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Author Topic: Anti-Depressants May Be Doing More Harm Than Good  (Read 4216 times)

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Offline J.R.E.

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  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Anti-Depressants May Be Doing More Harm Than Good
« on: April 27, 2012, 07:49:08 AM »


Having never been, on anti depressants it's hard for me to comment on this, but found the article interesting:( Video)

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/244562.php

Commonly prescribed anti-depressants appear to be doing patients more harm than good, say researchers who have published a paper examining the impact of the medications on the entire body.

"We need to be much more cautious about the widespread use of these drugs," says Paul Andrews, an evolutionary biologist at McMaster University and lead author of the article, published in the online journal Frontiers in Psychology.

"It's important because millions of people are prescribed anti-depressants each year, and the conventional wisdom about these drugs is that they're safe and effective."

Andrews and his colleagues examined previous patient studies into the effects of anti-depressants and determined that the benefits of most anti-depressants, even taken at their best, compare poorly to the risks, which include premature death in elderly patients.

Anti-depressants are designed to relieve the symptoms of depression by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain, where it regulates mood. The vast majority of serotonin that the body produces, though, is used for other purposes, including digestion, forming blood clots at wound sites, reproduction and development.

What the researchers found is that anti-depressants have negative health effects on all processes normally regulated by serotonin.

The findings include these elevated risks:

    developmental problems in infants
    problems with sexual stimulation and function and sperm development in adults
    digestive problems such as diarrhea, constipation, indigestion and bloating
    abnormal bleeding and stroke in the elderly

The authors reviewed three recent studies showing that elderly anti-depressant users are more likely to die than non-users, even after taking other important variables into account. The higher death rates indicate that the overall effect of these drugs on the body is more harmful than beneficial.

"Serotonin is an ancient chemical. It's intimately regulating many different processes, and when you interfere with these things you can expect, from an evolutionary perspective, that it's going to cause some harm," Andrews says.

Millions of people are prescribed anti-depressants every year, and while the conclusions may seem surprising, Andrews says much of the evidence has long been apparent and available.

"The thing that's been missing in the debates about anti-depressants is an overall assessment of all these negative effects relative to their potential beneficial effects," he says. "Most of this evidence has been out there for years and nobody has been looking at this basic issue."

In previous research, Andrews and his colleagues had questioned the effectiveness of anti-depressants even for their prescribed function, finding that patients were more likely to suffer relapse after going off their medications as their brains worked to re-establish equilibrium.

With even the intended function of anti-depressants in question, Andrews says it is important to look critically at their continuing use.

"It could change the way we think about such major pharmaceutical drugs," he says. "You've got a minimal benefit, a laundry list of negative effects - some small, some rare and some not so rare. The issue is: does the list of negative effects outweigh the minimal benefit?"
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 8/2514,  t-cells are at 402, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 11%

  
 62 years young.

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Anti-Depressants May Be Doing More Harm Than Good
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2012, 08:54:32 AM »
Debate which flared up all last summer and fall in therapeutic domains and the popular press.
And I'm with Peter Kramer.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/10/opinion/sunday/10antidepressants.html?pagewanted=all

I used them and found them helpful.  Also I trust the professional expertise of the doctors who prescribed them for me.  Of course, hindsight is easier than foresight. Maybe 40 years from now people will think how utterly ridiculous medicine was to go on this antidepressant jag for two decades.  Cause there will be some much better molecule, or therapy treatment that works, etc.  Or cause today's antidepressants will have been thoroughly discredited.   I don't think we are at that point.

« Last Edit: April 28, 2012, 06:33:53 AM by mecch »
ďFrom each, according to his ability; to each, according to his needĒ 1875 K Marx

Offline BT65

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Re: Anti-Depressants May Be Doing More Harm Than Good
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2012, 06:06:04 AM »
If a person who is truly suicidal starts taking an anti-depressant along with talk therapy, and sees his/her life improve to the point of getting suicide out of his/her brain, then the benefit far outweighs the risk.  Who wants to walk around feeling like killing themselves? 

This may warrant more research, but I wouldn't discount anti-depressants for fear of stroke in the elderly.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline wylidas

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  • Posts: 85
  • Trying to love this life, since it's all we got.
Re: Anti-Depressants May Be Doing More Harm Than Good
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2012, 07:16:52 AM »
I believe this is a good conversation to have. On one hand, I know people who these drugs have worked for, and used for a set period of time along with therapy (this is KEY as the drug alone without therapy has been proven to be less effective over time) can provide relief for many people.

Now, that being said, everyone's chemistry is different. That's why some people can  eat a peanut butter sandwich and be fine, and others have their throat close up and could potentially die. So to say that these drugs are perfectly safe for all people is just absolutely not true. I am living proof of that. I had a very bad reaction coming off a benzo (which is not an SSRI I know), but it has made me question the efficacy of a lot of these drugs. I believe SSRIs and many other psychiatric drugs are rampantly over-presecribed to people and by doctors who don't always know what they are doing. And the truth is we really don't know many of the long term effects that these drugs have on our bodies, because many of them (just like HIV drugs) have only been around for 10-20 years. And there are an increasing number of studies like this one, being conducted by independent parties, that are starting to show that many SSRI-course treatments are found to be no more effective than diet and exercise along with CBT. Again, we are not talking about the suicidal person here, but therapy more for the average person prone to bouts of depression through their life, which I would say are most living adults.

So again this is a great discussion to have. I don't think it's all one way or the other. I think it's up to the individual and their doctor. But, I would strongly caution anyone from seeking a drug as a magic cure, as I did. You may wind up regretting it later.
Diagnosed + in 2006.
Atripla in 2006 (Bad dreams, nervous system reaction after a few weeks. Discontinued.)
Epzicom/Reyataz/Norvir October 2007 - February 2012 (anxiety and elevated BP primary s/x)
UD VL <30
CD4 - fluctuates between 250 - 500 with 25%+
Discontinued meds in February 2012 (due to adherence issues after detoxing from Ativan)
March 2012 - CD4 296, VL 120
4/22/2012 - Started Complera
5/1/2012 - Discontinued Complera, began monitored drug holiday
7/3/2012 - VL 55,000; CD4 211 - started Bactrim
8/5/2012 - Began Truvada + Isentress

Offline joemutt

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Re: Anti-Depressants May Be Doing More Harm Than Good
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2012, 09:27:45 AM »
This is my experience.

I was diagnosed with hiv and chronic depression in 1997. I saw a psychiatrist who prescribed antidepressants and I also went into therapy.

I have stopped taking antidepressants last September after 14 years on them.

The most I was taking was 80 mg daily (remeron and tofranil) which I slowly got down to 15 mg (remeron). These 15 mg were hard to kick but one day after sedation in hospital I forgot to take them and the next day tried (again) to stay off them. That withdrawal was pleasant for the first few days but quickly turned into 6 weeks of pain much worse than any depression I had had.

I stopped them because I didn't like the side effects; numb, difficult to get going, felt like living under a cloak, cut off from more refined feelings. I also thought the doses were too high and fourteen years was rather long.

I had made some changes where I could; I got out of a few situations that were not good for me, I continue Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, yoga and meditation, joined a few self-help groups. My best friend is the book 'The Mindful Way through Depression'. Basically I learned to get familiar with feelings, thoughts and sensations but also realized they do not have to rule me. Stopped trying to solve feelings with thinking. Most times I can catch negativity by trying to be aware. And some days are bad. I still prefer it to the meds.

I appreciate antidepressants have had their use for me and have saved lives and that experiences vary much.

One thing that I have great difficulty accepting is the trial and error prescription of antidepressants; 'add this, take more, decrease' without anyone being able to measure what are called the 'chemical imbalances' in the brain. Ideally one needs a therapist, a psychiatrist and a psychopharmacologist. Neither country I have lived in did have the latter.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2012, 09:40:25 AM by joemutt »

Offline wylidas

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  • Posts: 85
  • Trying to love this life, since it's all we got.
Re: Anti-Depressants May Be Doing More Harm Than Good
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2012, 09:59:52 AM »
It was recently brought to my attention that Efavirenz (Sustiva) has had investigation into it for years now that one of the components within the drug causes addiction like qualities, similar to benzodiazepines. There was actually an ABC News story that talked about how people in South Africa were smoking it and getting high and addicted to it.

I just find it interesting. Makes me wonder what else are in HIV meds that may be doing more harm than good...
Diagnosed + in 2006.
Atripla in 2006 (Bad dreams, nervous system reaction after a few weeks. Discontinued.)
Epzicom/Reyataz/Norvir October 2007 - February 2012 (anxiety and elevated BP primary s/x)
UD VL <30
CD4 - fluctuates between 250 - 500 with 25%+
Discontinued meds in February 2012 (due to adherence issues after detoxing from Ativan)
March 2012 - CD4 296, VL 120
4/22/2012 - Started Complera
5/1/2012 - Discontinued Complera, began monitored drug holiday
7/3/2012 - VL 55,000; CD4 211 - started Bactrim
8/5/2012 - Began Truvada + Isentress

Offline BT65

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Re: Anti-Depressants May Be Doing More Harm Than Good
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2012, 04:01:46 PM »
Wylidas, you had a bad reaction when coming off benzo's because you were going through withdrawal.  Had nothing to do with anti-depressants or how different people react to them.  Benzo's are a horrible withdrawal-I know, been through it tons of times. 
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Miss Philicia

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  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: Anti-Depressants May Be Doing More Harm Than Good
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2012, 04:03:38 PM »
Can we all be careful of the language used -- benzos can be horrible in terms of withdrawal, but they are not for most people.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline wylidas

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  • Posts: 85
  • Trying to love this life, since it's all we got.
Re: Anti-Depressants May Be Doing More Harm Than Good
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2012, 10:01:28 PM »
Miss Philicia-  I would actually politely disagree with the term 'most people' are ok coming off benzos. Many studies actually show that about 40-50% of people have difficulty coming off them if they are taken longer than 14 days. I have literature to back this up if you'd care to look at it. It's based on over 30 years of experience with Dr. Heather Ashton's work in helping people with tranquilizer and benzo usage and dependency. It is only a small number of people who have PROTRACTED withdrawal symptoms lasting more then 18 months. But most people who have difficulty (again that 40-50% range) take between 6 and 18 months to recover.

So while I respect your wanting to be careful about the terms we use, it's by no means a small number of people who experience trouble with benzos. And there are MANY people who go undiagnosed for a long time, only to realize their medical problems were benzo related all along, so the  40-50% number are just the ones we have documented in studies. It could be higher. But you're right that not every person has trouble coming off. My mother, for instance, had zero trouble after being on xanax for years. That's why a person's unique chemistry plays a large role in how they will react.
Diagnosed + in 2006.
Atripla in 2006 (Bad dreams, nervous system reaction after a few weeks. Discontinued.)
Epzicom/Reyataz/Norvir October 2007 - February 2012 (anxiety and elevated BP primary s/x)
UD VL <30
CD4 - fluctuates between 250 - 500 with 25%+
Discontinued meds in February 2012 (due to adherence issues after detoxing from Ativan)
March 2012 - CD4 296, VL 120
4/22/2012 - Started Complera
5/1/2012 - Discontinued Complera, began monitored drug holiday
7/3/2012 - VL 55,000; CD4 211 - started Bactrim
8/5/2012 - Began Truvada + Isentress

Offline wylidas

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  • Posts: 85
  • Trying to love this life, since it's all we got.
Re: Anti-Depressants May Be Doing More Harm Than Good
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2012, 10:04:59 PM »
Hey BT65- I would actually be curious to talk to you about your experience with benzos. I have yet to find someone on these boards who can relate to what I have been through. Feel free to PM me if ya like. You seem to have quite a history and I'd love to hear what you've been through.
Diagnosed + in 2006.
Atripla in 2006 (Bad dreams, nervous system reaction after a few weeks. Discontinued.)
Epzicom/Reyataz/Norvir October 2007 - February 2012 (anxiety and elevated BP primary s/x)
UD VL <30
CD4 - fluctuates between 250 - 500 with 25%+
Discontinued meds in February 2012 (due to adherence issues after detoxing from Ativan)
March 2012 - CD4 296, VL 120
4/22/2012 - Started Complera
5/1/2012 - Discontinued Complera, began monitored drug holiday
7/3/2012 - VL 55,000; CD4 211 - started Bactrim
8/5/2012 - Began Truvada + Isentress

Offline BT65

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Re: Anti-Depressants May Be Doing More Harm Than Good
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2012, 04:59:47 AM »
Well, ok, let me be clear:  I was on high dosages of Xanax and Valium and quit them cold turkey.  But at the same time, I also quit Morphine, ES Vicodin and Dextroamphetamine, and yes, it was all cold turkey.  Which I don't suggest to anyone.  And I had used all of them for a period of about 10 years (I use the term "use" loosely, since most of the time I abused them).  I believe the only reason I didn't run into trouble such as seizures etc. was because I was in a mental health facility, therefore I was "observed" by the staff while going through the withdrawal.

While a lot of people who use benzo's may not experience withdrawal, I believe people who use them regularly for a long period of time would, if the benzo's were suddenly discontinued.  And that's not just from my own experience, it's also from talking to tons of people who got addicted to benzo's, some unknowingly (until they were dc'd), besides taking a couple of master's level courses in addiction, one in particular where the popularity of using/abusing addictive substances was discussed; benzo's are pretty high on the list nowadays (I mean, they sell them on the street for heaven sake).  Of course, there's also the evidence of people's dosages needing to be increased, or the type of benzo being used has to be switched from time to time.  That person has developed tolerance, and can experience nasty happenings if the benzo is dc'd.

However, benzo's can be very useful when taken in situations that warrant them-extreme panic attacks (until something like CBT can be used to fend off the attacks); extremely stressful situations, such as the death of a loved one (but used short term then, along with talk therapy), or other stressful happenings. I'm not saying I'm a purist just because I no longer use them. I also realize some people can use them for recreation purposes without really getting "hooked," to where those people would experience withdrawal.  And I'm not saying what I say is "word."  This is just my experience, a lot of other's experiences, and textbooks and addiction doctor's experience and knowledge.  I know everyone is different, every case is different, and that you cannot diagnose one person based on someone else's experience. 

Short article from NIDA on benzo's (and other CNS depressants):
http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/prescription-drugs/cns-depressants/what-are-cns-depressants
« Last Edit: April 29, 2012, 05:49:24 AM by BT65 »
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline tednlou2

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  • Posts: 4,887
Re: Anti-Depressants May Be Doing More Harm Than Good
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2012, 02:41:28 AM »
They say they took other factors into account.  If you're depressed and stressed, you probably are going to have higher blood pressure, which could lead to a stroke.  And, we know people who aren't depressed have better outcomes when sick, because they have a better mental outlook.  This definitely warrants more study. 

 

Offline HEB1023

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  • Posts: 4
Re: Anti-Depressants May Be Doing More Harm Than Good
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2012, 11:22:17 AM »
I was on Paxil for a year and a half.  I will say it caused more harm than good...in fact, I never really experienced 'good' in regard.  I became quiet and the exhuberance of my personality was zilch...

Anyone wanting to discuss a situation, please PM if the availability is there...I'm new to forum, so I don't know entirely how this works...

Offline james3000

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  • Posts: 140
Re: Anti-Depressants May Be Doing More Harm Than Good
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2012, 07:38:14 AM »
My Doctors seem very aware of the potential for Anti depressants causing high blood pressure. This would explain why elderly people are more at risk for stroke if they are on these Meds.

I think that between seeing my ID Dr and my regular one that my health is monitored more than the average person as my blood is tested every three months for any changes including any depletion of vitamins. My Vitamin D was low also B12 so increased amount by taking Vitamins.

I take my Anti depressants because the other option seems to be somewhere 6ft under.

 


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