Posted by Bob on March 18, 2010, at 0:57:15
In reply to Re: My letter to the FDA, posted by SLS on March 17, 2010, at 23:49:45
> The SSRI discontinuation syndrome is no longer completely ignored. Studies are being designed to explore the phenomenon more closely. Recently, a study of SSRI discontinuation syndrome using paroxetine and fMRI demonstrated a set of functional differences in brain activity during symptomatic episodes. The syndrome is now recognized by science, although it may not be by all clinical practitioners. Drug companies know about this stuff. I imagine they would rather not call any attention to it. Hopefully, letters to the FDA will not fall upon deaf ears. I just hope that the populace does not use the existence of this discontinuation syndrome to further fuel the backlash against antidepressants in general. We still need these drugs.
> - Scott
Anyone who has gone through one of these withdrawals knows something is terribly wrong. A scientific study for verification is a great first step, but the extreme motivations of drug companies to downplay this and the seeming ignorance of many clinical practitioners won't be changing anytime soon. The phenomenon needs to be studied intensely so that maybe in the future drugs can be designed that aren't almost impossible for some people to get off of. Unfortunately, I cannot imagine why a drug company would want to do this.
A backlash against antidepressants would indeed be unfortunate in some respects, but might provide an impetus for drugs that don't create syndromes that are sometimes worse than the original problem. The truth absolutely needs to be faced. There are certain drugs I can never ever go back and try again because I almost lost it trying to get off of them. No one had any advice when I was going through that years ago (especially not the medical community) and that will continue to be the case unless this becomes an up front issue. At least nowadays an enterprising person can dig up the advice of others on internet forums and the like for a little help with discontinuation problems. Regrettably, not everyone is internet savvy or has the fortitude during the sickness of a withdrawal to help themselves. This is, in my opinion, very much the responsibility of the practitioners and drug producers to inform patients in the event of discontinuation problems of how best to deal with it. Right now this type of help is sorely lacking if it exists at all for any given situation.
It's deplorable, really.