New fundraising initiative launches this weekend in Hastings to highlight deadly anti-depressant drug side effects
A new fundraising initiative is launching on Sunday March 23, 2014 to raise awareness of the potentially deadly side effects of anti-depressant drugs. RxISK.org is the first organisation of its kind to gather and disseminate information on the side effects of antidepressants and other prescription drugs, from medical professionals and patients.
In the UK, 1 in 6 people are on anti-depressant medication. Yet according to RxISK founder and CEO Professor David Healy, a psychiatrist and psychopharmacologist from Wales, many of them are unknowingly at risk of potentially lethal side effects.
Although drug side effects are known to be a leading cause of death and disability, less than 5% of serious drug side effects are reported. RxISK’s mission is to capture this missing data directly through RxISK.org’s free drug side effect reporting tool where patients report drug side effects which can be passed on to government agencies, drug companies and researchers.
To create the first ever UK fundraising action for the RxISK cause, London-based documentary film maker Katinka Blackford Newman will be on the starting line of the Hastings Half Marathon in East Sussex at 10:30am on March 23. Katinka has a personal story of the tragic consequences that can result from anti-depressant medication. In 2011, Katinka was prescribed an anti-depressant and became psychotic. She was then given an anti-psychotic and more anti-depressants to combat the psychosis. Soon she was on a cocktail of four different medications, which turned her into a zombie. She was unable to work or concentrate, couldn’t feel empathy or love for her children, and became suicidal.
Katinka eventually became so ill that she admitted herself to a hospital where she was taken off all of her prescription drugs. After two weeks of horrendous withdrawal she became well again, is now medication free, runs daily and has never been fitter. She has vowed never to take anti-depressant medication again and is actively campaigning to help the public understand the potentially deadly side effects of anti-depressants. Her two children Lily, age 12 and Oscar age 11, who thought they had lost the mum they knew, will both be at the Hastings Half Marathon to help their mum raise funds for this great cause.