Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Inquiry invites your views as concern about psychiatric and physical harm from acne drug isotretinoin / Ro - Accutane / Reticutan / Rizuderm

 Isotretinoin / Roaccutane / Reticutan / Rizuderm / Accutane 

Please submit your views for an Expert Review of your experience or your relative or friend's as to the safety or otherwise of this acne medication. 

Closing date for submission extend to 16th February 2021 

UK and non UK submissions welcome

Concerns about suicide, depression and physical harm linked to using this acne medication are worldwide. 

EU ADR database records psychiatric Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) 30,295 with reported cases of completed suicide by people using the acne drug 440 by 01/02/21

The original manufacturer Roche withdrew the drug from the US market following extensive amount of litigation. The US litigation was also about the drug causing Inflammatory Bowel Disease such as Ulcerative Colitis.

Only licensed for for severe acne, yet has been given to people with mild acne. One young medical student with a few spots on his back died by suicide - you can hear his father's account here: 

 Roaccutane / isotretinoin and generic versions can cause serious adverse reactions for some people . 

Please submit your views for the Expert Review due to concerns about suicide, depression and physical harm linked to usage - date has been extended until February 16 2021.

Worldwide - not just the UK - so please if you have any views, if you or a family member has concerns about adverse effects you may not expect, such as on libido or mood changes  or  if you were bereaved suddenly and the victim was using or had stopped using the acne drug, please access via the link below and submit your views by Feb 16 2021 

Monday, 29 June 2020

Benzo Belle is about preventing Harm from Medicines by Calista Cazuko

Calista Cazuko is a remarkable young and lovely singer songwriter. 
Her first meeting with me (Millie) was when I was thinking of having piano lessons and
we both lived near a piano shop.

So from music we got on to the subject of medicines, in particular Dianette.
Hear what Calista says about the years (contrary to the licensing) she took this acne drug as a contraceptive pill.

The blog post is so delightful to listen to and has some very good advice both from Calista and from her 
guest Melanie Davis. Melanie use to work with MIND and she talks about her project to help people with their benzodiazepine issues, either to reduce or withdraw. 

Many support activities involving music were set up for the victims of Benzo addiction. Many were unaware the drugs cause dependence.

So please listen to the latest blog  "Benzo Belle"and there are links on the page too. This is part of the Empress Diaries project.

Analysis of FDA Antidepressant suicide risk in RCTrials

New Generation_Antidepressants_and_Suicide_Risk_in_Randomized_Controlled_Trials_A_Re-Analysis_of_the_FDA_Databaseer-

The full paper is available from the link

Or google as it is freely available.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Antidepressants withdrawal effects


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: (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.

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

Friday, 19 January 2018

Regulation of medicines safety

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

Please also sign up to receive notification of new blog posts, you will not be inundated with
emails from us. We do not share this information with any other organisation.