Marilyn Lemak: When the Music Stops

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July 26, 2022 | 34 Comments


  1. Thank you so much for being a truth teller and warrior on the path for justice for humanity, Kim. It is an honor to know you and learn from your up close experience of the dangers of big pharma money ruining lives and paying off those who have lost. Thank you on behalf of #TeamHumanity 💜

  2. “The fact that companies have chose to market them as antidepressants rather than agents that cause agitation is a business decision rather than a scientific matter. It is certainly not one that was “ordained by God.” You could say that the fact that some people who are depressed get better is a side effect.”

    You are the Real-Deal, Kim.

    Not only did you lose Woody to Zoloft, but you have done all in your Power to Right this Terrible Wrong. You should feel incredibly proud. Woody’s final moments would have blotted out anything resembling reality, Zoloft would have completely taken him over. This is what happens – propelled in to oblivion, just like Stewart Dolin.

    Intelligent, resourceful people, like yourself and Wendy Dolin know better than to take this lying down. Both your services to protect, warn and ultimately save more lives is unparalleled. Woody with Zoloft, Stewart with Paxil.

    And then there is Marilyn,

    Another Heroine, is Janet, who knew and has made extraordinary progress in pursuit of finding her freedom.

    The real story that has been missed in the Yates case is the fact that it is a story about psychiatric treatment failure. Yates had been getting psychiatric drugs for her post partum depression for years. She was on high doses of two antidepressants drugs at the time she drowned her children but went ahead and did what these drugs are supposed to prevent anyway.

    MARCH 20, 2002

    Prozac and Suicide, an Interview with Dr. David Healy


    One of the world’s leading research psychopharmacologists, Healy’s expert testimony in last year’s Paxil civil trial was one of the deciding factors in the plaintiff’s jury victory in that case. Wyoming resident Donald Schell, 60, killed his wife, daughter and granddaughter and then himself with a gun in 1998 after only two days on Paxil. Schell’s surviving family members sued Paxil manufacturer UK-based Glaxo-Smith-Kline (GSK), the world’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturer, and won. The decisive factor in the case was the company’s own internal data demonstrating that they knew Paxil could cause agitation and suicidal ideation in research subjects. A month after the June verdict in the case, GSK caved in to the British Medicines Control Agency’s request to put a suicide warning on Paxil.

    The fact that a jury verdict in a civil trial here in the United States has led to a suicide warning being put on labels for a popular psychiatric drug in another country has hardly been headline news. Two weeks after the verdict in the Paxil trial, Houston area mother and convicted murderer Andrea Yates drowned her five children while she was on not one, but two antidepressant drugs with strong stimulant profiles. What could have been an opportunity for the mass media to educate the public about the dangers of antidepressant drugs, instead has been a non-stop awareness campaign for the mental health industry about the need for more psychiatric “treatment.” The real story that has been missed in the Yates case is the fact that it is a story about psychiatric treatment failure. Yates had been getting psychiatric drugs for her post partum depression for years. She was on high doses of two antidepressants drugs at the time she drowned her children but went ahead and did what these drugs are supposed to prevent anyway.

    I recently completed an e-mail interview with Healy about Prozac and suicide, the CAMH lecture and many other contemporary issues in psychiatry today. Below is the transcript.

    RG: How do Prozac and the other SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) like Paxil cause suicidal ideation (“We can make healthy volunteers belligerent, fearful, suicidal and even pose a risk to others,” you wrote in the June 2000 Primary Care Psychiatry. “People don’t care about the normal consequences as you might expect. They’re not bothered about contemplating something they would usually be scared of)?

    This full-article is another real-deal.

    Much appreciation to Kim, for putting all this together.

  3. The tragic events are captured brilliantly by Kim here. I’m familiar with her story having spoken with her over the many years I’ve known her.

    What I didn’t know, however, was the tactics Pfizer attorneys used on her during deposition. I mean, I know how they operate, having heard similar stories from David Healy, Wendy Dolin and Mathy Downing. The treatment of Kiim at the hands of the Pfizer Cabal doesn’t shock. Not me anyhow.

    A wife, going through the grieving stages of losing her husband, is questioned about everything but the product. Instead of trying to figure out if the drug caused Woody to end his life, the protectors choose to intrude to try and figure out how they can worm their way out of admitting the product could cause death – they already knew it could so no need to ask whether or not Woody changed during his time on it. Opting instead to try and find dirt on the person bringing the lawsuit against them.

    What kind of human becomes a defence lawyer for a drug company, what makes them tick, what makes them heartless?

    Well, look at Dan Troy as an example – $300k that we know of, there’s probably many more thousands, if not millions he and his ilk have been paid to protect the industry wares that have harmed so many and destroyed countless relationships and lives. They care not a jot – the money being their comfort blanket.

    I’m also familiar with the Marilyn Lemak story having spoken with a filmmaker about her plight. It’s a harrowing story, as are most of these real life experiences.

    Imagine all of those incarcerated for crimes carried out whilst under the influence of these mind-altering drugs, all left to rot inside prison cells with little or, as in the majority of cases, no legal defence team prepared to go that extra mile and blame the drug and company that make it.

    For many years I wrote about GSK, I honestly didn’t believe how they could be topped in the abhorrent school of callous companies. Pfizer, however, are on another level!

    One has to remember here that Pfizer are today portrayed by many as the company who ‘saved the world’ when they rolled out the experimental mRNA shots. Many don’t see them as the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Then again, many haven’t experienced or bothered to research stories like Kim and Marilyn’s.

    The infirm lickspittles, that play a role in keeping the death conveyor belt moving along, are, of course, the FDA. They pamper to the needs of the industry, usually down on their knees or bent over a chair ready to ‘take one for the team’ whilst adorning a gimp mask complete with billiard ball to keep them quiet. That’s the image I get whenever the FDA or UK equivalent, the MHRA are mentioned.

    It’s an incestuous revolving door that leads to a cesspit far worse than any images of ‘Hell’ anyone may have.

    I need to shower after writing this comment. The whole pharma/regulator/attorney thing always leaves a scum around the edges of my mind when thinking about them. That, and an urge to vomit into a nearby sink.

    ~ Fid

  4. Wow. Thank you for sharing your journey. I have tears. My 16 year old son was recently diagnozed with situatuonal anxiety and a counseling center i trusted tried to prescribe Zoloft. There was no suicide warning or discussion. When i brought it up, the provider quickly moved the discussion to the very low incidence of cases and only 2-3 cases known by this provider. I am so thankful we did not go down this path. Thank you for using your pain to educate and advocate. You are an amazing warrior!

  5. Pfizer’s track record for safety and ethics goes back a long way. They manufactured an experimental Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccine “Lot 100” back in 1965 which actually made children more susceptible to severe lung disease. Two of 31 vaccinated toddlers died in that trial and RSV vaccine development was stopped until recently.

  6. Kim, this is so well done and heartbreaking. I’d heard of your husband’s tragedy but never knew the details. I’m at a loss for words.

    Participating in this series has taught me so much. I had no idea there were so many champions like you fighting so hard.

    Since the day I met Marilyn, I’ve set out to humanize her. It is essential to her ever being granted clemency. Your willingness to include her in your personal story is gracious. I can promise you she is deserving.

  7. The scources and references are on the website

    . Effexor XR and Prempro are two products affected by recalls. More recently, the company recalled two lots each of Relpax in 2019 and Duavive in 2020, and all lots of Chantix 0.5 and 1 mg tablets in 2021.

    Effexor XR
    In 2014, Pfizer recalled two lots of its antidepressant drug Effexor XR. Tikosyn was discovered in an Effexor XR bottle. Tikosyn is one of the company’s heart pills. Pfizer warned that the combination of the two different drugs could be deadly.

    In 2013, Pfizer announced it was recalling five lots of Prempro. Prempro is a hormone replacement therapy drug. Routine testing revealed the strength of the drug was low.

    Chantix 0.5 mg and 1 mg
    On Sept. 16, 2021, Pfizer voluntarily recalled all lots of the Chantix 0.5 mg and 1 mg tablets due to an increased cancer risk from high levels of an ingredient called N-nitroso-varenicline, also known as a nitrosamine. The company stated the recall is “precautionary” as no cancer-related issues have been detected in the testing of Chantix, or with people taking the smoking cessation drug.

    Lawsuits and Settlements

    Over the years, Pfizer has faced lawsuits involving some of its most popular drugs. Courts have dismissed thousands of lawsuits against Pfizer. The company has also agreed to settle cases involving claims of illegal marketing and health care fraud.

    Pfizer set a record for the largest health care fraud settlement and the largest criminal fine of any kind with $2.3 billion in 2009.
    Source: U.S. Department of Justice
    People are suing Pfizer over Protonix. Protonix lawsuits say Pfizer failed to warn about the risk of kidney problems. In 2013, Pfizer agreed to pay $55 million to settle criminal charges. The U.S. Department of Justice said Wyeth promoted Protonix for unapproved uses in 2000 and 2001. Pfizer acquired Wyeth in 2009.

    Nearly 10,000 women filed Prempro breast cancer lawsuits against Pfizer. By 2012, Pfizer settled most of the claims for more than $1 billion.

    About 3,000 people filed Chantix lawsuits against Pfizer. They claimed Chantix caused suicidal thoughts and severe psychological disorders. In 2013, the company set aside about $288 million to resolve these cases. One case settled for an undisclosed amount just before trial in 2012.

    More than 7,800 testosterone therapy lawsuits had been filed against manufacturers as of November 2020. Pfizer had reached an agreement with the consumers suing the company in February 2018, ending its role in the massive litigation. The lawsuits say testosterone products caused strokes, blood clots and heart attacks.

    A federal panel closed the consolidated Effexor litigation in 2013. Lawsuits claimed birth defects.

    A judge dismissed Zoloft cases in 2016. Lawsuits included similar claims to Effexor XR. The judge did not disagree that Zoloft caused birth defects. But the judge concluded there was insufficient evidence to definitively link the two.

    A judge dismissed a group of federal Eliquis cases in 2017. Injured patients continue to file severe bleeding claims in Delaware state court.

    A judge dismissed Lipitor lawsuits in 2017. Women who took the drug filed lawsuits after developing Type 2 diabetes. There is currently an appeal pending.

    In 1996, Pfizer conducted an unapproved clinical trial. It involved children with meningitis in Nigeria, CBS News reported. The trials led to the deaths of 11 children. Dozens more were left disabled.

    The unauthorized trial involved tests on 200 children with Pfizer’s antibiotic Trovan.
    Source: BBC News
    Trovan is a drug severely restricted in use because of its potential to cause liver damage. Injury to the liver as a result of taking Trovan can lead to liver failure and death.

    In 2011, Pfizer paid $700,000 to four families who lost children during the Trovan trials.

    In addition, the company set up a $35 million fund for those affected by Trovan. Pfizer also agreed to sponsor health projects in Kano, Nigeria.

    Michelle Llamas, BCPA
    Board Certified Patient Advocate
    Michelle Llamas has been writing articles and producing podcasts about drugs, medical devices and the FDA for nearly a decade. She focuses on various medical conditions, health policy, COVID-19, LGBTQ health, mental health and women’s health issues.

  8. There has been a new development in funding drug studies using the fine art world

    “He will finish his tenure with a final NFT sale at Christie’s this month that will see NFTs auctioned off to benefit the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies.”

    And there are still people in ‘high art’ places who are proud Sackler funding

    How the money continued to come even after years of devastation:

    • Just by the way Chris ,guess you know donors get tax relief in UK . I don’t know if this is a way of offloading assets but here’s another huge donation to a mental health so called charity (Maudsley)which will benefit a handful of children in London.
      children ›
      With a lead donation of £5million from multibillionaires owned Pears Foundation, the Maudsley and the IoPPN have come together to create The Pears Maudsley Centre for Children

      Here is a snippett re ‘repugnant’ behaviour by PEARS towards vulnerable people.

      The Pears empire is estimated to be worth more than £1bn. In one year the family paid themselves a £42m dividend. But there have been repeated complaints about their methods. In 2000, they used what a court called a “repugnant” device to try to force out housing benefit tenants along the Brighton seafront. The company used the terms of obscure agreements to raise rents to an impossible £25,000 a year. It then sought evictions for arrears. The appeal court said this was “very serious”, and could have bankrupted tenants.

      A Pears company bought housing blocks the same year from Greenwich Hospital, originally an elderly seafarers’ charity. Nick Raynsford, Labour MP for Greenwich and Woolwich, says the firm exploited its position once the property passed out of control of the crown. Rents were raised from £50 a week to £190 and many were forced out. Mr Raynsford said: “The Pears Group acted in a reprehensible way in their dealings with the elderly residents.”

      Mr Pears said: ” We did in fact attempt to accommodate individuals and staged the rental increases over time. We paid the market price in the natural expectation of being able to charge the market rent.”

      There were similar complaints in 1996 in Hackney, east London. Residents, who included pensioners on housing benefit, said they faced rent increases of up to 300%. As flats fell vacant, they were refurbished and bathrooms installed. Mr Pears says: “We chose to implement an independently set market rent which some tenants did not like.”

      In 1998 there were more protests in Hampstead, when a Pears firm bought a 1930s mansion block and tried to raise rents. “We charge independently set market rents and some tenants complain,” Mr Pears told the Guardian. “On two occasions our managing agent mistakenly demanded rent arrears that were not due, for which they apologised.”

      Last year, after investigating the Pears network of companies, the Office of Fair Trading obtained undertakings that they would stop using “potentially unfair” contracts for tenants.

  9. Great post Kim and great reference tools – might be very useful for the next unfortunate soul that is looking for answers. Let’s hope that Marilyn gets a fair hearing and these documents that you posted are considered.

  10. Janet has done more than anyone to get Marilyn’s case to a Clemency Hearing.  She prevailed on several lawyers to pick up the case and got places when she persuaded Andy Vickery to take up the case, who got me involved and Jed Stone a Chicago lawyer with a track record of success at these Hearings.

    Justice Seekers—Antidepressants, Suicide & Violence, trial attorney Andy Vickery

    “The Guy in the White Hat”…

    • In 2013, Andy Vickery flew into Chicago from Houston, Texas. I picked him up at the airport and drove him to meet Marilyn in prison. He met with her for two hours. It was a six-hour round trip. Like David Healy, he always answers my emails. He prepared Marilyn’s clemency petition. It’s phenomenal.

      Andy was the prevailing attorney in the Schell case Kim mentions in her post.

      And, he handled the case for the orphaned children of Phil and Bryn Hartman. Phil Hartman’s brother, John, generously agreed to be interviewed for my book on Marilyn. John believes Zoloft was the culprit and forgives Bryn for killing his brother. “My mother forgives her too and my brother’s death nearly destroyed her,” he told me.

      Andy also handled the Chris Pittman criminal trial. He can barely speak of it still.

      Yes, Andy Vickery is the guy in the white hat.


         October 19, 1999

        Here is news release in a pivotal wrongful death case involving Zoloft.

        For more information on this case, you may want to visit







        Antidepressants exposed

        9 Jun 2006

        Matt Miller – Pharma ‘Sick’ Tactics…

  11. Thank you as always Kim for keeping us in the truth.

    You know my stance. I’m one of the lucky ones.

    I wish i would have had the right questions to ask before I allowed myself to be consumed.

  12. This is a great article! So glad it is being exposed. However, Pfizer is so powerful now, they don’t care about injuries, just $$$ in profits.

  13. Kim,

    Great article. While I know that antidepressants are harming some people in ways you’ve mentioned, as an RN I know they also help many people with true clinical depression &/or mood disorders.

    I believe the prominent problem is they are way overprescribed and mis-prescribed by doctors who receive virtually no training in screening and diagnosing pyschiatric disorders. As a result, patients are prescribed these drugs for all kinds of ‘off label’ problems like PMS, difficulty sleeping, sadness, anxiety, etc. Patients are also not being monitored adequately for side effects in those first few weeks. When you don’t truly need a brain-altering drug like antidepressants, they can have dangerous physiologic effects and side effects on the brain. This goes for other psychiatric drugs being over-presribed (antipsychotics and sleep medications; especially in the elderly). When I graduated from nursing school in 1981, these drugs were only prescribed to patients with very serious psychiatric conditions like psychosis, schizophrenia and others.

    I admire the work you are doing and hope you will carry this message about over-prescribing and mis-prescribing to any committee or room in which decision makers are listening.

    Thank you for all you do!

    • Lori

      The problem is not that doctors who arent trained are overprescribing. Shrinks who are trained are over-prescribing vastly more than family doctors – who on average are likely better doctors that most specialists including shrinks.

      The problem is the entire literature on these drugs is ghostwritten with no access to the data so whether you are a specialist or not you are misled.

      The problem is the medical profession are not saying this is intolerable.

      The problem is doctors whether family or specialist no longer listen to or see the patient in front of them when they start telling them what is happening on the drug

      Its not overtreatment – its undertreatment – under diagnosing the problem and not treating by stopping the drug

      David Healy

      • “The problem is the medical profession are not saying this is intolerable.”

        The medical profession is also making it intolerable.

        Still like to see a better definition of what akathisia is – I know on here ’emotional state’ is in the first sentence and that is correct plus the symptoms are spot-on but the emotional state is difficult to define and get across when you have it. Emotional Liability yes but it needs more definition. When I had this horror the second time, I knew full well what had happened and what it was and clearly communicated it, but not only would no one listen to me, was threatened with being sectioned (for US people psych ward detained and forced drugged) and was drugged even more. Psychiatrists seem to think 400mg of quetiapine is the answer to everything. When you get a ‘mental illness’ label no one listens to you at all. It’s all about your behaviour, not the drugs – they just will not have it and dismiss with vehemence and threats.

        My view we really need more medical people and lawyers switched on to this very serious matter.

  14. AntiDepAware

    “The court heard Oliver was on anti-depressants, had thoughts of suicide and instances of self-harming at the time of the killing.” via @MailOnline

    Cameras will broadcast from Old Bailey for first ever UK televised sentencing tomorrow when paedophile learns his fate for stabbing his grandfather to death

    The footage will be broadcast on leading UK news channels and made available online.

    It will open up some of the most high-profile courts and allow the public to see and hear judges explain the reasoning behind their sentences.
    Only the judge will be filmed during any sentencing to protect the privacy of victims, witnesses and jurors.

    There will also be a ten-second time lag in order for broadcasters to cut the feed should anything unexpected happen. 

    He said the issue for the jury was the defendant’s mental state at the time and whether his responsibility was diminished, meaning he was guilty of manslaughter and not murder.

    The court heard Oliver was on anti-depressants, had thoughts of suicide and instances of self-harming at the time of the killing.

    Mr Mably said: ‘He was a troubled and angry young man.’

    This raises

    Should the Jury have taken in to account the medical record, he was on Antidepressants

    In this case of Antidepressants. is it suitable to make this the first ever UK televised sentencing

    interesting that it should be this one, when the accused “The court heard Oliver was on anti-depressants, had thoughts of suicide and instances of self-harming at the time of the killing.”

    Among broadcasters planning to televise Oliver’s case tomorrow, Sky, BBC and ITN will be able to apply to film and broadcast sentencing remarks.

    “a victory for the viewer.”

    – Boiling, burning and beheading were frequently used in the mediaeval period, by the eighteenth century hanging had become the principle punishment for capital crimes -.

    Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Burnett of Maldon says it’s “exciting”

    Hmmmmm – whatever rocks your boat…

  15. The filmmaker Bob Fiddaman speaks of is Edgar Barens. Edgar was nominated for an Academy Award in 2013 for his short documentary “Prison Terminal.” It tells the story of Jack Hall, an inmate in an Iowa maximum security prison. Edgar captures Jack, an admitted former segregationist, as he is lovingly cared for by two African American inmates, until he takes his last breath, in the hospice program created by inmates at the prison.

    Edgar has been invited by prisons throughout the country to screen his film. One such prison was Marilyn’s. Marilyn was so taken with the tenderness of his film that she asked if I could find him. Unbelievably, Edgar lives fifteen minutes from me!

    Edgar and I met for coffee. I told him all about Marilyn and the link between SSRI’s and violence. He wanted to meet her.

    Edgar has visited her several times over the years and is working to find a production company willing to back a film about involuntary intoxication, focusing on Marilyn and other SSRI tragedies. David Healy and Andy Vickery have agreed to be involved.

    Edgar accompanied me to Marilyn’s clemency hearing last month and was granted permission to film it. Four former nursing colleagues of Marilyn’s also attended, as did a brother and sister, two former inmates, and members from the area’s Unitarian Universalist Church. A few years back, Marilyn was made their first incarcerated member.

  16. This is very interesting and a direct parallel with Mental Health detentions. If Governor Hochul can’t get this overturned, they’re just going to go with MH detentions – they don’t give a fig if any prescribed drugs made people crazy let alone the CDC, Gates and Co – already up and running. My view – The vaccine harm people need to not get triggered. Do not give anyone a ‘mental health’ reason to detain you.. because, they will.

  17. We are sleepwalking into major problems regarding mental health issues induced by medicines, vaccines and recreational drugs.
    Crimes against humanity are being ignored and the TRUTH is being deflected with nonsense.
    Big Pharma is destroying the very fabric society.
    Sadly the mighty dollar comes before people.

  18. recovery&renewal Retweeted


    I feel so ashamed that our UK Gov and those manipulating healthcare,take too long to react to horrendous iatrogenic harm.From Thalidomide to Vioxx:From contaminated blood to DES to Primodos & Sodium Valproate & more! Warnings & compensation are criminally slow.

    Dr. Nancy Olivieri

    · Jul 30

    The worst #publichealth scandal in Australian history. “It is only right that the same is now seen to be done in #Australia.”… #InfectedBlood #ContaminatedBlood #accountability

    Its hard to get over MHRA Seroxat four-year investigation and then for the Judiciary to pull-the-plug

    ‘There can be no excuses from the pharmaceutical industry. The public must be able to have trust and confidence in the medicines they are taking. We need to be sure that the tragedies associated with Seroxat can never happen again. The best way to achieve this is for drug companies to publish all clinical trials data, making it available for scrutiny and review, and to inform prescribing decisions.’,its%20antidepressant%20drug%20Seroxat%20came%20to%20a%20conclusion.

    The decision not to prosecute followed a four and a half year investigation and was taken on the grounds that the law at the relevant time was insufficiently clear. This article assesses the existence of significant gaps in the duty of candour which had been assumed to exist between drugs companies and the regulator, and reflects upon what this episode tells us about the robustness, or otherwise, of the UK’s regulation of medicines.

    MHRA Investigation into Glaxosmithkline/ Seroxat

    This is a report produced by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) following the conclusion of an investigation concerning Glaxosmithkline (GSK) and the anti-depressant drug Seroxat. The investigation was carried out to determine whether a criminal prosecution should be pursued into alleged breaches of drug safety legislation. The decision taken by Government Legal Prosecutors, on the basis of the investigation findings and legal advice, is that the case should not proceed to prosecution. The key factor behind this was that the law regarding companies’ obligations to disclose safety-related information was not – at the time in question – sufficiently clear in applying to the use of a drug outside its licence (in this case, use in children when it was licensed only for adults). As a result of this, steps are now being taken to strengthen the law in this area.

    The Seroxat Scandal – Teaching Expertise…what a joke…

    • My local MH Trust looking to employ 5 Consultant Psychiatrists to CAMHS

      More psychs, more psych drugs more disaster, more MSM virus/war/global warming human extinction (BBC this morning) fear more anxiety/depression, more psychs, more psych drugs, more clueless public demanding more MH services, more disaster…

  19. Quietly Shelved – Paroxetine Product Family – this guy’s a riot…

    “A spokesperson for GSK said the discontinuation was part of a “broader strategic review” of the paroxetine product family.”

    Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has issued a medicine supply notification for Paroxetine (Seroxat®) 20mg/10ml oral suspension.

    Tier 2 – medium impact

    Date of issue 14th July 2022

    Paroxetine (Seroxat®) 20mg/10ml oral suspension will be discontinued in July 2022

    There are limited supplies remaining.

    Paroxetine tablets and unlicensed specials of paroxetine 10mg/5ml oral suspension remain available and can support an uplift in demand.

    GSK Discontinues Production of Liquid Paroxetine (Seroxat)

    Paroxetine is sometimes cited as one of the most difficult antidepressants to withdraw from, possibly because of its short elimination half-life, so the lack of a manufacturer liquid is of concern.

    The UK’s Pharmaceutical Journal recently wrote about this, quoting a GSK source who said: “GSK has decided to discontinue manufacturing, supply and marketing of paroxetine hydrochloride oral suspension products. We recognise that paroxetine hydrochloride oral suspension is an important medicine for some patients and regret any inconvenience the discontinuation may cause.”

    Medium impact –

    Paul Sams, someone with experience of taking and coming off antidepressants, said, “The idea that this liquid form of Seroxat is no longer going to be available fills me with horror for the people hoping to come off this medication. I think the people who provide the tablet form should be firmly supported to continue making the liquid form of the medication available.”

    Julia Robinson

    The discontinuation of paroxetine (Seroxat; GSK) 20mg/10mL oral suspension has been described as a “blow” for patients tapering off the #antidepressant.
    Read our exclusive story here:

    Discontinuation of antidepressant could affect tapering patients, say experts

    Exclusive: Paroxetine 20mg/10mL oral suspension is being discontinued, but experts have highlighted how these liquid formulations of antidepressants are “essential” for successfully tapering patients.

    The liquid selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) paroxetine (Seroxat; GSK) 20mg/10mL oral suspension is to be discontinued, raising concerns for patients in the process of tapering off the drug.

    On 14 July 2022, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) announced via a medicine supply notification that paroxetine (Seroxat) 20mg/10mL oral suspension would be discontinued in July 2022 and that there were “limited” supplies remaining.

    The notification said that paroxetine tablets and unlicensed specials of paroxetine 10mg/5mL oral suspension remained available and could “support an uplift in demand”.

    A spokesperson for GSK said the discontinuation was part of a “broader strategic review” of the paroxetine product family.

    “GSK has decided to discontinue manufacturing, supply and marketing of paroxetine hydrochloride oral suspension products,” they said.

    “We recognise that paroxetine hydrochloride oral suspension is an important medicine for some patients and regret any inconvenience the discontinuation may cause.”

    Experts have highlighted that liquid formulations, such as paroxetine 20mg/10mL oral suspension, are “essential” for successful tapering from paroxetine and that, for the patients for whom this particular formulation has worked, the product withdrawal would be “of concern”.

    Roz Gittins, president of the College of Mental Health Pharmacy, said: “Paroxetine, because of it’s relatively short half-life, can be more often associated with discontinuation symptoms’

    “The liquid can be especially useful because it can enable more flexible dosing for dose reductions.

    “Whilst the number being prescribed is not as great as some other formulations, it restricts the licensed versions available for the people who really need it,” she added.

    Nicola Greenhalgh, lead pharmacist for mental health at North East London NHS Foundation Trust, said: “In terms of paroxetine … it is not an easy one to withdraw.
    “We are increasingly learning that the old advice of withdrawing over at least four weeks is simply not tolerated by many patients and the advice that discontinuation reactions are normally mild and short lived is not the case for a significant number of people coming off of antidepressants.”

    Greenhalgh added that some patients may need a few months to come off their antidepressants and may need liquid for only part of it, while others will have a prolonged withdrawal and may remain on the liquid for some time.
    “But, [the discontinuation] is likely to impact any of those patients who are coming off,” she said. “Some advice has been to switch to an SSRI with a longer half-life but, from practice, it is not always as simple.”

    Steve Bazire, honorary professor at the School of Pharmacy at the University of East Anglia, said that paroxetine was “rarely started these days” but that there were people still on it in the community.

    He added that other paroxetine liquids and strengths, such as 10mg/5mL, 20mg/5mL and 30mg/5mL, had been mentioned by the Specialist Pharmacy Service as alternatives, but said it was not easy to find out who the manufacturers are.
    “I’ve no idea how many people have the liquid … but overall, I’d say it’s a bit of a pain having this product discontinued, but if we can find out who makes the other liquids it would solve the issue,” he said.

    David Taylor, director of pharmacy and pathology at the Maudsley Hospital and professor of psychopharmacology at King’s College London, said that he understood that other liquid formulations remained available.
    “There may be differences in the formulation of different liquid oral products but I doubt they have any clinical significance given that the paroxetine content is the same,” he added.

    The patient view

    Sarah Tilley came off Seroxat over several years using the oral solution. She said:

    “Many people trying to wean off Seroxat know how vital it is to get hold of the liquid version of the drug to help facilitate a safe and gradual taper. Without access to this it throws up lots of questions around how to taper safety and puts people at greater risk of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. The decision to stop making liquid Seroxat is both concerning and hugely disruptive for those trying to come off.”

    Another patient, who wished to remain anonymous, had been taking Seroxat since they were in their early 20s. Frustrated by the side effects, they had attempted to stop taking it numerous times since 2004:
    “For my latest attempt to stop Seroxat, starting from 20mg in 2018, I have used the oral suspension form to follow a hyperbolic taper. Doing so lets me precisely measure doses, avoids the risks of crushing tablets to make my own suspension, and is quicker and easier to order from my GP. 
    “So to learn GSK will no longer make the liquid form of this drug is yet another blow for me and for patients in the same precarious position. GSK must reverse this decision.”

    Paul Sams, based in the North West of England, has now had a number of years medication free:
    “The idea that this liquid form of Seroxat is no longer going to be available fills me with horror for the people hoping to come off this medication. I think the people who provide the tablet form should be firmly supported to continue making the liquid form of the medication available.”

    This article was updated on 27 July 2022 to include patients’ views

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  20. It seems obvious that liquid version of the ssri tablets must be avaliable for those who want to taper off these medicines safely. There will be many prescribed these drugs who have no idea that it isn’t wise to suddenly stop taking them. I found out going cold turkey off an ssri is not a sensible thing to do the hard way. Many others who are not forewarned about withdrawal issues will go through the exactly the same experiences that went through. Keeping people in the dark about these issues is extremely irresponsible. A documentary that presents simple clear advice broadcast after a popular TV programmes would make sense. I would prioritise the message that abrupt cessation of an ssri is dangerous and often leads to the person prescribed to suffer akathesia some time after cessation. It just concerns me greatly that there will be a huge number of people who have no clue that stopping an ssri is not like stopping taking a paracetamol tablet each morning. I also think that there are plenty of unpatented safe and effective herbal remedies which would be perfectly adequate for the alleviation of the most common problems the vast majority of people presenting to a GP with ordinary sadness. It is lunacy to prescribe so many people these medicines and not warn them about all the problems associated with there use.

    • “I would prioritise the message that abrupt cessation of an ssri is dangerous and often leads to the person prescribed to suffer akathesia some time after cessation. It just concerns me greatly that there will be a huge number of people who have no clue that stopping an ssri is not like stopping taking a paracetamol tablet each morning.”

      Even if you, in a very careful and painstakingly way come off, you can still get akathisia if subject to stress. What I found is that the drugs lower your threshold to getting akathisia again. I live in a very careful way avoiding most of my ignorant family . Tapered off 5 of the most akathisia inducing drugs and in the middle of benzo withdrawal akathisia, had a kidney stone blocking my tube and had an emergency operation – can you imagine having akathisia and kidney stone op same time. Had one operation and they couldn’t get it so put a stent in. Then because they couldn’t be bothered to do a scan, I went through another operation when I had already passed the stone.

      • I’m just finding that out right now. I shouldn’t have tapered from 2.5mg Fluoxetine I was on in March. You don’t know until you try. Actually I don’t think this is akathisia, it is more like a roller coaster ride of disorientation. I’m having a lie down and inhaling my peppermint oil quite enthusiastically. I’ve also had my special morning coffee. I like to believe I know what I’m doing. BP 147/90 HR 114. I let you know when things have improved for me at this end.

  21. I suppose I’m just stating the obvious. I had another flare up start on 1st August similar to what I experienced in the first two weeks of December 2021. Only it isn’t as severe so far but I have noticed my blood pressure was suddenly elevated to 150/100 and I have the high pulse 125bpm when I am lying down.

    It might sound a bit silly, but I have peppermint essential oil in two nasal inhalers inserted in my nostrils, this seems to help when things begin to get a bit turbulent. I’m even more unsteady on my feet than I was last week and I’m having quite bad derealization. I will take it easy for a while last time this occurred it lasted a couple of weeks.

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