Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed antidepressant medication. Their use has been associated with everything from worsening depression to homicidal or suicidal behavior. But yet another dangerous side effect of serotonin reuptake inhibitors was discovered in a recent study done at Emory University School of Medicine.
In examining over 500 twins (all were U.S. Military veterans of the Vietnam War) researchers found that of the 59 pairs where only one of the brothers was on serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a higher carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) existed. This is a thickness in the main arteries of the neck.
Study author Amit Shah, M.D. said that users of serotonin reuptake inhibitors had an average of 40 micron increase in IMT. Age is the main factor that thickens arteries naturally, and the average increase is 10 microns a year. So in effect the brothers taking SSRIs have arteries 4 years older than their twin brothers.
A conventional test assessing carotid artery thickness determines plaque formation. This determines whether or not atherosclerosis is present. And studies show when plaque formation is present in the carotid artery that plaque is generally found in other vital arteries, as well as the heart itself.
Thus this thickening of the carotid artery due to serotonin reuptake inhibitors makes the patient a more likely candidate for a heart attack or stroke. The reason behind the artery thickening was not discovered in the study.
Prozac is the SSRI prescribed most often. And of course Prozac is infamous for its better known side effects. These include insomnia, nausea, tiredness, diarrhea, uncontrolled movements, inability to remain still, mania, severe mental and mood changes, vision changes and changes in sexual desire.
Other physical side effects of this serotonin reuptake inhibitor are fever, irregular heartbeat, vomiting, black stools, chest pain, seizures and bruising easily.
But violent behavior is the most chilling reaction displayed by some patients prescribed this antidepressant.
A new study done by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, which was based on information from the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting system found 31 drugs were heavily associated with reports of violence.
Prozac was found to be almost 11 times more likely associated with violent behavior than any other medication.
Are there natural alternatives to these dangerous drugs?
Since fish oil supplements have been found to ease depression symptoms and benefit the heart, some investigation into their benefits could be indicated.
In the Archives of General Psychiatry of May 1999, a report was published by Dr. Andrew Stoll. This entailed the study of fish oil use in 30 manic-depressive patients. A large number (69%) of this depressed group took 10 grams of the oil over 4 months and reported a marked improvement. Only 19% of the placebo group reported benefits.
The psychiatrists themselves know of this safe and very effective alternative, so why are dangerous serotonin reuptake inhibitors still being promoted to the public?
Perhaps we are the victims of one of the largest and most deadly scams to be perpetrated on the public, solely for the financial benefit of greedy pharmaceutical companies and their willing partners, psychiatrists and other medical professionals who prescribe these drugs. All indications seem to point in that direction.