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Paxil possible trigger in violent attack

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:

The Child is not a Monster, Drugging the Child is a Monstrosity

Make no mistake, those who take these drugs, and their children who take
them, are being transformed. I have heard just this story over and
over, there can be no doubt. For Rod Matthews, who had violent
hallucinations, was fearful of them, and told adults about them before
bludgeoning a child to death, Ritalin was the transforming drug. There
is no telling what they do to the brain, there is no telling what
thoughts and behaviors they will induce; we have only psychiatry, with
Pharma pulling the strings, to believe, and they they always say we have
a "chemical imbalance," we need the "chemical balancer," it is always
"safe and non-addictive," besides if you don't take it...give it to your
child, "we'll get a court order and inject you."

Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD 7/22/02] wrote:

> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Subject:
> Paxil possible trigger in violent attack
> From:
> Graeme Bacque 
> Date:
> Mon, 22 Jul 2002 07:03:04 -0400
> To:
> 'My son is not a monster'
> A young man goes on a bloody rampage - is there a connection to a drug he
> was taking?
> By Doug Beazley -- Edmonton Sun
> About a month ago, Kenny came home. This was after the prescriptions, the
> therapy, the psych report, the nightmares and crying jags. On the mend,
> more or less, and ready to leave the safe confines of Alberta Hospital 
> and
> be reunited with his family - for weekends, at least.  But it's still
> there, all of it, in the back of his head. The blood and the 
> screaming, his
> hand on the knife, running, squatting in the bushes in the darkness. 
> He'll
> hear music he knows, or pass by a place he's been before, and remember 
> the
> friends he tried to kill.  "He's doing better. He sleeps," said Kenny's
> mother. "We know it wasn't him that was responsible - I know it's the 
> thing
> families always say after something like this happens. He didn't know
> himself at first, whether it was something inside him he didn't know he
> had, which made him do what he did. He'd ask me, 'Mom, how could I do
> that?' And I'd keep telling him, `It wasn't you.'
> "Because if it was, what would that make him? A monster? My son is not a
> monster."
> 'Kenny' isn't the boy's real name, but everything else in this story is
> told just as it happened.  First, a little background. Kenny was a shy,
> troubled 16-year-old with a history of depression. He had no reported 
> violent
> tendencies, no dissociative episodes, no sleepwalking. About six 
> months before
> the night in question, he saw a doctor to treat the depression; he was 
> put on Paxil,
> a prescription antidepressant, 20 mg daily dose.
> In June 2001, Kenny tried to slash his wrists. The dosage was upped 
> from 20
> to 30, and then to 40 mg after he was released from hospital. During this
> period, according to his mom, Kenny started having "strange" thoughts -
> violent ones.  "He'd think about hurting people, thoughts he'd never had
> before," she said. "He knew this little boy, maybe 12, a friend of a
> friend. (Kenny) remembers wanting to beat him up, for no reason. This was
> after they increased his dose."
> Leeanne Wampler, 17, was Kenny's best friend, an artistic type like
> himself. They hung out together almost constantly. During the early 
> summer
> of 2001, Kenny was staying at Leeanne's house with her mother Deb and her
> little sister Maddie, 12.  The night of July 31, Kenny and the Wamplers
> were camped out on the family couch, near Borden Park, watching TV. Kenny
> had consumed some marijuana and a little alcohol. Maddie went down to the
> basement to play Nintendo. Moments later, Kenny rose and went into the
> kitchen, then followed Maddie downstairs. The screaming started seconds
> later. Deb raced downstairs to find Kenny crouched over her young 
> daughter,
> pinning down the terrified girl as he raised a 20-cm butcher knife in one
> blood-grimed hand.  Mother and attacker flew at each other. They 
> grappled,
> slipping and stumbling on the bloody floor, while Kenny shifted the knife
> and started plunging it underhand into the woman's abdomen.
> Deb felt something hot burst in her midsection and collapsed next to the
> phone. While she called 911, Kenny moved up the stairs to start cutting
> into Leeanne.  "Stop it! Stop it! Please stop!" - Deb Wampler on the 911
> tape - "Oh my God, he's stabbing us ... my daughter ..."  The ambulance
> made it in time, the Wamplers lived. Kenny's court-ordered psychological
> assessment, which found no provocation for the assault, concluded that
> Kenny was schizophrenic and that the "rapidly increased dose in
> antidepressant may have contributed to the acute psychotic break ..." 
> that
> caused the attack.
> After Kenny turned himself in to Edmonton cops a few hours after the
> attack, he baffled the investigating officer with his utter lack of
> emotion, his inability to offer any explanation - even an irrational 
> one -
> for his actions.  "Police know all the motives for trying to kill 
> someone.
> Money, sex, jealousy," said Det. Mark Anstey. "Here, there was 
> nothing. He
> just ... did it. I'd never seen anything like it."
> A devoted father and grandfather
> But the cops in Gillette, Wyoming, have seen something a lot like it.
> Gillette is where Donald Schell, 60, shot and killed his wife, their
> daughter and granddaughter, and finally himself on Feb. 13, 1998.  Schell
> also had a history of depression; he'd been on several different drugs 
> for
> the condition. He had no obvious marital problems, was reportedly devoted
> to his daughter and granddaughter. When he died, he'd been taking 
> Paxil for
> just two days.  On June 7, 2001, Schell's relatives won a 
> precedent-setting
> $6.4-million settlement against Paxil's manufacturer, Smith-KlineBeecham
> (now GlaxoSmithKline PLC).  The jury found that Paxil - the eighth
> most-prescribed medication in Canada as of last year - could, in rare
> cases, cause someone to become suicidal or violent. It also found the
> pillmaker 80% responsible for the deaths.
> As a direct result of the Schell case, the Wamplers are now pursuing a
> lawsuit against GlaxoSmith-Kline, using the same Texas law firm that
> represented Schell's survivors.
> The star witness for the plaintiffs was Dr. David Healy, author of The
> Antidepressant Era - a history of psychiatric drug therapy - and director
> of the department of psychiatric medicine at the University of Wales
> College of Medicine.
> GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) abandoned an appeal and settled with the plaintiffs
> for an undisclosed sum - meaning, said Healy, that most of the data he
> cited during the case to prove Paxil's side-effects has been sealed from
> public view.  "The company, rather naively, was very keen to get all of
> this stuff back," said Healy, referring to secret GSK documents used 
> in the
> Schell case listing the results of Paxil tests on more than 2,000 healthy
> volunteers. Healy said those tests showed the drug caused symptoms 
> ranging
> from insomnia to anxiety to attempted suicide for some test subjects.
> Healy himself conducted several clinical trials for GSK, two of them on
> paroxetine, the chemical word for Paxil. And while Healy uses drugs like
> Paxil in his own practice, he said he thinks it's time for the 
> manufacturer
> to pointedly warn prescribing physicians the drug can cause heightened
> states of agitation in some users - states he claims can lead to acts of
> self-destruction or violence.  "I believe that if Mr. Schell didn't have
> the Paxil that he had been given, that he would be alive today and so 
> would
> his family," Healy told the court during the Schell case.
> The question of warning doctors about Paxil's side-effects was a key 
> point
> in the Schell case. The Paxil product monograph, revised last April, says
> the drug is not recommended for patients "hypersensitive" to it, and
> suggests a link between the drug and "manic" reactions among depressed
> patients.
> Drugs affect chemicals in the brain
> The monograph mentions a suicide risk only in connection with cases of
> depression, not in connection with Paxil treatment itself. It also
> recommends against prescribing Paxil to anyone under age 18, adding that
> the "safety and efficacy" of Paxil on under-18s hasn't been established.
> Paxil is part of a family of prescription drugs - which includes Zoloft,
> Luvox and Prozac - called 'selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors', or
> SSRIs. They work by preventing neurons from reabsorbing serotonin, a
> chemical the brain makes that controls mood, among other things.  Healy
> said his review of GSK documents indicates the company's own research 
> found
> the drug made some of the subjects - as many as one in four - extremely
> agitated.  This heightened agitation, he suggested to the court, is
> "exactly the kind of condition that will lead to violent, suicidal and
> homicidal behaviour."  "There is a vast amount of inconvenient data 
> that is
> unpublished," Healy told the court.
> He also noted that while several cases involving Paxil have achieved
> prominence, his research work with Zoloft, manufactured by drug giant
> Pfizer, found familiar results: two of the healthy volunteers for that 
> drug
> trial became "very, very suicidal" as a result.  "The problem with the 
> group of drugs is that they can cause some people to become agitated ...
> mental turmoil," Healy told the court. "The range of side-effects from
> Paxil is the same as the range of side-effects from Prozac (and from)
> Zoloft and the other SSRIs.  "I am not a psychotherapist hostile to drug
> treatment. I use SSRI antidepressants to treat people who are 
> depressed. I
> believe in order to treat people properly, I need to let them know about
> the hazards of these drugs as well as the good points."
> GSK's lawyer in the Schell case pointed out, correctly, that the research
> hasn't proven that Paxil promotes suicide or violent aggression.  He also
> hammered home the point that Schell was already clinically depressed when
> he started taking the drug, and argued that the medication hadn't had 
> time
> to take effect when he opted to kill his family and himself.  "The real
> tragedy is Paxil didn't have a chance to do its job and save lives," said
> lawyer Charles Preuss. "Paxil could have saved four lives in Gillette."
> In a statement issued to The Edmonton Sun last week, GSK said that Paxil
> "is a highly-effective treatment with a well-established safety profile,
> that has helped tens of millions of patients around the world lead 
> fuller,
> happier, more productive lives."  GSK also dismisses a secondary claim
> being made in several other pending lawsuits against the company - that
> patients who stop taking Paxil all at once suffer severe withdrawal
> symptoms.  "There is no valid scientific evidence that any SSRIs, 
> including
> Paxil, lead to addiction," said the GSK statement.
> There's a whole lot at stake here. Worldwide sales of Paxil were worth an
> estimated $4.5 billion Cdn last year. Beyond the effect that negative
> publicity might have on sales, there's the fact that, already, 
> hundreds of
> potential plaintiffs have come forward to a handful of U.S. and Canadian
> law firms to launch suits of their own.
> The damage to GSK, and to other SSRI manufacturers, could be in the 
> tens of
> millions of dollars - or beyond.  "My office has been contacted by over
> 4,000 people on this," said Karen Barth, a Los Angeles lawyer whose 
> firm is
> handling a large number of SSRI-related lawsuits.  "More than 700 people
> have retained us on Paxil alone. And we're working with other lawyers who
> have hundreds of clients of their own. The Schell case opened a whole lot
> of doors for a lot of people."
> Comments? Write me at 

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