Monday, July 6, 2009

FDA sez: Side Effects of 2 Antidepressant Meds: Depression and Suicide

AP story July 1:
"NEW YORK - The Food and Drug Administration will require two smoking-cessation drugs, Chantix and Zyban, to carry the agency’s strongest safety warning over side effects including depression and suicidal thoughts.
The new requirement, called a “Black Box” warning, is based on reports of people experiencing unusual changes in behavior, becoming depressed, or having suicidal thoughts while taking the drugs.
The antidepressant Wellbutrin, which has the same active ingredient as GlaxoSmithKline PLC’s Zyban, already carries such a warning."

Does this seem odd to anyone except me?

Technically, Chantix is not an "antidepressant." It seems to have simialr effect in the brain as the various antidepressants associated with aggressive impulsiveness, including suicidality and homicidality.

Zyban is the same as Wellbutrin, an antidepressant. Just re-labeled.

Antidepressant studies were being conducted for bupropion, the generic name of Wellbutrin and Zyban. Some of the depressed study participants happened to report that their desire for tobacco smoking, and their saitisfaction from smoking, were decreased as a side effect of the bupropion. So, bupropion began to get attention as a smoking cessation aid. This led to FDA approval for an antidepressant as a smoking cessation aid.

There is nothing different or unusual about Zyban. It just happpens to help some people quit smoking.

At the same time, it opens the door for millions to be exposed to the side effects of depression and suicidality. FDA has caught on to this, and so is reviewing the warning label.

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