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Prozac Backlash: Overcoming the Dangers of Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and Other Antidepressants with Safe, Effective Alternatives Paperback – April 17, 2001
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By the end of the 1990s, Prozac and similar drugs--Paxil, Zoloft, and others--were being prescribed for everything from depression to anxiety to drug addiction to ADD. About 70 percent of prescriptions for these antidepressants were being written by family physicians, rather than psychiatrists.
Dr. Joseph Glenmullen, a psychiatrist who has a private practice and also works for Harvard University Health Services, sees this antidepressant mania as dangerous, even reckless. He notes that these drugs can have severe side effects, including uncontrollable facial and body tics, which could be signs of severe and permanent brain damage. About 50 percent of patients suffer often-debilitating withdrawal symptoms from them, and about 60 percent end up with sexual dysfunction. And Prozac may make a small number of people homicidal or suicidal, or both.
But there are alternatives: in Germany, for example, St. John's wort outsells Prozac 25 to 1, showing that doctors and patients there understand that the herbal remedy works as well as the synthetic ones for mild to moderate depression. [Editor's note: St. John's wort has been shown to interfere with the actions of the transplant rejection drug cyclosporin and the AIDS drug indinivir.] And diet, exercise, 12-step programs, and good old-fashioned psychotherapy can work well, too. Even for severe depression requiring medication, Dr. Glenmullen shows how the drugs can be used with other treatments and then discontinued after a year or less.
Moreover, Prozac Backlash discusses exactly what depression is and isn't; Dr. Glenmullen reviews hundreds of scientific studies, and discusses numerous case studies from his practice and others. Because of that detail, medical professionals may be this book's most likely readers, but anyone who has been on an antidepressant, or is close to someone who is, will also want to give Prozac Backlash a careful read. The brain you save could be your own. --Lou Schuler --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book advocates patients talking to their doctors about the best available treatment for depression and other illnesses. This means talking to a medical professional who will listen to the patient and evaluate all of the options (medicine, therapy, herbal remedies, exercise, etc) and the risks associated with each option, to determine the best treatment plan for each individual patient.
Nothing in this book encourages people to suddenly stop their medication-- to the contrary. I am shocked at the customers who describe the book this way. It is understandable that patients are reluctant to look at the flaws (ie. potential negative side effects) of medications that have helped them feel better, but it must be done. This book provides good information considering what is available, citing to hundreds of scientific research studies published in reputable medical journals (anyone who states the book relies on anecdotes must have missed the 35 pages of footnotes).Read more ›
Glenmullen knows the real value--and equally real pitfalls--of these drugs--and shares his knowledge in this valuable and disturbing book. He explains the issues in laymen's terms, and includes scientific citations for those who wish more detail.
Not anti-drug per se, Glenmullen sees SSRIs as a temporary bandaid for acute crisis. He refers to research showing therapy to be equally effective for long term solutions. I've personally observed that no matter what the problem, the majority of mental health providers use drugs as a primary and often permanent answer. Glenmullen's is a valuable second opinion, and especially useful for those who have already discovered some of these drugs' many problems.
I am disturbed by some of the comments made by other 'reviewers' that this book is not 'scientific' or that it is only 'anecdotal'. I believe these comments are attempts to discredit the book. After all, if you read the book you will see that there is much at stake here: the drug manufacturers are making a fortune from prescriptions of anti-depressant medication, yet the evidence is mounting almost daily as to their mis-use and side effects. Indeed, the book even describes a payment by one drug company in 1994 to a potential witness in a trial in order to avoid bad publicity. This book presents the evidence for questioning the value of the current belief in certain anti-depressants like Prozac and Zoloft. The book is loaded with references to internationally-regarded medical journals and researchers, and to available surveys on the potential side effects. If there is anything 'anecdotal' about the book, it is that it is written in a easy-to-read styles that actually reports on real-life stories (anonymized).
Furthermore, it is false to say the author advises that anti-depressants should not be used at all. He makes it very clear that they should be reserved for severe cases of depression. In my opinion, the interesting points he makes are that prescribing anti-depressants for cases of less-than severe depression (or similar conditions such as anxiety, etc) may actually create more problems than they solve.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was checking to see how much damage the psycho-drugs I am taking were causing me.
I am cutting back w/ doctor's assistance.
If you have ever taken or been on Prozac or know someone who is then this book is a MUST READ!! I can't stress this enough.Published 11 months ago by BrendaKL
The author is basically foolish. Passionate, but foolish. He is unhappy with the harsh reality that mood meds work, and does what he can to oppose them.Published 13 months ago by J. Alexander Bodkin
This book was quite helpful, I have been on effexor for quite a while and now i know why it is so hard to come off of.Published on February 3, 2013 by Barbara B. Carter
Very informative and frightening. Makes you think twice about all perscription meds. I went cold turkey after reading this. Read morePublished on November 6, 2011 by Nanette M. Emerle
Doctors failed to give me a detailed withdrawal symptoms and I anticipated the withdrawal symptoms as another mental disorder. Read morePublished on March 21, 2011 by Rose
If you are forced to admit you need help and make an appt with the doctor, you really owe it to yourself to read this book first. Read morePublished on July 20, 2010 by The Reason