Doctors Writing Scary Scripts… Saving Grace

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February 16, 2015 | 11 Comments


  1. What a horrible experience for Jane Green, but how excellent that she has been able to write of her experience, so as to warn others that to “ask your doctor” may literally mean taking your life in your hands.

    Like Green, I never thought to question doctors and, for many years, was on drugs I never needed in the first place (various antidepressants then lithium, and benzos). Unlike Green, I didn’t suffer the same dramatic downward spiral. When I finally realized the absurd basis upon which I had been placed on the drugs in the first place (sadness at the end of an affair plus family history), I tapered off them – with dramatic and dangerous withdrawal effects. I count myself fortunate that this years-long episode in my life is over and that I am as intact as I am.

  2. This is so familiar for me. I had hormonal issues I had worked out that my dizy spells and feeling like i was going to pass out at times, was due to low blood sugar. But that was after Anti Depressants were in my system, I was cohersed by a doctor to see a shrink, and now Im still
    taking Antideressants, I believe my damage to my brain and my heart are there for good.
    I too listened to a smooth talking shrink for 20 years, and am now paying with the fact that I am loosing my life. Last year I came off Anti-Depressants and it was A night mare. I felt paranoid, I had lost all my cognitive functioning, After 10 months I couldn’t take it any more. I was a total mess. So its to my beleif I have permanent brain damage, heart damage so Can anybody help me here, Whats more I was kicked out of hospital last year cause I had a drink, whilst on home leave…yes they cause alcoholism…I’m back on Meds now as I was at a total loss…and knowing what I know now, the truth that is…. it’s the pits as I can’t get help easily in Australia to get off
    them but am still trying. This is what I believe they have caused, I have blood clotts in my pulmonary artery since being put on lexapro, and now I’m on Xarelto a blood thinner and fluid tablets….for my heart ,also the lexapro stop my heart from racing they seem to act as a Beter Blocker. Im on Avanza or I don’t sleep. Surley if one causes clotts A blood thinner could finish me off. We really need your help in Australia. But I am doing my best. All these Druggs are Guilty…and as for the Shrinks…they see it all the time in the hospitals, especially the older ones, and you have to keep your mouth shut. That is so hard when one knows the truth. We must help people who are in the thick of it like myself to get help. Just one more thing about 7 years ago I got off them, I had felt good no depression no anxiety and I had my faculties. It wasn’t till 6 0r 7
    months after i got a little depressed. Silly me I went back on them as I had a court case pending, And couln’t Face what I was up against. So I went Back on them for the court case,
    thinking I could come off them again. It did not work the next time. I just know now how 7 years makes a lot more damage. I also Know they cuause the very thing that people go on them for deression and anxiey, Not to mention the Physical damage.I have never experienced Depression and anxiety, and paranoia like they have caused me, Nor was I a drinker. So we know they cause alcoholism. When I told the judge it was my AD meds at one stage i was on Aropax, he called me a liar…..I rest my case your Honour…

    • I am suprised, Kerry, to hear that a forward looking country as Australia has the same problems as we in the UK! Here, of course, the body responsible is the Pharmacutical Society, (commonly known as “The Big Pharma”) who have a stranglehold on all medications and only allow our medical profession to prescribe drugs/medication to treat the symptoms, rather than the disease, therefore allowing their bank balances to swell by BILLIONS per year. Our medics hands are tied by these greedy monsters, who allow babies, young children and otherwise healthy young men and women to die from various forms of cancer, diabetes and hearts disease, among other illnesses, when they are well aware that cures for these illnesses have existed for years! But then, if they were to come clean, their income would drop dramatically. Sorry, Kerry, this doesn’t offer you any consolation, only an explanation, if “Big Pharma” is as powerful in Oz as it is here! My Best Wishes to you!

  3. I am sad to hear that others are suffering the same as myself because of taking drugs. i have been on ssri’s (anti-depressants) for 25 years now and can’t get off them. They have numerous side affects that the professionals have diagnosed as M.E. It’s difficult to know but I think if it is M.E then it is due to taking these tablets for so long. They have affected my brain and equilibrium in many ways…too many to mention. I am partly disabled because of this and can only manage to work 21 hours a week and I struggle through that but need the money to live. If only I had known when I was given these drugs, the effects…I would not have taken them or at least taken them for a short space of time.

  4. I had a not unsimilar experience some years back, I went to a GP with work stress, GP was adamant that citalopram was the answer to work stress and also adamant that I was severly depressed. I immediately had bad reaction to it, suicidal ideation and over sleeping which the GP attributed to worsening depression. I kept telling GP it was worsening citalopram and that stress was my issue. Took myself off citalopram after 3 months as I had came to conclusions that GP would just keep feeding me it for as long as I would take it. Experienced a bad phase of mood swings approx 4 wks after coming off citalopram and GP put me on venlafaxine. I did not agree with this but did not realise I was in SSRI withdrawal at the time. GP threatening to section me if I didnt take. I informed GP that I had done nothing that he could section me for. GP adamant that he would have to put me into psyche ward if I didnt improve in next week and take venlafaxine. Dose upped to 225mg over next 3 months, developed what appears to get termed ‘not real’ addiction by mediacl profession/pharma industry, problem of withdrawal appears to be another term thats popular for addiction to ADs, good to see that the medical profession and pharma industry are well up on their Orwellian brainwashing, yep, a problem of withdrawal is one way to describe addiction. Venlafaxine turned exceptionally nasty, GP refused to acknowledge that that I was doped, again it was major depression not responding anymore to treatment. GP refused to take me off this drug. I lost the best job that I had ever had in my life which I secured 3 months after going on venlafaxine as I was no longer capable of doing it, had no interest in doing anything other than lying in bed. Tried weaning myself off it but could not due to severity of withdrawal. Eventually cold turkeyed off it almost a year to the day after going on it as I had came to conclusion that cold turkey was only remedy to my situation. GP laughed in my face at last appointment(I walked out practice I had been registered in since childhood in disgust and have never set foot in it since) and told me that I had lost my job due to depression not his drugs. That was 7 years ago and I am still of the view that I have not yet recovered from venlafaxine. Primary symptom insominia, but plenty of others also. It took nearly 4 yrs for my sleeping pattern to return close enough to normal for myself to resume work. I never slept at night for pretty much the whole of the first year off it, however there were periods of half way to normal sleep pattern. Issue still persists. Should also point out even though I couldnt sleep at night when one is supposed to I never had any issue with getting 8hrs every 24, it just wasnt happening when its meant to happen ie at night. My symptoms never seam to go away, if one symptonm dies down it gets replace by another one, it just seams to be one big long cycle that repeats itself. sleeping not really an issue at present, 2am, not the way it was before venlafaxine but pretty easy for me to deal with on day to day basis given what I went through in first few years. I am(was) also quite an accomplished athlete, my sporting performance has never been what it was before venlafaxine since I came off it. It too like the sleeping goes through good and bad phases, currently in a bad phase. In fact a peculair one is this. Since coming off venlafaxine my sporting performance has quite often been at its best when my sleeping and other physcial symptoms have been most troublesome(although not pre venlafaine performance) and conversely sporting performance is poorest when my symptoms are at their least troublesome like the period that I am currently in which started in July of last year.
    I would also like to point out that if you base your opinions on the actual facts of my life in 07, then the conclusion that one must come to is that Major Depression is infact the illness of enjoying yourself and fullfilling your lifes dreams. I got signed off with work stress Feb07, had plenty of money on the bank so decided it was time for a good long holiday and proceeded to jump about Britain pursuing my sporting interest and having a real damm good time of it. During this period I also secured the best job that I have had in my whole life. For example Major Depression resulted in myself clocking a best time of 2hr 48min for the marathon, coupled with winning 5 hill races and a half marathon, not bad for an athlete who is in fact a canoeist. GP was fully aware of what I was up too whilst off with stress. I would quite like to know the chemical formula for this major depression so that I can start making ‘Major Depression’ tablets so that everyone else can go off and enjoy themselves as much as I did when I was supposedly Majorly depressed. GP did put into my medical records that I was of opinion that I was not depressed and I’m still off that opinion. The worst thing of all about getting my life wrecked in this manner has been the self loathing that I have had to deal with. Firstly, when I went to get singned off with stress I was seriously considering just resigning and walking away form the job as I just could not be bothered with the hassle and stress of my then line of employment(drug and alchol rehab), but thought it would be a good idea to get signed off so that my head could clear from the stress and I could consider my options work wise with a clear head. Hindsight in my case was mental torture. Secondly, I am now aware that venlafaxine is not a drug that your average GP in the UK uses in their practice and that in the area where I live this drug is only supposed to be used with persons who are fully engaged with psychiatric services. Not pleasant having my life wrecked and having to live with the knowledge that I was dealing with the only GP in my whole area who would have given this drug out in the first instance.
    Finish on a brighter note, I did 3 years ago secure a decent job just at the very point in time when my sleeping pattern improved enough for me to be able to work 9-5, 5 days a week. Should also point out that at the 2 year mark my father had to bail me out financially as I had went through all the money I had put aside whilst unemployable due to venlafaxine. Found myself in a situation whre I was not eligible for state help and had no income of my own, so much for Britains benefits system, it is not geared to deal with the victims of medical drugs and Doctors who cant tell the difference between major depression and major good time.

  5. Gx, thank you for your reply to my post. I do now how a very very different view of both how Healthcare is delivered in the UK and our welfare system than I had 10 yrears. In reply to your own post, there is a thing in medicine called off label usage, now as I understand it what this means is a Doctor can prescribe a drug to you even though you do not have the illness that its licensed for as the drug in question is very effective with a particular symptom of an illness/condition that you do have. Symptoms of illness also overlap. In my case the problem was stress, stress and depression symptoms overlap, although simple case history should tell any competent doctor what one it is. Knowing the person well also greatly helps in such a situation. Presently where I live in the UK prescribing anti depressants mirtazapine and amytriptyline for sleeping problems is common practice with the local GPs. ie these 2 can be good at putting people to sleep at night, may also be safer than the ‘Z’ drugs and way cheaper(sleeping tablets whose name begin with Z, powerful stuff, highly addictive. They tried one with myself however I rejected it pretty quickly as I could see myself getting hung up on it very easily, theres quite a black market for the ‘Zoppies’ as there known on the street. If its oblivion you want Z drugs and alcohol never fails)

    My own story would take a book to cover in detail and there is way way more went on than I have posted, none of which should have been going on. However heres one for people to think about. At no point was anything that resembles a proper assesment of myself done ie no on paper assessment of my mental health was done, yet the medical profession put me on 225mg venlafaxine for work stress(that is what was going on my sick lines and they are legal documents). Any proper on paper mental health assessment would have shown that there was absolutely nothing wrong with me other than a very strong desire not to return to work for my then employer, I call this ‘heid done in by job’ and solved said problem by having very good long holiday and getting another better job. What was my score on the Hamilton Depression Scale? It was zero cause it wasnt done. What was my score on Beck’s depression inventory? Again it was zero, cause it wasnt done. I am again working in drug and alcohol rehab and the first thing I have to do with anybody who is referred to myself is a full on paper assesment form which includes lifestlye and mental health. The assessment tool that I use in my work would have shown nothing wrong with myself other than he hates his job. That is not an illness and did try telling the GP that I was dealing with at the time, whom by the way did not know me either as the GP that I had been dealing with since childhood had retired the year before.

    You could say that I have been a little radicalised by my experience and my own view is that giving out a drug as dangerous and troublesome as venlafaxine(although I didnt know it when I was prescribed it, the problems that I experienced with it had been very well documented in the medical press in the late nineties after it got licensed, the internet also had several dedicated venlafaxine victim websites, although most of these have disappeared over the past 5 years for whatever reason. There is however an ‘Effexor Victim’ facebook page) without any kind of proper on paper assessment having been done of a person should constitute criminal negligence. I did look into sueing for clincial negligence. I was advised by lawyer that my case was ‘prima facia’ ie no legal defence available, however I had to pull the claim as I was only looking at £5K(uk money) and it would cost more to fight it than I may recieve in damages. Lawyer also informed myself that if I lived in any other country in the western world he would have had no problem getting me £100k for what had happened, however the UK is the hardest country to sue for negligence and also the one where the damages are the smallest. This is something that in my view people in the United Kingdom need to be far far more aware of. If a doctor in this country ruins your life as they havent done their job properly you are probably not going to get compensated for it. An old school friend of mine had their Grandmother killed accidentally a few years back by an insulin overdose and they got advised by a lawyer that they would probably only get in the region of £3k compensation for it and it would cost £7-8K to proceed with a compensation claim. The most effective way to protect the public against cowboys, charlatans and psychophaths and lets face it you get then in all trades and professions is for them to be reasonably certain that if they mess people up by doing dodgy stuff that they shouldnt be doing then THEY WILL GET SUED. In my view, this simple hard fact does not apply with Britain’s NHS. Certainly not the way if applies in other countries.

    There were also issues with the pharmacy that dispensed it. They should have stopped the prescription and told me exactly why. ie In the area where I live venlafaxine is not supposed to be used by GPs. Could not sue the pharamcy either as it would have been a test case and I dont have the money to fight test cases. A friend of mine who is a pharmacist from the Irish Republic told me recently that in the Irish Republic I would have had no problem getting 50K euro out of a pharmacy in the Irish Repbulic for failing to stop a prescription that the doctor shouldnt have written in the first instance. However as the money a pharmacist makes is a % of the cost of the drug and venlafaxine is the second most expensive AD after Duoxetine and way way more expensive than prozac that may explain their actions. As the yanks say, ‘Follow the money and you’ll get the answers’ I have to bear in mind that my local pharmacist was making good money out of it. I have much more awareness of how the UKs healthcare system really operates than I had 8yrs ago. I should also sate that the UK tax payer was paying for my life to be ruined.

    I think my case illustrates a few things about the UK healthcare system that maybe need to be changed and there certainly needs to be far far more public awareness of how the system really operates. Another example, most people in the UK are completely unaware that a GP practice is NOT part of the National Health Service, they are private businesses that are contracted to the local health board. The GP practice bills the local health board for you appointment. I believe its currently about £35 for a 10min GP consultation. They also get an annual flat rate fee of around £150 for each person registered in the practice. This arrangement can make it rather difficult for local health boards to manage the GPs in that area as legally the responsiblity for supervising an individual GP lies with the partners in the practice and they off course being human beings, who like all human beings have flaws in there character might well have reasons to turn a blind eye to dodgy practice by a colleague. And off course what happens in a GP practice if the cowboy, charaltan or psychopath happens to be the senior partner?

    I better stop now as I could very easily go on all night with this one

  6. When Is The Truth Ever Going To Come Out

    I am very worried that the loved ones of celebrities are getting all the incorrect information.
    What if those forensic pathologists are not telling the loved ones of the deceased the TRUTH.
    I question the accuracy of the information that is given to loved ones who have lost someone dear, to these ‘python of medicines’, they have ingested.
    It is NATURAL for anyone to question the authenticity of information that is being broadcasted throughout the world especially, knowing what I know.
    What if the celebrities died of one random flawed batch of prescribed medicines?
    Why don’t they come out and say the TRUTH for God’s sake.
    They are cowards just like everyone else.
    Who would dare say that a drug was the cause of death
    It goes against their ethos.
    They would lose their job.
    Come out and say it as it is so that everyone can make better informed decisions based on the TRUTH.
    It would make my story credible.
    You are making mockery out of people who have been maimed or died as a result of ingesting the same prescribed medication that celebrities have ingested.
    You make those who have suffered and still suffer, look like pathological liars.
    Indeed, very sad.
    People may be posing the question:
    How can it be that they are manufacturing random flawed batches?
    Anything that goes against the framework we have been bought up to believe is right, is going to cause internal conflict especially when those who have the upper hand are doing wrong.
    Practicing any skill would be like doing your art blindfolded. You do not know what the outcome will be.
    People deserve better.
    Everyone needs to be told the truth.
    People’s lives can be saved by STATING the TRUTH!
    Who is buying who, out?
    Someone needs to dispel these myths that they are blatantly making up!

  7. To Be Acknowledged & Understood,

    When a patient goes through a traumatic event especially, when the mind is involved, it is not uncommon for patients to not be able to articulate what they are going through.
    If a physician is wise, they will listen to their patients and try to understand that any trauma to the body is a very hard process to articulate.
    A wise doctor listens and embodies the experience of their patients by trying to understand that all clinical experiences are not going to equate to the clinical data that is presented to them by pharmaceutical companies.
    How can this be so?
    Well, if the information is omitted, how can the physician make sense of the patients illness, especially when the pharmaceutical company has not documented it.
    However, this should not be the stable framework that a physician should adhere to when helping any of their patients.
    In regards to anything in life, as an ‘intelligent’ species, we must question, always, without any ambiguity, the accuracy of information that is presented to us.
    Before, a physician, grabs the pen and hysterically writes up another script, think what that script is capable of doing.
    We have to acknowledge and be aware that money isn’t everything.
    Establishing a civil communication, one which is based on understanding and empathy, is much more enriching/rewarding than ruining someone’s well being.
    We also must question why many doctors refuse to do house calls in this day and age.
    Is it because they feel their lives are at risk?
    Imagine what a patient must feel when their life is at risk, ingesting a prescribed medicine.
    Well, maybe, with a little common sense and better understanding, the pills that they are prescribing may perhaps be contributing to a violent and aggressive society.
    We must also be mindful, that street drugs are also contributing to this conundrum.

  8. In an ideal world, it would be great if ‘all clinicians’ could direct their patients to this website.
    Patients could then make an informed decision, before they embark on a ‘medicated journey’ of hell.
    If they decide not to go ahead, they can then decide safer alternatives which would benefit them.
    I am certain, without any ambiguity, many who have experienced harm would have loved to have had all this knowledge before they had ingested these ‘python tablets’.
    It is too late for us but it is never too late for those thinking about going on a ‘roller coaster’ path.
    Think about it, clinicians!

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