I just typed this out for another member so i decided to put it here as well
Its taken from Whitakers Anatomy book
on Xanax (alprazolam). he writes:
Xanax was approved by the FDA as an anti-anxiety agent in 1981, and then Upjohn set out to get it approved panic disorder, which had been newly identified as a discrete condition for the first time in DSM III (1980).
As a first step it hired former NIMH director GeraldKlerman to co-chair its "steering committee" for the testing process and it paid Daniel Freedman editor of the Archives of General psychiatry to be an assistant to its division of medical affairs.
This was just part of the company's efforts to co-opt academic psychiatry: "The most senior psychiatrists in the world were flooded with offers of consultancies" from Upjohn, said Isaac Marks, an expert in anxiety disorders at the Institute of psychiatry in London.
Klerman and Upjohn designed Upjohn's cross national collaborative panic study in a manner that could be expected to produce a poor placebo response.
Patients who had been on benzo's were allowed into the study, which meant that many in the placebo group would in fact be going through the horrors of benzo withdrawal, and thus could be expected to be extremely anxious during the first weeks of the trial. Nearly one fourth of the placebo patients had traces of benzos in the blood when the treatment period began.
Benzos are known to work quickly, and that proved true in the study. At the end of four weeks, 82% of the xanax patients were moderately improved or better versus 43% of the placebo group. However during the next four weeks, the placebo patients continued to improve, while the Xanax patients did not, and by the end of the eighth week there was no significant difference between the groups on most of the rating scales, at least among the patients who remained in the study. The Xanax group also experienced a variety of troubling side-effects: sedation, fatigue, slurred speech, amnesia, and poor coordination. One of every 26 Xanax patients suffered a serious reaction to the drug, such as mania or aggressive behaviour.
At the end of eight weeks the patients were tapered from the medication for four weeks and then followed while medication free for another two weeks. The results were predictable. 39% of those withdrawn from Xanax deteriorated significantly, there panic and anxiety skyrocketing to such an extent they had to start taking the medication again. 35% of the Xanax patients suffered rebound panic and anxiety symptoms more severe than when the study began, and an equal percentage suffered a host of debilitating new symptoms, including confusion, height and sensory perceptions, depression, feeling that insects were crawling over them, muscle cramps, blurred vision, diarrhoea, and decreased appetite, and weight loss.
In sum, at the end of 14 weeks the drug exposed patients were worse off than the placebo group: They were more phobic, more anxious, more panic stricken, and doing worse on a 'global scale' that assessed overall wellbeing. 44% had been unable to get off the drug, on their way to a lifetime of addiction. In every way the results painted a powerful portrait of the benzo trap: This was a drug that worked for a short time , then its efficacy over a placebo petered out and yet when patients tried to go off the drug, they became quite sick and many couldnt kick the habit. The first few weeks of relief came at a very high long term cost, with those stuck on the drug - as previous benzo studies had shown - likely to end up physically, emotionally , and cognitively impaired."
The Upjohn investigators published three articles in the Archives of Gen psychiatry in May 1988, and anyone who carefully reviewed the data could see the harm caused by Xanax.
In order for Xanax to be successfully marketed, Upjohn needed its investigators to draw a different sort of conclusion, and so they did, particularly in the abstracts of the three articles.
First, they focus their attention on the four-week results (rather than the eight week outcomes at the end of the treatment period), announcing that xanax was found to be effective and well tolerated. Next they noted that 84% of the Xanax patients had finished the eight week study, which was evidence that "patient acceptance of Xanax was high."
Although their Xanax patients regularly exhibited such problems as "slurred speech, amnesia" and other signs of "impaired mentation", they still concluded that the drug had few side-effects and is well tolerated.
Finally, while they acknowledge that some xanax patients fared poorly when the drug was withdrawn, they reasoned that it had been used for too shorter period and the withdrawal done too abruptly. We recommend that patients with panic disorder be treated for a longer period, at least six months, they said.
In London, Isaac Marks and several of his colleagues at the Institute of psychiatry subsequently pointed out how transparently ridiculous this all was.
In the letter to the Archives of General psychiatry they observed that since the Xanax patients "were in a worse state than patients receiving placebo" at the end of the study, the finding by the Upjohn investigators that the drug was effective and well tolerated can only be seen as" biased and arguable."
The entire affair, Marks subsequently wrote, is a classic demonstration of the hazards of research funded by industry.
Yet the fact that the Xanax patients came to such a bad end, with many on a path to a lifelong addiction, did not deter Upjohn, Klerman, the APA, and the NIMH from touting Xanax's benefits to the American public.
The same marketing machinery that had made Prozac a bestseller was rolled out again.
Upjohn sponsored a symposium on the APA's 1988 meeting where the "expert panel" highlighted the four-week results.
Robert Pasnau, who had been head of the APA in 1987 sent a glossy booklet on the Consequences of Anxiety to APA members, an "educational" effort paid for by Upjohn. Both Shervert Frazier and Gerald Klerman penned a "Dear Doctor" letter that Upjohn included in the promotional literature it sent to doctors about Xanax as a treatment for panic disorder.
Upjohn also gave 1.5 million to the APA so that it could mount a DART - like campaign to educate psychiatrists healthcare workers in the public about panic disorder which was said to be underrecognized and undertreated.
Finally the the NIMH chipped in to identifying panic disorder as a priority concern sponsoring a conference in 1991 on it, with its panel of experts designating "high potency benzos" this would be Xanax - as one of the two" treatments of choice."
The FDA approved xanax as a treatment for panic disorder in November 1990, and many newspapers and magazines ran the usual features.
IN A PANIC? HELP IS ON THE WAY, a Saint Louis Post-Dispatch headline announced. Treatment, the paper said, helped 70 to 90% of those with the debilitating condition, which afflicted 4 million adults in this country.
The associated press explained that a "biochemical malfunctioning in the brain is believed to be one of the causes of panic attacks. Xanax can block the attacks by interacting with several different systems in the brain."
In the Chicago Sun Times Dr John Zajecka at Rush Medical college in Chicago announced that "Xanax is the fastest acting and least toxic" of medications for this disorder. Once again a very effective safe drug had arrived on the market, and in 1992, Xanax became the fifth most frequently prescribed medication in the United States.
Whitaker Anatomy pg295- 299
2000 amitryptaline, nortriptaline venlafaxine clonazepam for arm pain from keyboard use, told I had a chemical imbalance it would fix my arm was just a matter of finding the right med for me not informed of the nature of these drugs assured safe and not addictive, CT off Effexor after being told to double the dose on reporting adverse effects...later ..uncharacteristic psych panic tearful presented to doctor to get answers. Given paroxetine no questions asked 'safe and not addictive' next please.2001-2010 paroxetine (paxil) 2 failed attempts to quit, a learned helplessness set in. Feb 10 - Sept 10, 8 month clueless taper, hell. Doc said I had underlying depression .. I said that's not right' then found online support group and the truth!...overcome with inconceivable humiliation and outrage. 28 Sept 10 drug free ... daily psych and emotional torture beginning in the waking hours of the morning receding somewhat in the evening only to start up again the next day. 28 Sept 12 (24 months) Stabilizing (What an indescribable unimaginable non-functional nightmare). sleep issues start up at 3 yrs waking daily at 2am -4.30am)28 Sept 15 (5yrs drug free), cf, cmw, insomnia horrifying pssd continues, still feel Rip van Winkle-ish, cognitively doing heaps better. 28 Sept 16 after 6 yrs start working again on a casual basis.
"It is unsafe for people who suffer from something that could be treated with an ssri to consult a psychiatrist." Gotzshe 2015. [ I think Gotzsche could have easily meant to say 'to consult anyone with prescribing privileges']. "Going to a psychiatrist is one of the most dangerous actions a person can take." Breggin
“Paroxetine is not safe, it is not effective and it meets every known definition of addictive.” McLaren, N, (2016) 'Psychiatry as bullsh*t’ p55..."Psychiatry is stuffed full of 'deep nonsense' better known as bullsh*t." McLaren 2016
"Within the first week of when you go on an antidepressant you may have a sexual dysfunction, it can go on forever, often only appearing when you go off the drug ...its extraordinarily common" Healy 2015
See my intro post #451 for the xanax back story and for a CV -GSKs. Come on guys get taperwise see a TaperMe Schedule.
For a staggeringly shocking 'prozac back story' see the truth post #523
"If I were an enemy combatant and the NZ army did this to me someone would be dragged to the Hague and jailed!" nz11