August 29, 2019 at 8:12 am

Antidepressant Withdrawal Is Increasingly Acknowledged

The Cambridge journal Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences recently published paper, “Antidepressant Withdrawal—The Tide Is Turning,” states the medical field was slow to recognize antidepressant withdrawal is a full-blown medical disorder.
SSRI antidepressants instead demonstrate “remarkably high rates of withdrawal reactions … shortly after discontinuation.”
Adverse effects include: “anxiety, irritability, agitation, dysphoria, insomnia, fatigue, tremor, sweating, shock-like sensations (‘brain zaps’), paresthesia (‘pins and needles’), vertigo, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, confusion and decreased concentration.”
To read the full article, click here.


August 27, 2019 at 10:17 am

New Drug Promotion & Financial Conflicts of Interests

Three “leading depression experts” promote a new drug but fail to publicize their financial conflicts of interests with the company that makes this product and funded related research.
“Studies show that when research is funded by drug makers, it is significantly more likely to reach positive conclusions about effectiveness and safety of the funders’ drugs.”
“The need for transparency is paramount when the drug involved may cause serious side-effects and potential addiction.”
Read the full article here.
August 24, 2019 at 10:03 am

Dementia As an Adverse Drug Effect

Older patients treated with cocktails of drugs for various conditions may be at increased risk for dementia an adverse drug effect caused by “blocking the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Antidepressants also share this mechanism of action. Such a massive blockade of acetylcholine could have an impact on the brain as regards cognition, memory and learning.”
To read the full article, click here.
August 17, 2019 at 3:10 pm

SSRIs and Sexual Adverse Effects

“My sex drive is non-existent and reaching orgasm is impossible,” says one man who has taken SSRIs for years.  Read the full article here.



August 15, 2019 at 2:22 pm

MISSD Releases Third Podcast in Akathisia Series

MISSD continues its Akathisia Stories series in this new podcast with Kristina Kaiser Gehrki. Kristina discusses the adverse drug effects experienced by her daughter, Natalie, who died at age 19 two days after taking 200mg of Zoloft as directed by a doctor who prescribed the dose by telephone without seeing Natalie.
“Before my daughter was ever conceived in 1993, the drug companies that made this product knew that it caused akathisia and they knew that akathisia caused unwanted death,” said Kristina.
Listen here or read the transcript here.
August 13, 2019 at 5:09 pm

Deadly “Side Effects” Don’t Discriminate Based on Age

The FDA carries a Black Box warning on all SSRIs stating these drugs can cause suicidal thoughts and actions. The warning is for consumers age 25 and under. But akathisia doesn’t discriminate based on age–and many sufferers are well over age 25.
“It wasn’t the Joe I knew,” says Janet Schiel, whose husband, Joe, died an akathisia-induced death. “Just all of a sudden, he was a different person.” Almost immediately after Joe began taking the medication, Janet noticed that her husband became paranoid and restless.
Wendy Dolin recalls her husband, Stewart’s, odd behavior that began after he took Paxil. “He was pacing, teary-eyed, always tapping his leg,” she says. “He said, ‘I don’t get it. I feel so anxious.’”
Dolin’s lawsuit against GSK, makers of Paxil, revealed that GSK’s clinical trials showed those who took Paxil  were 6.7 times more likely to attempt suicide than those who took a placebo.
Read the full article here.
August 12, 2019 at 3:09 pm

Suicide and Drugs Marketed as Antidepressants

Sarah bravely shares her late brother’s akathisia-induced death so that others might be better informed regarding adverse drug effects. MISSD appreciates Sarah’s insightful guest post.

If you’d like to submit a guest post to MISSD, please contact

I celebrated my 47th birthday in May. It was my first birthday without my brother. Last year I had a brother, Jon, who was a successful lawyer, a fantastic father and uncle, a cherished son and one of the closest people in my world. Jon and I got on incredibly well. He was intensely clever and I had basked in his reflected glory throughout my life. He was hilarious and brilliant at times – and occasionally demanding too – but unfortunately, despite everything he was and had achieved, he battled with depression, something I realised the full extent of all too late.

Not long before his death, he had been promoted to the most senior job role of Managing Partner at his global law firm. Yet he had also decided to return to London within the year as he was missing his children terribly and was feeling increasingly alienated in Hong Kong.

Growing up, I was always the one who suffered with depression although Jon had a couple of periods at different times in his life. He knew I had taken antidepressants at times in my life and had always tried to persuade me to cease them. Jon, in contrast, had always tried to alter his own mood using alternative methods, whether that be acupuncture, therapy, or veganism.

On August 29th, 2018, my brother felt he could no longer cope with the pressures of life. Feeling overwhelmed by imagined money issues and his imminent divorce, he went to see a GP in Hong Kong. The doctor told my brother that he thought he was depressed and gave him citalopram, an antidepressant. My brother didn’t really want to take it and go down ‘that road,’ but we agreed that it may just get him through this bad patch. He started taking citalopram on Thursday (30th August). On Friday he called me in a very anxious, uncharacteristic state: paranoid and extremely worried about many things. I tried to reassure him, but I was becoming very concerned myself as this was not Jon’s normal behaviour.

On Saturday Jon started to say disturbing things – for example, he told our father, a brilliant pianist even at 85 years old, to carry on playing the piano and to look after our mother. He talked for a long time to me about mistakes he had made in his life and how he wished that he had left Hong Kong sooner. As well as these regretful comments he worried over imagined things and became increasingly paranoid. He paced. He could not eat.

I called and texted the GP and the psychiatrist in Hong Kong urging them to review the drugs. They agreed that my brother had taken a turn for the worse and so they gave him more and different drugs. On Sunday I booked flights to Hong Kong to rescue my brother. My oldest boy was starting secondary school on Monday so we decided to fly on Tuesday, 4th September. This detail returns to haunt me every day, as I keep asking myself: ‘what if I had flown on Monday?’ I sent my brother a photograph of my son looking so handsome and proud in his new uniform: I was trying, constantly, to keep Jon’s spirits up until I could reach him. Jon replied and said he was a great boy.

What we didn’t realise was that Jon had akathisia and was experiencing psychosis. We (my partner Kyri and I) boarded a flight at Heathrow on Tuesday night feeling happy that we were going to get Jon and bring him home.  One hour before we landed in Hong Kong, however, I had a video call from my brother’s maid, Barbara, screaming hysterically. My brother and she had been waiting for a taxi to take them to the psychiatrist’s, when Jon said he had forgotten something. He then ran and jumped from the roof of his building. Barbara had tried to stop him but could not.

The next thirty minutes I spent texting Barbara, Jon’s friend and the doctor to hear if my brother was still alive. They replied by saying they wanted to help me and asked me to come to the clinic. Jon had died on impact.

We left Hong Kong within 24 hours of arriving, deeply shocked and in an utter daze. My brother’s law firm upgraded us to business class upon our return to London, recognizing we could not have comfortably sat near others.

This time last year on my birthday, I was in Majorca with my brother, his children, my children, and our parents. We had just completed ‘the challenge’ – a hair-raising obstacle course involving jumping off cliffs and swimming through caves. Grief of this kind is unlike anything I have ever experienced. It has been long, intense and at times unbearable. Eleven months later, life is still hard but I am stronger. I have fallen apart and am gradually building myself up again for all those who remain in my life.

My message is this: don’t automatically assume that antidepressants will help you. Be aware that some people cannot synthesise them, so they are actually poisoned by their medication and may develop prescription-drug-induced psychosis which can cause suicidal thoughts. This can happen to anyone of any age. Akathisia is an adverse drug effect that is sometimes misdiagnosed as a symptom of an underlying mental health problem. If you or anyone you know are considering taking antidepressants, I direct you to to learn more about the possible effects.

I am not saying that antidepressants don’t help some people. They do – including myself, ironically. But I am saying that it is essential to make sure you know the warning signs if something is wrong – a knowledge that, sadly, the doctors did not display with my brother.

My brother was indeed depressed, but I believe that what happened to him was a tragic accident, not a suicide. Jon was hallucinating. He was psychotic within hours of starting the medication, and it was a reaction completely beyond his control.

Be in peace my J.

August 12, 2019 at 11:21 am

Clinical Trial Design Needs Improvement

Caleb Alexander, a drug safety expert with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, questions why drug trials exclude some patients, putting actual users at an increased risk for adverse drug effects. “Excluding someone who weighs over 250 pounds?” he said. “Come on. That’s one-fifth of America.”
“More robust safety protocols are urgently needed to prevent serious patient safety events in this high-risk population,” concluded another study.
Read the full article here.
August 7, 2019 at 10:42 am

FDA States Novartis May Face Criminal Charges

Novartis pharmaceuticals knowingly used inaccurate data when applying for FDA approval of its $2.1 million gene therapy drug,” states FDA. The drug is the most expensive drug in the world, costing users $2.1 million per one-time use.
Criminal actions against the company may be taken. Read the full article here.
August 6, 2019 at 5:48 pm

Young Girl Developed Suicidality After Prescriptions

Researching the cocktails of drugs doctors prescribed to her young child, Ms. Parker discovered that one of the drugs was used as a sedative for violent inmates in Canadian prisons.
“I thought, if that’s being given to grown men in prison in Canada, why are you giving it to my child?”
Read the full article here.