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Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Antidepressants withdrawal effects


AVOIDABLE DEATHS DUE TO MEDICINES ADVERSE SIDE-EFFECTS AND WITHDRAWAL REACTIONS.

May 2019

 The UK Royal College of Psychiatrists have finally agreed, after years of denial.
Withdrawal from antidepressants and benzodiazepine drugs at last being recognised as sometimes causing serious adverse effects  harming many people.

National clinical guidelines are currently being updated.

Wendy Burn, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said she wanted to see the guidelines "more in keeping with what we're hearing from some patients - and GPs - about the range of experiences of coming off antidepressants".

The number of prescriptions for antidepressants in the UK nearly doubled between 2007 and 2017, from around 40 million to more than 82 million, a report by the College shows.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists now accepts that it has not paid enough attention to patients suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms when coming off antidepressants.

The new stance by the Royal College follows a Lancet Psychiatry paper co-authored by David Taylor, the director of pharmacy and pathology at the Maudsley Hospital in London, who has himself experienced withdrawal, describing it in a recent New Yorker article as a “strange and frightening and torturous” experience that lasted six weeks. “Although the withdrawal syndrome can be differentiated from recurrence of the underlying disorder, it might also be mistaken for recurrence, leading to long-term unnecessary medication,” reads the paper.

 Despite current guidelines recommending a taper of two to four weeks, “tapers over a period of months and down to doses much lower than minimum therapeutic doses have shown greater success in reducing withdrawal symptoms”.

Back in 2014 APRIL_charity was contacted by a desperate relative, trying to convince the psychiatrists it was withdrawal causing the problems. The psychiatrists only wanted to prescribe more and more medication.
They told us:
“I was saying that it was a result of withdrawal in the end it slightly registered but they will only treat on the basis of diagnosis and relapse and it's always more medication. I think you're right it is the way they are trained. You're website is really helpful and a gem to find when such information is so valuable and rare. Thanks once again for taking the time out of your busy day and I will continue to visit your site and support where I can.”



In 2018 the headline in the British Medical Journal was:

Government must investigate rising excess deaths in England and Wales, experts warn

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k2127 (Published 11 May 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2127
Research experts have urged the government and MPs to investigate rising numbers of deaths in England and Wales, after new figures showed over 20 000 “excess deaths” so far in 2018.
Earlier this year an analysis of the Office for National Statistics’ data on weekly provisional deaths in England and Wales, published in The BMJ,1 found that by week seven of 2018 (ending 16 February) 10 000 more people had died than the average from the past five years.

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Doctors in the dark about how medicines work

Do Doctors have to prove they know how drugs work and can recognise Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs)  before - or even after they qualify?

The newly established Prescribing Safetly Assessment has been available for medical students across the UK only for the past 3 years.
https://www.medschools.ac.uk/our-work/assessment/prescribing-safety-assessment

This is a step forward and follows the campaign 19 years ago, we participated in to persuade the General Medical Council (GMC) to re- introduce Clinical Pharmacology into the medical schools curriculum for medical education, as in the GMC guidline manual called ' Tomorrow's Doctors'.

The subject of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics had been withdrawn as an essential subject for medical students in the early 90's due to the GMC preferring 'Integrated Medicine'. As one Medical Consultant friend said to me " They will learn as the coffins are driven past the surgery windows!".

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Many U.S. adults take medicines that can cause depression


Many U.S. adults take medicines that can cause depression

Details of study in Journal of American Medical Association June 2018 repeats what we at APRIL have been warning for the past 20 years.

The researchers, from the University of Illinois at Chicago, looked at how more than 26,000 people from 2005 to 2014 used medications.

They found one third of Americans at risk of  depression as a potential adverse effect.  The medicines include those for acid reflux, birth control, allergies, high blood pressure, and we know of course drugs for acne and anti-malarial are also high risk for possibly causing depression and suicidal thoughts and actions..

The news of this study spread through the world but for some reason not picked up in the UK as far as we know.  There is a video of interview with a doctor on ABC news

https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Wellness/american-adults-prescription-drugs-depression-study/story?id=55846725

Friday, 19 January 2018

Regulation of medicines safety

An excellent talk by Professor John Abraham is well worth listening to

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qBd4KRbXNc

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Monday, 23 October 2017

Keep your own medical records


NHS boss reveals loss of further 162 000 pieces of medical correspondence


BMJ 2017; 359 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j4822 (Published 17 October 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j4822

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1.                         Gareth Iacobucci

1.The BMJ

The loss of more than 700 000 items of NHS clinical correspondence, reported earlier this year, has been compounded after officials admitted that a further 162 000 patient files went missing over five years.
The scandal first emerged in March 2016, when it was discovered that hundreds of thousands of files, including test results and diagnoses, were misplaced between 2011 and 2016 before they were delivered to hospitals and GPs in England by NHS Shared Business Services, an agency co-owned by the Department of Health and the IT company Sopra Steria. In June this year a National Audit Office inquiry identified around 1700 cases where patients could have been harmed as a result

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

APRIL charity web site now back on line at www.april.org.uk


APRIL - Adverse Psychiatric Reactions Information Link


Our web site is back on line now click here to access  www.april.org.uk for information about many medicines linked to neuro-psychiatric adverse reactions, support groups, articles, videos of doctor's advice, personal experiences and much more.

If you previously found the url www.april.org.uk redirected you to this blog site, that was just during the time the new web site was being created. You may need to 'clear Internet History' to access the new web site.

Please continue reviewing this APRIL charity blog from time to time for updates on latest research or news by inserting https://aprilcharity.blogspot.co.uk into the url box.

Our new web site at www.april.org.uk will continue being updated with content, so please refer back on a regular basis for added content. 

Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) and withdrawal effects changing mood and behaviour, need to be studied and understood.

We hope the information will be valuable for doctors and prescribers and those of us who rely on them to stay well.

Informed choice is the key, as awareness saves lives.

 How many more stories like the Sodium Valproate tragedy, of harm from medicines, will we have to hear before the medical profession have the kind of education we believe they are deprived of? Not only were women not informed, some prescribers played down the risks. 

We all have a right to know about even so called rare adverse drug reactions (ADRs) . Who knows how rare, when less than 10% of serious ADRs are reported? (MHRA statistic)

The warnings are often overlooked by prescribers and informed choice denied to patients. The voices of those who suffer, or are bereaved, often fall on deaf ears.

       APRIL,  the charity that believes Awareness Saves Lives

posted by Millie Kieve
www.april.org.ukwww.april.org.uk

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Please donate to APRIL the charity acting on behalf of victims of adverse drug reactions



Please donate to help APRIL as we rely on supporters, friends and family
to continue our efforts to improve patient safety.   http://www.charitychoice.co.uk/april