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Great book-loaded with info, Jan 17 2002
People taking these drugs need to be aware of the serious long term side effects of SSRIs. SSRIs have never been tested for safety long-term. Thats not good because many people are taking them long term-for years, that is.
The side effects that Dr Glenmullen has observed include Parkinsonism (e.g. facial tics), which indicates damage to the brains dopamine system. Facial tics may sound like a mild side effect, but they are an indication of possibly serious brain damage that may result in parkinsons disease later in life. In this way, SSRIs are similar to antidepressants used in the 1960s, which also cause tics, and were later found to cause brain damage.
Other side effects noted by Glenmullen are agitation, suicidal ideation, sexual dysfunction, dependence, and withdrawal. Some withdrawal symptoms he observed were so severe as to be debilitating for several months.
Depressed people should be aware that natural alternatives (no, I am not talking about St John Wort) exist and have been demonstrated in placebo controlled trials. 5-HTP, for instance has been favorably compared to SSRIs with greatly reduced side effects. Other nutraceuticals useful for depression include fish oils, B vitamins, and ginko biloba. Depressed people should also be aware that food allergies can cause depression (sometimes severe depression) in some people. For more info on this stuff, see Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine by Murray/Pizzorno.
Glenmullen also does a good job of ripping apart pharmaecutical industry lies and manipulations: how they currupt science with influence in research centers, how they pay off litigants so that they can say to the public they have never lost a court case over SSRI-triggered murder, and how they got prozac approved with inadequate research. Oh yeah, and how the FDA helps them every step of the way.
For those who doubt the link between SSRIs and violence/aggressive behavior, consider the following:
An interesting footnote to the phenomenon of SSRI-induced violence is how antidepressants are initially screened. Researchers cant give untested compounds to humans, and they cannot ask animals if they are depressed. So how do they select promising antidepressant drug candidates? What they do is give the drug to monkeys and look for an INCREASE in dominating/aggressive behavior by observing their behavior closely. For example, they will look for increased domination over an introduced monkey in a cage having several drugged monkeys. So, according to pharmaceutical companies (e.g. Eli Lilly) who strongly deny ANY link between SSRIs and violence, the logic here is thus: in primates, aggressive behavior is caused by antidepressants and this link is so strong it can be used for drug discovery, but in humans aggressive behavior is absolutely not caused by the same compounds. I dont find this logical at all, of course. It is, I believe, a big lie (wouldnt be new thing for pharmaceutical companies)...