Antidepressants, SSRI, Children, Scientific Research DR Breggin.

Below are Scientific excerpts from DR Peter Breggin on adverse or negative impacts on SSRI or antidepressant medications  Many parents want to know the possible side effects etc and he has decades of info in his scientific articles. You can read about him at breggin.com.

There has been an abundance of information on anti depressants and SSRI and long term impacts on children and adult brains. Dr. Peter Breggin is an expert on psychiatric medications and Psychiatry and below are small portions from his scientific papers on antidepressants. You can go to his web site and read about his research on medications in detail his Bio is at the very end.

Even medical and evidence based research states that best results combine counseling with medication. Below is info from only one expert on medications there are many other opinions on medications and positive articles however this blog are more on side effects from Dr Breggin’s papers. 

When evaluating the vulnerability of children or adults to SSRI-induced adverse drug reactions, the inquiry should be broadened from suicidality to include the overall problem of SSRI-induced mental and behavioral disturbances, such as manic-like syndromes, agitated depression, agitation, anxiety, akathisia, and insomnia. These phenomena can be understood as a continuum of stimulant adverse effects that, in their extremes, result in manic psychoses with violence and agitated depressions with suicide.

The overall pattern of SSRI-induced mental and behavior syndromes is well- documented and should discourage their use in children. For example, in brief clinical trials involving children, rates of SSRI-induced mania run as high as 4-6% and rates for SSRI- induced depression as high as 5%. In actual clinical practice involving longer drug exposures and less thorough monitoring, the rates are even higher (see the enclosed reviews).

Studies conducted with adults have grave implications for even more vulnerable children. Many clinical reports, clinical trials and epidemiological studies demonstrate increased rates of abnormal behavior, especially suicide, in adults in association with SSRIs.

Evidence from many sources confirms that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) commonly cause or ex- acerbate a wide range of abnormal mental and behavioral conditions. These adverse drug reactions include the following overlapping clinical phenomena: a stimulant profile that ranges from mild agitation to manic psychoses, agitated depression, obsessive preoccupations that are alien or uncharacteristic of the individual, and akathisia. Each of these reactions can worsen the individual’s mental condition and can result in suicidality, violence, and other forms of extreme abnormal behavior. Ev- idence for these reactions is found in clinical reports, controlled clinical trials, and epidemiological studies in children and adults. Recognition of these adverse drug reactions and withdrawal from the offending drugs can prevent misdiagnosis and the worsening of potentially severe iatrogenic disorders. These findings also have forensic application in criminal, malpractice, and product liability cases.

Recent United States Food and Drug Administration-mandated class warnings

concerning the increased risk of suicidality in children treated with antidepressants.

have drawn a great deal of attention. More recently, the FDA has announced that it is investigating growing concerns about antidepressant-induced suicidality in adults. Almost no attention has been given to a far broader concern within rhe FDA about the “activating” effects of these medications in children and adults. On

March 22, 2004 the FDA issued a Public Health Advisory in regard to children and adults in which :

The agency is also advising that these patients be observed for certain behaviors that are known to be associated with these drugs, such as, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, impulsivity, akathisia (severe restlessness), hypoma- nia, and mania. (emphases addedY

Drug regulatory agencies in the United States (FDA), Canada (Health Canada) and Great Britain (MHRA) have significantly upgraded their warnings concerning antidepressant-induced suicidality in children. Furthermore, the U.S. and Canada have confirmed an antidepressant-induced stimulant or ac- tivation cluster of adverse events in children and adults that includes hostility and aggression. Although most attention has been given to warnings about drug-induced suicidality, more emphasis needs to be placed upon U.S. and Canadian warnings about the potential production of stimulation and mania with hostility and aggression. This report examines these recent regulatory events and related research. It also updates the author’s most recent review of antidepressant-induced behavioral and mental abnormali- ties [6].

The SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) have been the major focus of attention by the reg- ulatory agencies. With some exceptions in regard to the severity or frequency of adverse reactions, the SSRIs can be treated as one group in regard to their profile of adverse drug reactions2. The SSRIs include fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), citalopram (Celexa) and escilalopram (Lexapro). In recent reports issued by the FDA [14] four other potentially stimulating antidepressants were found to produce similar adverse behavioral and mental effects and were included in the group: venlafaxine (Effexor), mirtazapine (Remeron), Wellbutrin or Zyban (bupropion) and nefa- zodone (Serzone).

Why do so many individuals persist in taking psychoactive substances, including psychiatric drugs, after adverse mental and behavioral effects have become severe and even disabling? The author has previously proposed the brain-disabling principle of psychiatric treatment that all somatic psychiatric treatments impair the function of the brain and mind. Intoxication anosognosia (medication spellbinding) is an expression of this druginduced mental disability. Intoxication anosognosia causes the victim to underestimate the degree of drug-induced mental impairment, to deny the harmful role that the drug plays in the person’s altered state, and in many cases compel the individual to mistakenly believe that he or she is functioning better. In the extreme, the individual displays out-of-character compulsively destructive behaviors, including violence toward self and others.

The newer antidepressants frequently cause suicide, violence, and manic-like symptoms of activation or overstimulation, presenting serious hazards to active-duty soldiers who carry weapons under stressful conditions. These antidepressant-induced symptoms of activation can mimic posttraumatic stress disorder and are likely to worsen this common disorder in soldiers, increasing the hazard when they are prescribed to military personnel. Antidepressants should not be prescribed to soldiers during or after deployment.

Understanding the hazards associated with long-term exposure to psychiatric drugs is very important but rarely emphasized in the scientific literature and clinical practice. Drawing on the scientific literature and clinical experience, the author describes the syndrome of Chronic Brain Impairment (CBM) which can be caused by any trauma to the brain including Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and long-term exposure to psychiatric medications. Knowledge of the syndrome should enable clinicians to more easily identify long-term adverse effects caused by psychiatric drugs while enabling researchers to approach the problem with a more comprehensive understanding of the common elements of brain injury as they are manifested after long-term exposure to psychiatric medications.

DR PETER BREGGIN MD PSYCHIATRIST.

n the early 1990s Dr. Breggin was appointed and approved by the court as the single scientific expert for more than 100 combined Prozac product liability concerning violence, suicide and other behavioral aberrations caused by the antidepressant. In 2001-2002, he participated as a medical expert in a California lawsuit whose resolution was associated with a new label warning for Paxil concerning withdrawal effects.

Recently Dr. Breggin was the medical expert in the first psychosurgery malpractice suit and also the first ECT malpractice suit ever won in court. He has been a medical expert in many courtroom victories for individuals injured by medications, including numerous cases of tardive dyskinesia caused by neuroleptic drugs.

Dr. Breggin has also been a consultant to the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) on the adverse effects of psychiatric drugs on pilots.

Peter R. Breggin M.D. conducts a private practice of psychiatry in Ithaca , New York , where he treats adults, couples, and families with children. He also does consultations in the field of clinical psychopharmacology and often acts as a medical expert in criminal, malpractice and product liability suits. Before moving to Ithaca in November 2002 he was in practice for nearly thirty-five years in Washington , DC and Bethesda , Maryland . He has written dozens of scientific articles and many professional books, including Medication Madness: The Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide and Crime (2008), and is on the editorial board of several journals.

In 2010 Dr. Breggin and his wife Ginger formed a new organization that continues their emphasis on bringing professional and laypersons together to share their concerns about the hazards of contemporary biological psychiatry while promoting more caring and empathic approaches to personal conflict and suffering. The new organization will sponsor an annual meeting each April in Syracuse, New York (empathictherapy.org).

Many of Dr. Breggin’s accomplishments as a reformer are documented in detail in The Conscience of Psychiatry: The Reform Work of Peter R. Breggin, M.D. (2009). This biographical tribute to Dr. Breggin’s work draws on more than half-a-century of media and more than 70 special contributions from his colleagues, as well as many other sources.

Dr. Breggin’s background includes Harvard College, Case Western Reserve Medical School, a one-year internship and a three-year residency in psychiatry, including a teaching fellowship at Harvard Medical School. After his training, he accepted a two-year staff appointment at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). He has taught at several universities, including a faculty appointment to the Johns Hopkins University Department of Counseling and an appointment as Visiting Scholar at SUNY Oswego in the Department of Counseling and Psychological Services in 2007-2008. He now teaches as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Counseling and Psychological Services at SUNY Oswego.

Articles are not to be taken as a substitute for professional advice or counseling.