veterans without PTSD, to engage in intimate partner violence and more likely to be involved in the legal system.

Veterans with PTSD are two to three times as likely to be physically abusive of their wives and girlfriends as those without the diagnosis. They’re three times as likely to get into fistfights when they go to college. One study showed they are especially prone to “impulsive aggression,” but that “premeditated aggression” — the kind of act Bales is accused of — was far more common in veterans without PTSD than in those with it.
They are in fact more likely to harm themselves than anyone else and this blog proves that. There are more posts about suicide than crimes and Wounded Times Blog tracks these stories across the country everyday. Few news reports are missed.

The reason is simple. Police officers and combat veterans "serve and protect" but because they are required to use violence as well as face it, the type of PTSD they end up with is much different than what civilians go through. They are not just survivors of traumatic events, they are participants in them. For them it is not just once, over and done with, but they live in a daily fear of something happening when they will once again risk their lives.

Now, think about what it takes for them to be willing to and able to do what they do everyday. It requires a deep level of core beliefs they can make a difference. They do not risk their lives to kill someone else, but they do risk their lives to save someone else.

When they have PTSD, the moment they had to take a life is frozen in their minds and they forget the events leading up to it unable to see "rest of the movie" in their own minds. If they begin to think it was an "evil" act then they think they have become evil as well. Their thoughts end up struggling to take over the core of their character. Emotional debriefing (when done right) allows them to view everything leading up to what they had to do. Once they remember their primary motivation was to protect someone else, they begin to forgive themselves for what they had to do.

They get survivor's guilt when they were not able to save a victim or their buddy. They blame themselves. Again this feeds into the "evil" thoughts because "they didn't deserve" to survive.

Most of the reaction we see is tied to if they get help or not. If the families know what to do and understand that how they react has a lot to do with how they all cope and heal.

We also need to think about side effects from medications they are given, if they use street drugs or alcohol to "get numb" along with a very long list of everything else including getting proper treatment and compensation. A lack of income when they can't work anymore adds to the stress they are under and there is nothing worse than finally admitting they need help but find no support in healing. This replaces the threat to their lives from combat with a threat of not being able to keep a roof over their heads and food for their families.

Trying to set the record straight avoids the reason Veterans Courts have been established across the country.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

PTSD on Trial:Soldier in shooting case released to VA hospital

Soldier in shooting case released to VA hospital
By Karen Florin
Published 10/12/2012

A 28-year-old Army soldier who says a flashback to his deployment in the Middle East may have caused him to shoot his friend in the chest with an assault rifle has been released from prison to a Veterans Affairs hospital for evaluation.

Jason M. Durr had been held in lieu of a $1.1 million bond since May on charges of attempted murder, first-degree assault and illegal possession of an assault weapon.

During his appearance Friday in New London Superior Court, attorney Kevin C. Barrs asked for a reduction in bond so that Durr could be evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder. Judge Susan B. Handy reduced the bond to a promise to appear in court and released Durr to a representative from the Veterans Affairs.

The judge ordered Durr to return to court Monday if he is not admitted to the hospital. The VA would not agree to the evaluation while Durr was incarcerated.
read more here

Monday, October 8, 2012

Suicide story of Sgt. Justin Junkin has all the reasons

If you want to know why there are so many suicides, you need to read this. It has it all. Sgt. Justin Junkin had survivors guilt, suffered from the lingering stigma of PTSD even though he was helping other soldiers, plus medication issues with Zoloft and Klonopin. He knew the basics of PTSD and so did his wife. Justin ended his pain not by healing, not by getting what he needed to fight this destroyer inside of him. He ended his pain by ending his own life. All of us need to pay attention to this whole story.

Soldier took up family life, but with subtle signs of trouble
Sgt. Junkin seemed to be 'grieving well' after his best friend's death
Oct 7, 2012
Written by
Philip Grey

Justin had two soldiers working for him at the time, including one who had severe post-traumatic stress problems and suicidal thoughts. Justin shielded the soldier from ridicule, which Heather said was prevalent in the unit for soldiers who were open about their psychological issues.

In the Army’s official report on Justin’s death, a sworn statement from a soldier in Justin’s battery reads, “Unit has a stigma about soldiers getting help, making soldiers not wanting to get help. (Redacted) felt he had to be close to suicide to get help.”

“Justin actually spoke out against suicide at one of their meetings when they were touching on that subject and PTSD,” Heather remembered. “That was maybe less than a month before he died.”

CLARKSVILLE, TENN. — After the death of his best friend from an improvised explosive device during a 2010 deployment to Afghanistan, Sgt. Justin Junkin had been placed on suicide watch. However, by the time he came back to Fort Campbell just over nine months later, he appeared to be doing fine and seemed more focused on the future than the past.

His friend’s death had hit him hard, and for a reason that went beyond the understandable grief over losing someone he had been close to since before their previous deployment together in Iraq.

The friend, who had taken over Justin’s team after Justin was pulled out over problems with his hearing, was killed in action just two missions later.
read more here
Soldier's path to suicide

This is why it all keeps happening to too many families across this country as we read the numbers released by the DOD and the VA. Average one a day military suicides information is usually followed by a subcategory of attempted suicides. These releases always have claims by the Marines and the Army they are doing this and that to prevent them. This information is always more of the same thing they have been doing only they do more of it. In other words, they do more of the same things that failed all of these years.

Links to medications suspected with non-combat deaths

Medicating the military

This is from my old blog going back to 2007. I doubt the links still work but they give you an idea how long these medications have been studied but they are still being used on the troops no matter what the side effects are.

FDA Approves Zoloft For Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

NEW YORK -- December 8, 1999 -- Pfizer Inc. has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its anti-depressant, Zoloft® (sertraline hydrochloride), for treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor discovered and developed by Pfizer, Zoloft is the first medicine to receive a FDA approval for the treatment of PTSD. Symptoms of PTSD may develop following any extreme traumatic event in which there was threatened death or serious injury, and the individual’s response involved intense fear, helplessness or horror. Such events may include physical and sexual abuse and natural disasters.

Approximately 50 percent of the general population are exposed to a traumatic event during their lifetime. Ten to twenty percent of those develop PTSD. The prevalence of PTSD is twice as high in women as in men. go here for the rest

Study leads first drug for post-traumatic disorder
By LYNNE LANGLEY Of The Post and Courier staff

Thanks to a study led in Charleston, the first medicine anywhere to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, a common and potentially devastating illness, has won approval. Zoloft, a drug widely used to combat depression, proved significantly more effective than an inactive placebo in decreasing symptoms and raising quality of life, explained Charleston psychiatrist Dr. Kathleen Brady."This is one of the more common psychiatric disorders, and now there is a medicine that treats it. It not only improves symptoms, it improves lives," said Brady, professor of psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina Institute of Psychiatry. "This should be a positive message to patients: We've got a drug that is safe, that millions of people have used with success." Brady, the lead author of a study published in today's Journal of the American Medical Association, explained that the study is one of two that led to federal Food and Drug Administration approval of Zoloft four months ago as the first treatment in the world for post-traumatic stress disorder. "That makes it a pretty big finding," she said. The disorder affects about 8 percent of Americans at some point in their lives, said Brady, adding it's nearly as widepread as depression.

Of 187 patients in the study, 53 percent of those receiving Zoloft (the brand name of the generic sertraline) were much or very much improved at the end of 12 weeks, Brady said, and some patients showed benefits within two weeks.
go here for the rest of this

Suicides and Homicides in Patients Taking Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft: Why They Keep Happening -- And Why They Will Continue. Underlying Causes That Continue to Be Ignored by Mainstream Medicine and the Media. From almost the day that they were introduced in the late 1980s and early 1990s, sudden, unexpected suicides and homicides have been reported in patients taking serotonin-enhancing antidepressants such as Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft. I'm not surprised this problem hasn't disappeared, nor will it unless we look deeper. I never hesitate to say that these drugs -- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) -- help millions of people. But any drug that can cause positive changes in people's brains can also cause negative ones unless care is taken to avoid it. We do not take such care. So it was no surprise to me when, in August 2003, more headlines appeared. These were based on reports by British authorities and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about unpublished studies showing an increased risk of suicide in children and teenagers taking Paxil (1-3). Prior reports of suicidal and homicidal acts in adults taking SSRIs have been explained away by drug industry defenders and mainstream doctors, who claim that suicide is common in depression anyway. And that no type of antidepressant helps everyone. Some depressed patients don't get better and choose suicide. That's true sometimes, unfortunately. But these reports describe more impulsive, violent acts than expected. As I said fifteen years ago at the time of the first reports and again in Over Dose in 2001 (4), SSRIs could create a unique combination of side effects that might severely impair judgment and impulse control. This has been described by others as well (5-16).

go here for the rest of this

Friday, May 25, 2007

Convenient Honesty and Zoloft

Recently, a study was published which cast doubt on the efficacy of sertraline (Zoloft) for PTSD, finding that the drug was no better than a placebo.

The kicker is that the patent has expired for Zoloft, which is why the data are now flowing more freely. I’ll make the case here that data were buried until they would no longer hurt sales to any meaningful extent, at which point data were published, at least partially as a public relations move to show just how “honest” the companies are with sharing both positive and negative results with the psychiatric community.

The Research: The latest study, which appears in the May 2007 Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, showed no benefit for drug over a 12-week period. Placebo tended to outperform Zoloft on the majority of outcome measures, though the differences were of a small and statistically insignificant degree. Patients were significantly more likely to drop out of treatment on Zoloft. It was unclear if there were any serious adverse events (e.g., suicide attempts, notable aggression, etc.) because the article did not mention them at all. Patients started this study between May 1994 and September 1996. The original draft of the study was received by the journal in March 2006. Nearly 10 years passed between study completion and writing up the data for publication

go here for the rest of this

Pfc. Robert A. Guy 26 Company I, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force Willards, Maryland Died due to a non-hostile incident near Karma, Iraq, on April 21, 2005 "Any little thing they do is a help," said Ann Guy of Willards, Md., whose son, Marine Pfc. Robert A. Guy, killed himself in Iraq on April 21, 2005 - a month after he was prescribed the antidepressant Zoloft with no monitoring.

Robert Guy's story is just one of many. The above studies showed very a limited number of people were in the trial. With 187 in the trial 53% found it of help in twelve weeks. Why so few in a drug that has been given to so many people? Who managed to sell Zolofot to the American people?

We can go back on the net and find report after report on drugs the FDA approved yet produced very bad results from heart problems and other illnesses. If you go back into my blog, type in non-combat deaths in the search field, you will find many other reports of adverse effects from people taking these "wonder drugs" and ended up committing suicide or murders.

The next question is: Why isn't the media tracking these before we lose more people who were supposed to be being helped? Do you own homework and if you are on Zolofot, Google it and find the reports you need to know. If you are counting on the media to tell you on the nightly news, forget about it.

This is just the first Google page when I searched for Zolofot and a gun.

S.C. v. Pittman - Full Trial Coverage on Jurors began deliberations Monday in the murder trial of Christopher Pittman, who claims Zoloft made him gun down his grandparents when he was 12 years old. ...

Can Valium Kill :: US Licensed Pharmacies
Picot a mischief for manners secondly hearthrugs which to expect anthea quite of objects the valium and zoloft interactions hand-gun and valia velyova and ...

Phentermine And Zoloft :: US Licensed Pharmacies
Phentermine and zoloft, Phentermine overnight delivery no prescription, ... Swallowing the yellow-lace courtyards paved hand-gun and earnestness that ties ...

Federal Judge Rejects Pfizer's Efforts to Dismiss Zoloft-Suicide .....
Pfizer argued that, since the FDA approved Zoloft and did not, ... The gun represents a drug and the bullets represent a serious safety problem. ...

Phentermine Zoloft :: Safe, Secure Online Shopping
Phentermine zoloft, Lysergic acid diethylamide aciphex phentermine pharmacy, ... Otters skins and gun was what thats fort but imogen whispered anthea nudged ...

The Reason Behind The Madness - Drugs such as Prozac, Zoloft ...
These and virtually all of the gun-related massacres that have made headlines over the ... THEY WERE PERPETRATED BY PEOPLE TAKING PROZAC, ZOLOFT, LUVOX, ...

Military Families Speak Out : Mentally Unfit, Forced To Fight ...
"I couldn't believe it - an antidepressant, while he's out there holding a gun? I told him, `Get off the Zoloft because I hear bad things about it.'" ...

Keep and Bear Arms - Gun Owners Home Page - 2nd Amendment Supporter...
Gun Show On The Net » 2nd Amendment Show » SEMPER FIrearms ... SSRI drugs like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft and Luvox--which was apparently prescribed for Eric ...

Ted Kennedy, Rosie O'Nut and Diane Fienstien all promote gun control yet ... A wrongful death court case was filed and settled by the Zoloft manufacturer. ...

Teen Guilty of Murder in 'Zoloft Case'
Teen Guilty of Murder in Zoloft Case, Crime / Punishment, A Charleston, ... Stories of Eastern StateQuiz - Vermont Gun LawsQuiz - Mississippi Gun Laws ...

So while the DOD says they have their act together and doing everything possible to address military suicides plus take care of the troops and their families, now maybe you know why stories like Sgt. Justin Junkin keep ending so sadly. They can hold all the Stand Downs for suicide prevention they want, do all the training they want, hold meetings with families even more, but in the end if they are repeating the same messages, we will keep seeing them suffer and families will still have to visit a grave while they blame themselves.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Military suicide studies must include drugs

Whenever I talk about treatment for PTSD, the topic usually turns to medications because for the majority of patients, this is too often all they get.

Medications are tricky to talk about. When a veteran tells me their medications are not working or make them feel worse, I tell them they need to talk to their doctor and let them know. That is the only way the doctor can decide what will work best for their own chemistry. Another factor is if they drink alcohol or take street drugs while on these medications, it will not allow them to work properly. That is about as far as I go on discussing medications because I am not a psychiatrist and far from an expert on drugs.

The next thing that has to be talked about is that medications for PTSD were not supposed to be the only answer in treating it. They need talk therapy with a psychologist that is an expert on trauma, or it will not do much good. They need to talk to people about their spiritual issues, or again, the treatment they receive will not do much good. They also need to take care of their bodies, learning how to calm themselves with being pro-active. Walking, Yoga, meditation and even their diet needs to be addressed. They have to treat the whole veteran to be able to heal the hole in the veteran.

The longer PTSD is not addressed, the longer medication will be required as part of the therapy. Vietnam veterans have accepted the fact they will be on medications the rest of their lives simply because of how long they suffered without help but the other thing they learned and offered hope to others is that it is never too late to live a better life.

Government Addresses Suicides Without Looking at Suicide-Linked Drugs
The Boom in Suicides
SEPTEMBER 12, 2012

It would be laughable if it weren’t tragic. This week Surgeon General Regina Benjamin introduced a plan to stem the nation’s growing suicide rate without addressing the nation’s growing use of suicide-linked drugs.

Antidepressants like Prozac and Paxil, antipsychotics like Seroquel and Zyprexa and anti-seizure drugs like Lyrica and Neurontin are all linked to suicide in published reports and in FDA warnings. (Almost 5,000 newspaper reports link antidepressants to suicide, homicide and bizarre behavior.) Asthma drugs like Singulair, antismoking drugs like Chantix, acne drugs like Accutane and the still-in-use malaria drug Lariam, are also linked to suicide.

The US’s suicide rate has risen to 38,000 a year, says USA Today, after falling in the 1990s. The rise correlates with the debut of direct-to-consumer drug advertising in the late 1990s, the approval of many drugs with suicide links and more people taking psychoactive drugs for lifestyle problems.

Dr. Benjamin announced that federal grants totaling $55 million will save 20,000 lives in the next five years through suicide hotlines, more mental health workers in the VA, better depression screening and Facebook tracking of suicidal messages. Nowhere, including in the suicide-racked military, does she suggest looking at the overmedication which has gone hand-in-hand with the deaths. And on which the government is spending a lot more than $55 million.

Suicide increased more than 150 percent in the Army and more than 50 percent in the Marine Corps between 2001 to 2009, reported Military Times displaying graphs of the suicide and prescription drug increases, in a print edition, that are similar enough to be laid over one another. One in six service members was on a psychoactive drug in 2010 and “many troops are taking more than one kind, mixing several pills in daily ‘cocktails’ for example, an antidepressant with an antipsychotic to prevent nightmares, plus an anti-epileptic to reduce headaches–despite minimal clinical research testing such combinations,” said Military Times.

Eighty-nine percent of troops with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are now given psychoactive drugs and between 2005 and 2009, half of all TRICARE (the military health plan) prescriptions for people between 18 and 34 were for antidepressants. During the same time period, epilepsy drugs like Topamax and Neurontin, increasingly given off-label for mental conditions, increased 56 percent, reports Military Times. In 2008, 578,000 epilepsy pills and 89,000 antipsychotics were prescribed to deploying troops. What?
read more here

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

VA reviewing medications at Lincoln Community Based Outpatient Clinic

Healthcare Inspection
Review of a Patient’s Medication Management
Lincoln Community Based Outpatient Clinic Lincoln, Nebraska
August 10, 2012

Executive Summary
The VA Office of Inspector General Office of Healthcare Inspections conducted a review of the medication management provided for a patient who received health care and prescriptions at the Lincoln Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) of the VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Healthcare System. The patient died unexpectedly, and a medical examiner determined the patient’s cause of death was accidental multidrug toxicity. The purpose of this review was to determine if the patient received appropriate medication management.

The patient had a complex medical and mental health history, which included acute and chronic pain. He was well known to CBOC staff; from 2004 through February 2012, he received MH, primary care, and/or pharmacy services at least every 30 days at the CBOC.

A psychiatrist treated the patient and prescribed medications to address his mental health needs. A physician assistant treated the patient and prescribed medications to address his other acute and chronic conditions. CBOC providers prescribed a number of medications that had the potential for adverse interactions. The patient’s medication regimen remained essentially the same for several years prior to his death. Providers performed medication reconciliations, (reviews of active VA and non-VA medications), and monitored the patient’s compliance with his medication regimen.

Providers, pharmacists, and pharmacy software identified potential adverse medication interactions (low blood pressure, elevated potassium, and electrocardiogram abnormalities). Providers monitored these potential adverse medication interactions by annual blood chemistries, drug levels, and electrocardiograms. Mental Health providers conducted assessments at an appropriate frequency, referred the patient to pain management clinic services, and monitored his prescribed opioid use closely. CBOC providers managed the patient’s medication management appropriately. We made no recommendations. read report here

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Another Weapon for Fighting Fear, again?

This is based on a small study but it could be useful for someone out there. As the article points out, "treatment does not work for everyone" and you should keep trying until you find what works best for you. Medications are different person to person because what works for your buddy may not work for you. Treatment is different as well. Some do great in group sessions while others need one-on-one. It all depends on you. Keep looking for "your space" in all of this and talk to your doctor if what you're getting is not helping.

Another Weapon for Fighting Fear
PTSD exposure therapy treatment enhanced by d cycloserine drug
Reviewed By: Joseph V. Madia, MD
By: Tara Haelle
Published: Jun 8, 2012

While exposure therapy remains the first line of defense for post-traumatic stress disorder, it remains an imperfect treatment. But an inexpensive drug may enhance its effectiveness.

A recent study has found some evidence that patients experiencing especially severe PTSD may respond better to psychotherapy if they supplement it with the drug D-cycloserine.

Dr. Rianne de Kleine, of the Radboud University Nijmegen Behavioral Science Institute and Center for Anxiety Disorders Overwaal in the Netherlands, led the study to see if it was possible to improve exposure therapy outcomes for patients suffering from PTSD.

Exposure therapy involves repeatedly exposing a person to thinking about, discussing or even experiencing the traumatic events that caused their PTSD in a safe place.

The goal is for people to begin associating those traumatic experiences with a safer environment as they get used to living with their memories and for the memories to lose their power over the person.

The treatment works, but it doesn't work for everyone. Many people drop out of psychotherapy, and others' symptoms persist. read more here

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Prescriptions for antipsychotics jumped tenfold from 2002 to 2009

Medications like these numbs them and does not allow for healing. You can't heal what you can't feel.
Pentagon to limit anti-psychotic drugs for PTSD
By Patricia Kime -
Staff writer
Posted : Thursday May 3, 2012

The Pentagon is moving to limit off-label use of powerful anti-psychotic drugs for post-traumatic stress disorder — a practice some say may contribute to accidental drug overdoses among troops.

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Dr. Jonathan Woodson sent a letter to the services in February asking military treatment facilities to monitor prescriptions of atypical antipsychotics like risperidone and quetiapine, marketed under the brand name Seroquel.

The drugs, used to treat severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, are sometimes prescribed to troops in lower doses to alleviate symptoms associated with PTSD and anxiety, including nightmares and irritability.

But when mixed with other prescriptions, they can be dangerous and sometimes fatal.

The Food and Drug Administration in 2011 added a warning label to quetiapine, saying its use with some synthetic opiates, including methadone, can increase the risk of a heart-stopping overdose.

In his letter, Woodson said the number of prescriptions for these antipsychotics jumped tenfold from 2002 to 2009, from 0.1 percent to 1 percent.

In fiscal 2010, 1.4 percent of all soldiers and 0.7 percent of Marines received prescriptions for Seroquel.
read more here

Friday, April 27, 2012

Why are soldiers dying in their sleep?

Why are soldiers dying in their sleep?
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Steve Daniels


The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have created heartbreak and anger for Stan and Shirley White.

"There's still a lot of raw emotion there. We've lost two sons," explained Shirley.

First, the Charleston, West Virginia couple's first son Bob - a Fort Bragg paratrooper - was killed in Afghanistan.

"There's nothing like the pain of losing a child," said Shirley.

Then, son Andrew survived his deployment to Iraq with Camp Lejeune Marines - only to die in his bedroom.

"It was like a double-whammy all over again, twice the pain," said Shirley.

The couple have kept Andrew's bedroom as it was the day he died as a memorial to him.

"He did a lot of things in 23 years," said Stan.

In the room are his Eagle Scout certificate, an award from his days in the Junior ROTC, his Marine medals, and pictures from his time in Iraq. But the walls do not tell the story of Andrew's psychological trauma from nine months in Iraq.

"He died because of his PTSD, because of what he saw in the war zone. The medication is what killed him. We consider him as being a casualty of war," Stan offered.
read more here

Friday, April 20, 2012

Medicated military focus of Tribeca film

'OFF LABEL': Tribeca Film Captures Our Insatiable Appetite for Prescription Drugs
April 18, 2012

Courtesy Andy Duffy
Andy Duffy, 26, was prescribed dozens of drugs for post-traumatic stress, but they nearly destroyed his life.

Andy Duffy's first encounter with the world of drugs was as an Army medic at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq where he forced resistant prisoners to endure excruciating pain.

Sgt. Duffy says superior officers ordered him to inject the veins of prisoners with 14-gauge needles to hydrate -- and to intimidate -- them during hunger strikes.

"These needles are used for really massive trauma … not in the veins but to put a hole through the chest to relieve pressure," he said.

The Iowa City boy had signed up just days after his 17th birthday -- March 19, 2003 -- in the midst of war lust after 9/11.

Then in a 2006 attack by rebels, shrapnel tore apart his lower right flank and back as Americans readied to hand the prison over to Iraqi authorities. "They mortared us instead," said Duffy.

Many of his fellow soldiers never made it back. Duffy did in October of 2006, but with a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a mountain of prescription drugs that he says only made him worse.

"It was obvious altering the chemicals in my brain was not the answer," he said. "My [PTSD] was not an imbalance, but from an experience."

The film is dedicated to Mary Weiss of Minneapolis, whose son Dan Markingson was admitted in 2003 to a psychiatric hospital with delusions and was prescribed the antidepressant Seroquel by his attending physician, who was involved in the marketing study of that drug.

Weiss said she believed her son was going to hurt himself and begged doctors to take him out of the study.

"He was legal age, so we couldn't," says Weiss in the film. "But he was deteriorating and gaunt and believed he was plagued by devils. He was psychotic."

After five months in the trial, at age 27, Markingson, slashed himself to death in a gruesome suicide. "They let him die," says his mother, Mary Weiss.

read more here

Saturday, August 27, 2011

VA awards new contract for debunked PTSD drug

VA awards new contract for debunked PTSD drug
BY BOB BREWIN 08/25/2011

This is the fourteenth story in an ongoing series.

The Veterans Affairs Department continues to issue contracts to purchase an anti-psychotic drug to treat post-traumatic stress disorder despite research showing the drug, risperidone, is no more effective than a placebo.

Nextgov reported Aug. 22 that VA spent $717 million over the past decade to purchase risperidone, the generic name for Risperdal, a second-generation anti-psychotic drug originally developed by the Janssen Pharmaceuticals division of Johnson & Johnson to treat severe mental conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

VA doctors prescribe the drug to treat PTSD, but a study by department researchers published Aug. 2 in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded, "treatment with risperidone compared with placebo did not reduce PTSD symptoms."

Despite these findings, on Aug. 11, VA awarded a contract to Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. for more than 200,000 bottles of risperidone containing more than 20 million pills in multiple dosages. The announcement of the contract to the Morgantown, W.V., generic drug manufacturer did not provide a dollar value for the contract.
read more here