Last week’s post on Montelukast Withdrawal Syndrome has attracted comments at a higher rate than any prior post in 7 years of RxISK posts.
It followed a post on Asthma causing Suicide and Homicide two weeks previously, which had links to the QuarterWatch 2015 report of adverse events in children fingering montelukast and suicidality as the second most common pediatric adverse event received by FDA.
It also in my case followed an intriguing consult some years ago from a young man who had been arrested and was likely to be charged in a case that would have ruined his life, which put me onto the QuarterWatch material and the growing online concerns about montelukast especially given to children.
This individual was hoping a drug he was on might explain what had happened – it didn’t. But the montelukast he was also on, but hadn’t fingered as a possible cause – who would think an asthma drug could cause behavioural changes, did explain what happened.
The extraordinary rate of and quality of the comments on last week’s post is worth noting. It would be great to be able to say “celebrate” as with the post about the European Medicines’ Agency and Post SSRI Sexual Dysfunction the previous week, but in the light of the lessons that seem to fall out of this scenario, celebration is not the right word.
The lessons are common to the problems that happen on fluoroquinolones (See Here), mefloquine, isotretinoin, finasteride, pretty well all antipsychotics, all serotonin reuptake inhibitors, dopamine agonists, as well as montelukast and related drugs.
I get more and more requests for consults on withdrawal every week. I am afraid I leave many unanswered or answer some tersely.
There is a reason for this. Its stressful knowing that there is no answer for the problems many of these correspondents have. This is not a message anyone wants to hear. Better for them to think Healy is a creep who doesn’t answer emails than to think there is no answer, and better than taking money off people when if people haven’t found their own way off a drug there is little I or anyone else can do – other than tell them that, which is not something they are inclined to believe.
No-one easily accepts the fact that so many million people can be screwed over like this – of course there must be an answer out there.
This is a pressing issue. As several posts here recently on assisted dying have pointed out, the situation is getting worse – not better.
Even though there are millions of people in all developed countries in compromised states because of treatments they for most part should never have been given, nobody it seems wants to tackle the issues – neither mainstream nor academic media. One of the biggest culprits in all this is the BMJ, who are managing things rather like the way the catholic church have been managing child abuse issues.