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"FIDDAMAN BLOG" - 5 new articles

  1. Danilo Terrida - Zoloft Suicide
  2. The Mysterious Disappearing Facebook 'Likes'
  3. Children Facing Long-Term Health Risks!
  4. GSK Given Warning Over Baby and Infant Medicine
  5. Cymbalta - Australian Doctor's Warned
  6. More Recent Articles
  7. Search FIDDAMAN BLOG
  8. Prior Mailing Archive

Danilo Terrida - Zoloft Suicide







Danilo Terrida (20)




It's been said that writing with emotion can either a, turn you into a great writer or b, land you in hot water.

This is the story of  Danilo Marcello Terrida, a 20 year-old student from Denmark.

What you are about to read defies all belief, it's malpractice of the highest order. Its secrets and lies designed to make one pharmaceutical company rich at the expense of taking a kid in his prime, a young man that had his whole life in front of him and everything to live for.

Danilo was 5 hours away from home - he'd enrolled at the Maritime college in Frederikshavn, Denmark and on one evening in mid-October 2011 he was missing his family and friends back home in Sjælland.

Feeling low and lonely Danilo decided to visit the Emergency Medical Service in Frederikshavn for help. Once there he was given an antipsychotic and told by staff that he should go back to Maritime College and contact a General Practitioner (GP)

Danilo contacted a GP in Frederikshavn but was told that it would be best to contact his own GP in  Hellerup, some 400 km away.

What happened next really does not surprise me. It still shocks and saddens me that doctors can be so ignorant when it comes to diagnosing someone who was just feeling lonely and distant from his family.

Danilo made the call to his GP, Dr. Ole Knudsen. and, after just 8 minutes, was prescribed sertraline (Zoloft) - Remember, this was not a face-to-face consultation, this diagnosis and subsequent prescription was all done over the phone. Zoloft is manufactured and marketed by pharmaceutical giants, Pfizer.

The prescription, I presume, was faxed to Danilo who then dispensed it.

This from his parents...

"In the following 11 days, Danilo followed the doctor’s recommendations about how many pills he should take, and after seven days, he doubled his dose, as he had been told, despite the fact that research has shown how dangerous high doses of Sertraline can be to young people. Meanwhile he got worse and worse. He complained of extreme headache, could not concentrate or sleep and had nausea.

"On October 25, 11 days after Danilo had begun his recommended treatment with “happy pills”, he hanged himself from a crane on the Maritime College. Family and friends were shocked. Danilo had no history of mental illness, he had never before been on antidepressants and that he could kill himself, came as a shock to all who knew Danilo."

 So, another kid killing himself. He was depressed and that's what depressed people do, right?

His prescribing doctor, Ole Knudsen, somehow waved a magic wand, looked into his crystal ball and, after just 8 minutes, deemed that 20 year-old Danilo was in need of a box of pills to make his loneliness disappear. What kind of knucklehead thinks he has the right to prescribe a lonely 20 year-old powerful mind-altering drugs over the phone?

Hey, Knudsen, I'm talking to you!

As if losing their son wasn't bad enough, Danilo's parents then learned, six months after Danilo’s death, that Dr Ole Knudsen had been modifying and adding to Danilo’s health records.

They also learned that the Danish National Board of Health, the limp-wristed equivalent to the FDA and MHRA, had known since 2003 that sertraline increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior among children and adolescents up to 25 years of age.

After being stonewalled, down almost every avenue they have walked, Marianne and Denis Terrida, Danilo's parents, have now decided to go public and a new website has been launched that highlights the story of their son and their son's drug pusher, Ole Knudsen. (Because that's what you are, Knudsen!)

The website is in both Danish and English and shows how a doctor at the emergency medical service chose to hand over 25 grams Buronil – an antipsychotic agent also known Melperone. It is indicated for use in Treatment refractory schizophrenia and, in the UK at least, has not been granted a licence.

So, just to clear things up. Danilo was feeling lonely, he missed his family so some lunatic in a white coat decided that he needed a drug that was suitable for those with Treatment refractory schizophrenia.

It's normally prescribed to patients who cannot tolerate clozapine. So, why did Moron number one prescribe it to Danilo?

Moving on to Moron number two, Dr Ole Knudsen.

This from the Danilo website...

"In eight minutes you can boil an egg. Or run the subway from Nørreport to Flintholm. If you are a busy practitioner, you can also manage to diagnose a patient telephonically and prescribe a dangerous medicine in that time. It did not take longer for Danilo’s own general practitioner, Ole Knudsen to make the decision to prescribe antidepressants to Danilo. A medication that 11 days later would cost him his life. Eight minutes on the telephone was all Ole Knudsen needed to diagnose Danilo with depression and prescribe the antidepressant “Sertraline." Usually, it is normal professional standards for doctors to see the patient for a personal consultation at least twice before a depression diagnosis is made and treatment begins. The fact that Ole Knudsen had only spoken on the phone with Danilo one single time, is very much against the proper treatment when prescribing antidepressants."

You can see the discrepancies Danilo's parents found in Dr Ole Knudsen's notes on this page here.

Toward the end of 2013, some two years after Danilo's suicide was induced by Zoloft, Dr Ole Knudsen was criticized by the Health Authorities Disciplinary Board. They found that Knudsen's record-keeping was inept, that he hadn't given informed consent to Danilo, and never followed up (made contact with Danilo to see how he was coping on the drug)

Knudsen was further criticized by several other authorities for his role in the case, but despite this, according to his parents, he can now continue as a practitioner – without being subject to any legal or economic punishment.

The findings were never made public, they were just sent to Danilo's parents.

The story continues on the website here.

Now, please run the hot water and let me immerse myself.

Dr Ole Knudsen, you are one incompetent asshole. You hide behind the nonsense notion that a 20 year-old who is lonely must be mentally ill because you gave him a whole 8 minutes, during which time you miraculously diagnosed him and treated him with a pill to help with the diagnosis. Well, Knudsen, your diagnosis was wrong as was your treatment and no altering of medical notes can change those two simple facts.

He was just 20, Knudsen. 20 years-old and you gave him a box of pills that are known to induce suicide. Moreover, you didn't even bother to see how he was doing. Your ignorance and lack of care is staggering. Hey, don't worry about it though. Danilo was 'just one of them things that happen', right?

It couldn't have been the drug, the kid had mental health problems, right? He had a shift in the chemicals in his brain and you was only trying to correct that shift, right Knudsen?

If there were a shit list, Knudsen, you'd be sitting at number one.

My thoughts are with the Terrida family.


Bob Fiddaman.


More Info - http://daniloforlivet.dk/english/








    

The Mysterious Disappearing Facebook 'Likes'






Through fear of being labelled an 'angry smeary conspiracy theorist'... actually, that's quite a badge of honour - thank you Mr Goldacre [see Andrew Witty: The Acceptable Face of Big Pharma?] - I am quite bamboozled by recent events on this blog.

A while ago I added the Facebook widget to highlight how many times a blog post of mine had been 'liked' on the popular social network. All was going good until fairly recently.

In a nutshell, 'likes' are being wiped off and reset to zero - I have no idea why?

This guest post by Stephanie Lynch had 249 likes... days later, the 'likes' reset to zero.

The tribute I did for Sara Carlin was climbing with approx 150 likes - days later it was reset to zero.

Cher Buchannan's guest post about citalopram and birth defects reached about 300, before it was reset to zero - it's currently at 45.

Elizabeth Kenny, Caught in the System has also been rest to zero likes.

Others reset to zero

GSK Use Delay Tactics on Grieving Widow

Shane 22nd February

Very strange.

Are Facebook in allegiance with pharmaceutical companies or is it merely coincidental that glitches would appear in these 6 very popular posts? Between them they have had over 3,500 views.

Just asking.


Bob Fiddaman. - The angry smeary conspiracy theorist.













    

Children Facing Long-Term Health Risks!





Fox News investigates why children are being prescribed powerful psychiatric medicine.

Pediatric shrinks who prescribe these mind-numbing drugs should be utterly ashamed of themselves.




MyFoxAustin | KTBC | Fox 7 Austin | News Weather Sports



Why?

Here's a study I carried out myself a few years ago.


Psychiatric Medication or Play Therapy?


Psychiatric Medication or Play Therapy? For me it's a no-brainer but for millions of unsuspecting parents play therapy is just not an option. Why?

Play therapy has, over the years, steadily grown in popularity among clinicians. It has, however, not been accepted by the scientific community and, more often than not, has been criticized for a lack of evidence showing efficacy to support it's use on a bigger scale. Consequently, its not been offered to parents as an alternative to drugging their children into submission.

So, what is play therapy?


It's roots go back a long way. We've all experienced it at some point in our lives, it's just being a kid. Exploring the world, expressing yourself and interacting with other kids and adults while having fun.

Think about it for a second. What was the one thing we all craved as children at school? Double history, double maths, geography? - We all wanted to hear that bell - PLAY TIME!

Famous philosopher, Plato, once had this to say about play, "you can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.".

In the eighteenth century Genevan philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, wrote in his novel, Émile: or, On Education, how important it was to observe play as a vehicle to learn about and understand children.

Most notably it was Friedrich Fröbel, a German teacher, who laid the foundation for modern education based on the recognition that children have unique needs and capabilities who summed up the value of play by saying "Play is the highest level of child development . . . It gives . . . joy, freedom, contentment, inner and outer rest, peace with the world . . . The plays of childhood are the germinal leaves of all later life."

So, in Plato, Rousseau and Fröbel, we have a pretty clear understanding of how play therapy is an important tool in understanding children and their needs. All three are regularly quoted in today's world. Sadly their work and thoughts on how we should all treat children have been eclipsed by the heavy marketing of child disorders and psychiatric medication.

I'd like to step forward in time and offer you three key opinion leaders in the field of mental health, Moreover, I'd like to quote them.

First off, Emeritus Professor John Werry, a child psychiatrist  “as far as we know” giving SSRIs to babies would not harm them. “But one doesn't like to give growing and developing kids medications that affect basic bio-cyclic processes because it just doesn't seem like a good idea unless the kid is really in severe difficulty.” He adds, it would be rare to prescribe antidepressants before the teenage years, and that the youngest child he had prescribed one to was a boy with autism aged 8 or 9, but that was “very exceptional”.[1]

"...the ministry had no concerns about the number of children being prescribed medication for ADHD" - Dr Pat Tuohy, Chief Advisor - Child and Youth Health at Ministry of Health New Zealand [2]

Speaking on why children should be given antidepressants, Andrew Cotgrove, Clinical Director and Consultant in Adolescent Psychiatry at Pine Lodge Young People's Centre, Chester England, said, "We should not deny depressed children one of the few evidence-based available treatments"  [3]

Compare the quotes of Plato, Rousseau and Fröbel with Werry, Tuohy and Cotgrove. What can you see?

Is it just me or do the latter three appear less compelling and enduring than the former?

So, this post is about psychiatric medication vs play therapy. It's about giving an option to parents who think that medication is the only possible treatment for children with behavioural problems and/or depressive signs. It's also a post that may interest counsellors, teachers and others who often refer children to mental health services.

In 2005, The Efficacy of Play Therapy With Children: A Meta-Analytic Review of Treatment Outcomes, was published in the Professional Psychology: Research and Practice [4]

The authors used a combination of online and offline search procedures to exhaust all resources in locating both unpublished and published play therapy outcome studies. The University of North Texas was a primary offline resource, particularly for unpublished studies.

Across the 93 studies, a total of 3,248 boys and girls with diverse presenting issues participated in a play therapy intervention. The 93 studies occurred between 1953–2000.

What the authors found after analyzing the 93 studies was that "play therapy outcome studies support the efficacy of this intervention with children suffering from various emotional and behavioral difficulties."

The meta-analysis concluded the following, "This meta-analysis has significant implications for those who provide mental health services to children and families. These findings should be used to not only educate managed care companies but also to educate and work with parents, government, schools, and the medical and legal communities to provide children with the most beneficial treatments."

So, given that there is an effective non-medical treatment out there for children with diverse presenting issues, or ADHD, as psychiatry would label it, why do we constantly hear stories about children being hooked on Ritalin, killing themselves on Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa and Paxil, gaining weight on Seroquel?

It would be easy for me to suggest that it was just about the money and the way pharmaceutical companies promote their wares. It was also be way too easy for me to suggest that published papers by key opinion leaders [paid by pharmaceutical companies] influence the majority of prescribing healthcare professionals.

But perhaps there are hidden dangers with Play Therapy not reported in the literature, that stop it being the intervention of choice for medical and mental health professionals?

With this in mind I decided to contact Carol Laubscher of Integrated Learning Therapy, a New Zealand based play therapy centre. I asked her:

1. What effect does play therapy have on a child's developing brain?

2. Has any child under your care ever become addicted to play therapy?

3. Has any child during the course of receiving play therapy from you ever attempted to self-harm?

4. Has any child during the course of receiving play therapy from you ever attempted suicide?

5. Has any child during the course of receiving play therapy from you ever gained weight as a result of the therapy?


On the issue of play therapy and how it effects a child's developing brain Carol told me:

"As play therapy works to reconfigure a child's attachment model, it has a huge effect neurologically, releasing the brain from anxiety and reorganising neural pathways."

Carol answered 'no' to questions 2 - 5.

I also contacted Dr Sue Bratton, co-author of The Efficacy of Play Therapy With Children: A Meta-Analytic Review of Treatment Outcomes, and asked if any adverse events were reported in the 93 studies that were analyzed. Dr Bratton told me that there were no adverse events reported. On the issue of how child therapy effects a child's brain she told me:

"In all children, play is essential to healthy brain development (If you want details about the neuroscience of play and brain development, I can give you many good resources: Bruce Perry, MD, PhD and Stuart Brown, MD are two examples).  For children who have had early adverse and traumatic experience, the brain’s development is impacted in such a way that the child’s holistic development is thwarted. Play, in the context of relationship, is crucial to the child’s brain developing new neural pathways that promote healthy brain functioning (again, this is a very simplistic explanation, please see Perry or Bonnie Badenoch’s Brainwise Therapist (2008)."

Dr. Bratton is a professor in Counseling and Director of the Center for Play Therapy at the University of North Texas

Using play therapy in children before medication is even considered should, one would think, be top of any healthcare professional's list. Alas, the odds are stacked against children in favour of psychiatric medication. This is due to a number of factors.

Pharmaceutical companies spend billions on marketing psychiatric medication. If a specific drug is not deemed by the regulatory authorities to be safe or effective for children, pharma will then hire child psychiatrists to run clinical trials, this, to show the regulators, other healthcare professionals and media that these drugs aren't dangerous in this target population.

Front groups that purport to fly the mental health flag are, in fact, nothing more than agents, pimps for the pharmaceutical industry. Examples of these front groups can be seen in the the four articles I highlighted back in 2007 entitled, 'GlaxoSmithKline, Money Trail Down Under'. [5], [6], [7], [8]

Psychiatrists that are well respected among their peers are also targeted by the pharmaceutical industry, often paid huge sums of money to promote the use of antidepressants in children and adolescents.

A and B list celebrities must also carry the shoulder of blame. Quite often they are used as advocates for antidepressant type medications, be they famous sports personalities, Hollywood film stars or TV and radio talk show hosts. These people have huge fan bases, many of their fans hang on to every word they say. In many instances they promote psychiatric medication with financial support from the pharmaceutical industry.

Play therapists are individual practitioners. Neither they, nor their professional associations have multi-million dollar marketing arms which are able to buy doctors, celebrities or journalists to promote their product. Nor are they able to create or take-over patient advocacy groups with the sole purpose of promoting their work and building revenues.

The God factor also comes into play. If you, as a parent, do your own research on the drug your child has been prescribed and you bring your concerns to the prescribing doctor's table you will, more often than not, be dismissed as either not knowing what you are talking about or be accused of reading too many internet conspiracies.

The Play Therapists I have encountered are convinced of the benefits and importance of the work they do but not of their own omnipotence as so many psychiatrists are and are unlikely to promote themselves in quite the way psychiatrists such as Dr Beiderman do in the following famous testimony on his qualifications in a case against pharmaceutical company  Johnson & Johnson.

In a deposition between Dr. Biederman and lawyers for the states, he was asked what rank he held at Harvard. “Full professor,” he answered.

“What’s after that?” asked a lawyer, Fletch Trammell.

“God,” Dr. Biederman responded.

“Did you say God?” Mr. Trammell asked.

“Yeah,” Dr. Biederman said.

Hard to believe huh? With the modern wonders of the internet we can see Biederman in action here.



PRESS PLAY




When the competition has that much clout it's hardly surprising that play therapy, despite its proven efficacy, is rarely used by healthcare professionals.

Then there is cost and convenience. It's so much cheaper and easier for a parent to choose psychiatric medication for their child than it is to enroll them in play therapy sessions. Global governments subsidize prescription medication, this makes taking drugs even cheaper. They do not subsidise Play Therapy which makes it both relatively expensive and unavailable.

If your child is distressed, disruptive, anti-social and unhappy, as a parent you need a short term solution but also to weigh the long term risks and benefits of the available interventions.

The following chart shows the relative risk of stimulant medication such as ritalin and play therapy on longer term outcomes for kids.


Every day parents are taking that risk when they dispense their prescription at the pharmacy on behalf of their children.


If a kid is being a kid then let them continue to be a kid. Psychiatric medication as first-line treatment is absurd when the option of play therapy exists.

If further evidence were needed regarding the importance of play then The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds[10] published in the Official Journal of Pediatrics, clearly sends out a stark message, a message that is somewhat contradicted.

"Play is a cherished part of childhood that offers children important developmental benefits and parents the opportunity to fully engage with their children. However, multiple forces are interacting to effectively reduce many children’s ability to reap the benefits of play. As we strive to create the optimal developmental milieu for children, it remains imperative that play be included along with academic and social-enrichment opportunities and that safe environments be made available to all children. Additional research is needed to explore the appropriate balance of play, academic enrichment, and organized activities for children with different temperaments and social, emotional, intellectual, and environmental needs."

All seems good until you delve deeper into the published article...

"Pediatricians should refer to appropriate mental health professionals when children or their parents show signs of excessive stress, anxiety, or depression."

It's almost like an add-on, a disclaimer - such is the stranglehold psychiatry has on the modern day. Unless we recognise that Play Therapists are mental health professionals and their therapy addresses stress, anxiety and depression by nurturing rather than damaging children's growing brains.

When weighing up the benefits of psychiatric medication against the risks, one should always remember that there are many adverse reactions reported, some so severe that children have died because the prescribed medication induced their suicide...you cannot get a more adverse reaction than death.

Brain damage has also been linked to children taking these powerful drugs. In 2009,'Differential regulation of psychostimulant-induced gene expression of brain derived neurotrophic factor and the immediate-early gene Arc in the juvenile and adult brain' was published in European Journal Of Neuroscience. [11] The authors concluded:

"The psycho-stimulant drugs Methylphenidate (Ritalin) and Amphetamine are widely used in children for the treatment of ADHD, but recent data suggest that exposure to these agents in early life could be detrimental to brain development."

Ritalin is widely used in children with behavioural problems.

In another study, Stimulant Induced Psychosis, published in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Journal in 2009 [12] the authors concluded that:

"Our findings highlight potential issues in the care of children treated with stimulant medication. Throughout the United Kingdom practices differ; many localities have specialist ADHD clinics, which include Paediatric services or Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. The practice of shared care with the General Practitioner is amongst NICE recommendations. We feel it is important for all professionals involved in the use of stimulant medication to have mental health training, particularly in the careful screening and identification of psychotic symptoms which could easily be mistaken as a deterioration in the symptoms of ADHD and result in an increase in the dose of stimulant prescribed, potentially having serious implications."


Play therapy, however, report no adverse reactions.

Still not convinced yet?

Perhaps the following article will sway your opinion. It was published in the Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry journal last year. 'The Risks Associated With Stimulant Medication Use in Child and Adolescent Populations Diagnosed With Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder' [13] was written by Jeanne M. Stolzer, PhD of the University of Nebraska-Kearney.

In her summation Stolzer writes:


"ADHD-type behaviors are nothing new. They have been documented across cultures, across time, and across mammalian species (Stolzer, 2005). The fact of the matter is that children have always been fidgety, highly active, inattentive, spontaneous, and prone to engage in behaviors that exacerbate adults. What has been compendiously altered is our collective perception of what constitutes normal-range child behaviors. The simple and reductionistic medical model refuses to acknowledge bioevolutionary based traits, financial incentives to label children with ADHD, inappropriate educational systems, the influence of the pharmaceutical industry, nature deprivation, and alterations in cultural perceptions of childhood. The medical model remains adamant that ADHD behaviors are pathological and can be attributed to a chemical imbalance within the child’s brain in spite of the fact that no empirical evidence exists to substantiate this hypothesis. We have two choices. We can cling to a hypothesis which has no scientific credence, and continue to prescribe dangerous and addictive stimulant medication to millions of children who have been diagnosed with a mythical disease—or we can demand an end to this lunacy."


If, after reading all of the above evidence, you still think medicating children and adolescents is safe and effective then you'll just add to my despair - I can deal with that via some adult play... normally my guitar.

As I said in the beginning of this post, "For me it's a no-brainer."


There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.
~ Walt Streightiff


Bob Fiddaman


[1] Babies Given Antidepressants In New Zealand [Link]
[2] NZ urged to shift stress on drugs as first option [Link]
[3] To Give Or Not To Give Antidepressants To Young People [Link]
[4] The Efficacy of Play Therapy With Children: A Meta-Analytic Review of Treatment Outcomes - Sue C. Bratton, Dee Ray, Tammy Rhine, Leslie Jones - Professional Psychology: Research and Practice - 2005, Vol. 36, No. 4, 376–390
[5] GlaxoSmithKline Money Trail Down Under Part 1 [Link]
[6] GlaxoSmithKline Money Trail Down Under Part 2 [Link
[7] GlaxoSmithKline Money Trail Down Under Part 3 [Link]
[8] GlaxoSmithKline Money Trail Down Under Part 4 - Enter Dr Martin Keller [Link]
[9] Knowles v. Minister for Defence [2002] IEHC 39 (22 February 2002)
[10] PEDIATRICS Vol. 119 No. 1 January 1, 2007 pp. 182 -191 (doi: 10.1542/peds.2006-2697)
[11] Differential regulation of psychostimulant-induced gene expression of brain derived neurotrophic factor and the immediate-early gene Arc in the juvenile and adult brain - European Journal Of Neuroscience [serial online]. February 2009;29(3):465-476.
[12] Stimulant Induced Psychosis - Child and Adolescent Mental Health Volume 14, No. 1, 2009, pp. 20–23
[13] The Risks Associated With Stimulant Medication Use in Child and Adolescent Populations Diagnosed With Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder - Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, Volume 14, Number 1, 2012

CHART REFERENCES

[1] Shatha Shibib & Nevyne Chalhoub Stimulant Induced Psychosis Child and Adolescent Mental Health Volume 14, No. 1, 2009, pp. 20–23
[2] Banerjee P. Differential regulation of psychostimulant-induced gene expression of brain derived neurotrophic factor and the immediate-early gene Arc in the juvenile and adult brain. European Journal Of Neuroscience [serial online]. February 2009;29(3):465-476. 
[3] Lambert N. The Contribution of Childhood ADHD, Conduct Problems, and Stimulant Treatment to Adolescent and Adult Tobacco and Psychoactive Substance Abuse. Ethical Human Psychology & Psychiatry [serial online]. Winter2005 2005;7(3):197-221.
[4] Jeanne, M. S. (2012). The risks associated with stimulant medication use in child and adolescent populations diagnosed with attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity disorder. Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, 14(1), 5-14. 
[5] Samuels, Franco, Wan, & Sorof, 2006
[6] Gould, M., Walsh, B., Munfakh, J., Kleinman, M., Duan, N., Olfson, M., et al. (2009). Sudden death and the use of stimulant medications in youth. American Journal of Psychiatry, 166(9), 992-1001
[7] Stein, M. (2009). Psychiatric reactions to ADHD medications. Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 123, 111–120.







    

GSK Given Warning Over Baby and Infant Medicine







It's only being reported in one news media outlet and I have wrote to them to ask for confirmation but, it seems like, GSK have been given a warning by the UAE ministry regarding the dosage instructions for Panadol.

The National UAE write the following...

The Ministry of Health has issued a warning to pharmaceuticals company GlaxoSmithKline telling it to modify the dosage instructions on the packaging of Panadol Baby and Infant Suspension. 
The ministry said that it discovered a mistake in the prescribed dosage that could lead to overdose, which could cause liver poisoning in children. 
Paediatricians, pharmacists and medical practitioners have been told to calculate the adequate dose based on the child’s age and weight and not rely on the dosage instructions shown on the outer package of the medicine until they are duly modified and approved by the drug department at the ministry.

It's a surprisingly short article given that parents may be administering potentially lethal doses of Panadol to their infants and children without actually realizing it!

The Ministry of Health UAE make no mention of the above on their website so I flicked GlaxoSmithKline an email to ask for confirmation of the alleged warning they had received.

Dear GSK,
I am writing to you in regard of a recent article that appeared in The National UAE that made reference to your product Panadol.
The article suggests that GSK were issued a warning by the UAE Ministry because, and I quote,  "they discovered a mistake in the prescribed dosage that could lead to overdose which could cause liver poisoning in children."
 Can you confirm if, in the interests of transparency, this article is correct please.
Sincerely,
--
Bob Fiddaman

Given that GSK normally make you jump through hoops before they answer a straight forward question, I've decided to run with this article and also highlight where Panadol has been in the news before.

In 2013 the Essential Baby online magazine wrote an article regarding a safety scare over GSK's Panadol. At the time, GSK acted promptly. They had learned that Children's Panadol Baby Drops syringes were faulty and could lead to parents giving their children more medication than is required.

Here's a photo of the faulty syringe compared to the correct syringe.


I'm sure you'll agree that's quite a faulty product. GSK's Children's Panadol Baby Drops  is for babies and children aged between one month and two years of age.

At the time GlaxoSmithKline medical director Andrew Yeates said even if babies had been given the incorrect doses of medication using the syringes, there was a "low risk" to their health.

Hmm, thanks for the reassurance!

One year later and the Essential Baby online magazine were once again reporting on GSK's Panadol.

This time they learned that GSK's Children's Panadol 1-5 Years Colour free Suspension also had a faulty syringe. Here's what they wrote...

The confusion with the Panadol syringe stems from the fact that to measure a correct dose, the widest part of the plunger needs to be in line with the desired dosage marking on the syringe.
"This differs from most syringes which measure to the tip of the plunger where the liquid finishes," the advisory reads. 
"With the Children's Panadol syringe, the liquid continues past the tip of the plunger and therefore needs be measured to where the widest sides of the plunger meet the barrel of the syringe."
If the syringe is used to measure in the incorrect way, an extra 1.26mls will be given with each dose of Children's Panadol.
Excessive doses of paracetamol can be harmful to the liver and the harmful effects can be fatal if not detected and treated.

So, if the story currently being covered by The National UAE is, in fact, correct then one has to ask, why can't GSK get their dosages right, more importantly, isn't it about time that they did? The target population for these products, infants and babies, really can't do it for themselves!

When we also take into account that GSK have been accused of making payments of $1,500 each to two doctors to promote Panadol in Syria then alarm bells must surely be calling for Andrew Witty to get his house in order.

This company, it could be argued, could damage your child's health.


Bob Fiddaman.

**If I get a response from either GSK or The National UAE then I shall amend this blog post accordingly.**






    

Cymbalta - Australian Doctor's Warned






A subscription only based website aimed at Australian healthcare professionals is reporting that doctors in Australia are being urged to prescribe Eli Lilly's antidepressant Cymbalta (duloxetine) with caution after a 35-year-old Victorian truck driver died of serotonin syndrome from a dose increase.

Nicholas Moorby died in April 2013, four months after his GP increased his Cymbalta dose from the recommended maximum daily dose of 120mg (three 60 mg capsules) to 240mg/4 capsules per day.

According to the Australian Doctor website, "friends of Mr Moorby noticed he was "agitated", "really out of it", "blabbering" and "making no sense" in the days leading up to his death."

Moorby's GP, who increased the dose, admitted that he had made an "error of judgement" and did not face any criminal charges over the death.

This from the Australian Doctor:

His GP was told by Mr Moorby that his psychiatrist recommended the dose increase due to his severe depression. The unnamed GP told the told the Coroners Court of Victoria last month,“Unfortunately, a lot of the specialists nowadays do not write scripts, they would tell the patient, go and see your GP and get the GP to write them. There are many cases where specialists prescribe big doses of anti-depressive so while I go to one or two tablets it’s not unusual for specialists to go to four, so I did not question him on that,” 

Moorby had amphetamine, methamphetamine, duloxetine, oxycodone, promethazine and alcohol in his system when he died. However, Forensic pathologist, Dr Heinrich Bouwer, told the court that an adverse drug reaction to excessive duloxetine could occur with or without the interaction of amphetamines.

The Australian medicines regulator, The Therapeutic Goods Administration, recorded 21 cases of serotonin syndrome due to duloxetine in their Dec 2013 report.

For those that don't know, serotonin syndrome, also known as serotonin toxicity, is a  life threatening drug reaction that causes the body to have too much serotonin. This leads to excessive stimulation of the central nervous system and peripheral serotonin receptors.

When you take poor metabolizers into account and you see what the friends of Nicholas Moorby said... he was "agitated", "really out of it", "blabbering" and "making no sense"  - there really is a strong argument that these drugs can induce suicide and homicidal acts. Alas, the pharmaceutical companies and the blinkered views of psychiatrists often blame the "underlying illness" for the cause of suicide and/or homicide.

In the United States Eli Lilly and Company are facing a number of lawsuits regarding Cymbalta.

Over 20 lawsuits have been filed in federal courts across the US which sees claims that Lilly deliberately omitted information about the true risk of withdrawal in the product label and in marketing materials.

More information about those lawsuits can be found on the Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, P.C here.


Bob Fiddaman.





    

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