Psychiatric Medication Awareness Group: psychiatric medications, addiction, recovery, withdrawl, risks & side-effects

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October 18/23 — How toxic are benzodiazepines?

New and/or counterfeit benzodiazepines, benzodiazepine analogues or derivatives, and benzodiazepine-like substances have also appeared in the illegal drug market…. These 'designer' benzodiazepines can be significantly more potent than their prescription counterparts and have poorly-described and poorly-understood pharmacological and toxicological profiles….

October 4/23 — ADHD in adults — by the authoritative Therapeutics Initiative (University of British Columbia) — includes a summary followed by the article in full.

This comprehensive review raises concerns about the overdiagnosis of ADHD in adults and the evidence for the effectivenss and safety of ADHD drugs commonly prescribed. Many adults have adverse effects when taking these drugs

April 17/23 — ‘I stopped sleeping’: the sometimes difficult path off antidepressants.

Historically, psychiatric bodies believed antidepressant withdrawal was mild and short and research into withdrawal was relatively limited. A 2021 Cochrane systematic review found more than 1,000 studies looking at safely starting antidepressants, but just 33 randomised control trials on stopping them.

March 19/23 — ‘Thirty years on, I still have symptoms from taking benzodiazepines.’

In the 1970s and 1980s, vast numbers of people in the UK began taking benzodiazepines, a group of drugs more commonly known as tranquillisers, for stress, anxiety and insomnia.


Haslam is just one of many people all over the world who reached out to The Telegraph describing their experiences of cognitive problems after taking benzodiazepines for years or even decades.

March 1/23 — Drug-Induced Insomnia.

Having trouble sleeping?

Remember, sleeping pills are risky to take. If taken for more than a few days they can cause tolerance, rebound insomnia and are hard to get off. Check the medications you are taking first! Many common drugs cause insomnia.

[A] new study shows that physical activity is 1.5 times more effective than counseling or the leading medications.


Higher intensity exercise had greater improvements for depression and anxiety, while longer durations had smaller effects when compared to short and mid-duration bursts.

February 25/23 — Exercise more effective than medicines to manage mental health, says study.

[A] new study shows that physical activity is 1.5 times more effective than counseling or the leading medications.


Higher intensity exercise had greater improvements for depression and anxiety, while longer durations had smaller effects when compared to short and mid-duration bursts.

February 22/23 — GPs' insights about discontinuing long-term antidepressant use in British Journal of General Practice (PDF).

There is considerable concern about increasing antidepressant use….


Evidence suggests this is driven by patients on long-term rather than new prescriptions.


Most antidepressant prescriptions are generated in general practice and it is likely that attempts to discontinue are either not occurring or are proving unsuccessful.

February 22/23 — “You need this drug,” and other things clinicians should stop saying.

Millions of older Americans are at risk from medication overload — harm caused by too many medications. And with the aging of the population, this problem is likely to get worse.


Fortunately, there is a lot we can learn from clinicians like Dr. Tom Perry, who have made it their life's work to recognize the signs of medication overload and educate others on how to avoid it.

February 21/23 — “A call to reform involuntary care. With personal roots” in The Tyee is an interview with Rob Wipond about his father's torment, state power, anti-psychotic drugs, and more.

B.C. has the most draconian, aggressive mental health laws in North America.


[T]here's no requirement under the B.C. Mental Health Act to formally test anyone for their level of competency or insight.

February 21/23 — Rob Wipond's Your Consent Is Not Required video series is based upon the research for his book.

The main problem is that definitions of mental disorders have become so broad and mental health laws have expanded so much that these days practically anyone can get locked up.
  1. How Psychiatric Fraud Drives Forced Hospitalizations
  2. Psychiatric bed “shortage” or forced detention overload?
  3. The dangers of calling 988 (and many other mental health hotlines)
  4. Dramatically rising rates of psychiatric detentions

January 18/23 — Your Consent Is Not Required is a new book by Rob Wipond is now included on our books resource page.

Your Consent Is Not Required
Thoroughly researched, with alarming true stories and hard data from the US and Canada, Rob Wipond's Your Consent Is Not Required: The Rise in Psychiatric Detentions, Forced Treatment, and Abusive Guardianships builds an unassailable case for greater transparency, vigilance, and change.

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October 18/22 — For one year, I desperately chased sleep. Once I stopped trying, it found me.

September 14/22 — More than 1 in 5 residents in long-term care given antipsychotics without a diagnosis, data shows.

The medication is intended to sedate, and is used off-label to combat a variety of behaviours, from wandering to insomnia.


While there are questions about when and where these medications are appropriate, there is little disagreement that the current levels of use are higher than they should be.

July 31/22 — Psychotropic (Psychiatric) Drugs Prescribed to Those with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disabilities (PDF)
by Dr. Janet C. Currie, M.S.W., PhD.

Reasons, prevalence, adverse effects and potential for deprescribing

This overview was developed for those belonging to or working with the ASD and intellectually disabled community. It provides current thinking on potential risks of the drugs, the ways they can affect thinking, mood and behavior, whether deprescribing works and what we know about best practices.

July 21/22 — Little evidence that chemical imbalance causes depression, UCL scientists find.

Many people take antidepressants because they have been led to believe their depression has a biochemical cause, but this new research suggests this belief is not grounded in evidence.
— Joanna Moncrieff, professor of psychiatry at University College London

July 9/22 — The Dangers of Psychiatric Medication (YouTube video).

I brought two experts on — Dr. Jim Wright and Dr. David Cohen — to discuss the actual reality behind psychiatric medications and pharmaceuticals and dependency and withdrawal and suicide. This is an episode everyone should listen to if they or a loved one is on psychiatric medication or considering one or acting strange after being medicated.
— Mikhaila Peterson

June 18/22 — Stop dishing out antidepressants, doctors told.

Doctors should prescribe fewer antidepressants and for a shorter time, experts said, after a review found no strong evidence that the drugs were effective.

May 29/22 — Fish off the coast of Florida test positive for pharmaceutical drugs, says study.

May 13/22 — The Challenge of going off psychiatric drugs.

By necessity, clinical studies cannot capture fluctuations in mood that may be meaningful to the patient but do not fit into the study's categories. This methodology has led to a far more reliable body of evidence, but it also subtly changed our conception of mental health, which has become synonymous with the absence of symptoms, rather than with a return to a patient’s baseline of functioning, her mood or personality before and between episodes of illness.

May 3/22 — Important drug interactions for NSAIDs (subscription-based).

Patients taking any of the widely used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) should be aware that they all have clinically important interactions with many other medications.

April 26/22 — Antidepressants and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) for patients with depression.

Despite the empirical literature demonstrating the efficacy of antidepressant medications for treatment of depression disorder, these medications' effect on patients' overall well-being and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) remains controversial. This study investigates the effect of antidepressant medication use on patient-reported HRQoL for patients who have depression.

April 8/22 — What People Need to Know About Psychiatric Drugs has been completely revised in 2022 by Dr. Janet C. Currie, M.S.W., PhD. Learn more…

booklet cover

April 1/22 — Breaking off my chemical romance. We deserve a fuller picture of both the benefits and dangers of antidepressants.

March 26/22 — Cardiologist discusses her personal experience with benzodiazepine withdrawal.

February 23/22 — Doctors' Notes: Antidepressants could be affecting your COPD.

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November 24/21 — NHS to give therapy for depression before medication under new guidelines.

November 17/21 — Did you know that psychiatric drugs can cause eye and vision problems? See The Mind's Eye: Ocular Complications of Psychotropic Medications.

Although the literature indicates that newer antipsychotics have safer toxicology profiles compared with typical antipsychotics, newer medications may still cause metabolic syndrome. Specifically, impaired glucose metabolism, exacerbation of existing Type 1 and 2 diabetes, induction of Type 2 diabetes and diabetic ketoacidosis have all been linked to treatment with antipsychotic medications.

October 22/21 — We have a new logo — developed by Annie Webb at Art Science Design for PMAG.

PMAG logo.

October 19/21 — Three books were added to our resources section:

  • The Woman Who Cracked the Anxiety Code: the extraordinary life of Dr Claire Weekes by Judith Hoare
  • Self-Help for Your Nerves: Learn to relax and enjoy life again by overcoming stress and fear by Dr. Claire Weekes.
  • Hope and Help for Your Nerves: End Anxiety Now by Dr. Claire Weekes.

October 19/21 — 9 ways to know if health info is actually junk science.

August 9/21 — Rates of psychiatric drug and sleeping pill use rise during COVID for seniors in care.

[T]he emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with significant increases in the use of antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and opioids and no meaningful changes in the use of antibiotics or selected cardiovascular medications.

May 25/21 — Pharma execs mocked rural opioid addiction in newly-released emails.

April 30/21 — FDA belatedly requires abuse-related black-box warnings for Benzodiazepines (subscription-based). The new warnings in the labeling were not implemented until February 2021. See the September 2020 FDA warning.

April 30/21 — Big pharma pours millions into medical schools — here's how it can impact education.

April 27/21 — Some prescription drugs increase risk of car crashes by 35%.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia have found that prescribed anti-psychotics, benzodiazepines and high-potency opioids are associated with the highest increase in risk for road accidents.

April 22/21 — “You need this drug,” and other things clinicians should stop saying.

There are very few treatments that 100% of patients benefit from all the time. Oxygen for severe Covid pneumonia might be one. But for most drugs, the chance that patients will benefit is closer to 1%–2%.

March 3/21 — Severe COVID-19 linked to overprescribing. Download (PDF–637 KB).

Severe COVID-19 is strongly associated with polypharmacy in those not resident in a care home. Many of the drug classes on this list are recognized indicators of overprescribing.

February 15/21 — 1 in 4 seniors in New Brunswick take sleeping pills.

Regular use of sleeping pills can lead to dependence, memory loss and unsteadiness.

February 8/21 — Handling depression in COVID without drugs.

January 27/21 — Health Canada Safety Review: Common antidepressants and the potential risk of sexual dysfunction after treatment discontinuation.

January 23/21 — Relation of severe COVID-19 to polypharmacy and prescribing of psychotropic drugs.

January 23/21 — GPs' insights about discontinuing long-term antidepressant use.

January 19/21 — New patients lead rise in claims for antidepressants.

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October 16/20 — Fear and belief in “chemical imbalance” prevent people from coming off antidepressants.

According to the researchers, about five out of every six users of antidepressants do not benefit. Thus, the majority of people taking antidepressants are exposed to the potential harms of the drug unnecessarily. [S]tudies have demonstrated that long-term use may be unhelpful or even cause more harm than good.

September 7/20 — The risks of the prescribing cascade.

August 17/20 — Sex differences in pharmacokinetics predict adverse drug reactions in women.

The common practice of prescribing equal drug doses to women and men neglects sex differences in pharmacokinetics and dimorphisms in body weight, risks overmedication of women, and contributes to female-biased adverse drug reactions.

June 29/20 — Post-SSRI/SNRI Sexual Dysfunction has been added as well as a new external web resource, PSSD Canada.

June 23/20 — A study providing cognitive-behavioral treatment to people experiencing first-episode psychosis found antipsychotics did not improve outcomes.

June 20/20 — How I finally learned to sleep has been added to Benzodiazepines & sleeping pills.

May 3/20 — Do antipsychotics protect against early death? A review of the evidence.

April 28/20 — Pandemic science out of control.

A toxic legacy of poor-quality research, media hype, lax regulatory oversight, and vicious partisanship has come home to roost in the search for effective treatments for COVID-19.

January 22/20 — Benzodiazepines might be a 'hidden element' of the US' overdose epidemic — and doctor visits for prescriptions are increasing.

January 16/20 — I spent half my life on antidepressants. Today, I'm off the medication and feel all right.

January 6/20 — Dr. Heather Ashton, 90, dies; helped people quit anxiety drugs.

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December 5/19 — Dr. Joanna Moncrieff: What do psychiatric drugs really do and how can we use them rationally? 49 minute video presentation.

December 5/19 — Dr. Joanna Moncrieff: Drug treatment for bipolar disorder and psychosis. 47 minute video presentation.

November 23/19 — There are cases of persistent sexual dysfunction after drug withdrawal in patients taking serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These findings were reported in PRAC recommendations on signalsAdopted at the 13-16 May 2019 PRAC meeting (PDF–141 KB), on page 5 of an article published by the European Medicines Agency on June 11, 2019.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)/serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) may cause symptoms of sexual dysfunction (see section 4.8). There have been reports of long-lasting sexual dysfunction where the symptoms have continued despite discontinuation of SSRIs/SNRI.

Professor C Heather Ashton

July 11, 1929–September 15, 2019

It is with deep sadness that I report that Professor Ashton passed away on 15th September 2019. I am indebted to her for all the kindness and support she showed to me personally and I had the profoundest respect and admiration for her work and her steadfast dedication to those suffering from involuntary tranquilliser addiction. She will be greatly missed by all of us whose lives she touched.
The funeral notification reads: "Professor Heather Ashton died peacefully in her sleep at home in South Gosforth shortly before midnight on Sunday 15th September. She lived a long, full, and active life: as a loving wife, mother and homemaker to her much missed husband John and their children John, Caroline, Jim and Andrew (plus family dog Rex, also much missed); as a selfless doctor, teacher, and scientist who never turned away anyone who sought her help; and as a loyal and life-enhancing friend to all to who came close. A light has gone out, but her memory will endure." —

April 23/19 — Antidepressants: is there a better way to quit them?

April 3/19 — Reducing inappropriate or unnecessary medications could save as much as $62 billion over the next decade in unnecessary hospitalizations for older adults alone.

April 3/19 — The Challenge of Going Off Psychiatric Drugs.

March 21/19 — Psychiatry's incurable hubris. The biology of mental illness is still a mystery, but practitioners don't want to admit it.

March 7/19 — How to quit antidepressants: Very slowly, doctors say. These findings are reported in Tapering of SSRI treatment to mitigate withdrawal symptoms, an article published in The Lancet.

[P]sychiatrists spend a lot more time prescribing things than stopping them.

January 8/19 — Anxiety pills that promise so much leave behind a hidden 'epidemic.'. Addiction experts say misuse of benzodiazepines leaves older people hooked, teens high.

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October 2/18 — Antidepressant withdrawal symptoms severe, says new report. Existing guidance that symptoms are minimal leads to misdiagnosis and ‘harmful long-term prescribing.’

September 25/18 — added to our Self-Help Resources. is a blog by Donald W. Light exposing pharmaceutical myths.

September 20/18 — B.C. advocate questions why undiagnosed seniors getting antipsychotics.

September 9/18 — FDA repays industry by rushing risky drugs to market.

As pharma companies underwrite three-fourths of the FDA's budget for scientific reviews, the agency is increasingly fast-tracking expensive drugs with significant side effects and unproven health benefits.

July 19/18 — Big Pharma is quietly using nonprofits to push opioids.

July 14/18 — Judge rules Health Canada cannot withhold clinical trial data.

July 10/18 — Doctors' Notes: Antidepressants could be affecting your COPD.

July 3/18 — New from CADEN on the risks of polypharmacy (PDF–2.05 MB).

Are you worried about the medications older family members are taking? Common adverse effects can include problems with memory, over-sedation, confusion, dizziness, balance problems, increased falling or behaviour that is unusual.

June 20/18 — SSRI and SNRI withdrawal symptoms reported on an Internet forum (PDF–53 KB).

June 15/18 — Prevalence of prescription medications with depression as a potential adverse effect among adults in the United States.

In this cross-sectional US population-based survey study conducted between 2005 and 2014, the estimated overall prevalence of US adults using medications with depression as a potential adverse effect was 37.2%. The adjusted percentage of adults with concurrent depression was higher among those using more concurrent medications (eg, estimated 15% for =3 medications).

June 13/18 — We need new ways of treating depression.

May 29/18 — Jay Griffiths: “I walked 800km in a heatwave to get out of a severe depression.”

May 19/18 — Real life experiences and trauma are the cause of depression.

April 21/18 — Many people taking antidepressants discover they cannot quit.

April 9/18 — Can't sleep? Tell yourself it's not a big deal.

April 4/18 — The other prescription drug problem: 'Benzos' like Valium and Xanax.

March 19/18 — A quiet drug problem among the elderly.

Way too many older Americans are getting benzos. And of those, many — more than half — are getting them for prolonged periods. That's just bad practice. They have serious consequences.

March 11/18 — Moms reach $6.2m settlement over claims that Paxil anti-depressant caused kids' heart problems.

March 5/18 — Antidepressant Seroxat (the British sister of Prozac) under scrutiny as firm pays out $6.4m.

February 26/18 — Challenging the new hype about antidepressants.

January 4/18 — Additional research confirms the association of hip fractures with benzo use. Some studies show increased risk in short term users ( subscription-based).

January 4/18 — Antipsychotics can cause vocal cord damage.

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December 15/17 — As dangerous as opioids — Benzo overprescription becoming a crisis.

November 30/17 — Operating in Darkness: BC's Mental Health Act Detention System. Report (PDF–7.09 MB). New report finds disturbing rights violations in BC's mental health detention system.

BC's mental health detention system has been operating in darkness for too long. While other Canadian provinces have been conducting investigations to evaluate their mental health detention systems, the BC Government has failed to engage in any systemic review. — Laura Johnston

November 24/17 — How the new impatient patient is disrupting medicine. Patient activists have never been as vocal. But are they truly being heard?

November 23/17 — Are You Addicted to Benzos? — a new posting on the Benzodiazepine and Sleeping Pill Addiction, Tapering & Recovery Blog.

November 21/17 — YouTube video: Sexual function with antidepressants.

This dangerous class of drugs was overprescribed by doctors, creating a pandemic.

Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction (PSSD) is a condition in which sexual side effects don't resolve after stopping antidepressants, or in some cases only develop when the antidepressant is stopped. Similar problems happen after isotretinoin (PRSD) and finasteride (PFS).


October 20/17 — Faulty drug tests by Motherisk at the Hospital for Sick Children resulted in tragedy for families in 5 provinces.

For more than two decades, in thousands of cases across Canada, Motherisk's flawed drug and alcohol testing influenced decisions about whether to remove children from their families. Parents who've lost children speak out about the heartbreaking aftermath and experts weigh in on how it all went wrong.

September 25/17 — Thou shall not criticize our drugs.

September 25/17 — Psychiatry ignores an elephant in the room.

August 29/17 — Drug safety advocate concerned over Health Canada ‘retreating’ from Vanessa's Law.

May 30/17 — Psychiatric drugs killing more users than heroin, cocaine, say health experts.

May 23/17 — Doctors 'too reliant' on depression questionnaire designed by Pfizer, campaigners warn.

May 9/17 — The Chemical Imbalance Theory of Depression: still promoted but still unfounded.

May 3/17 — Researchers fight to undo a depression drug's dark history (subscription-based). It refers to a published study promoting the benefits of citalopram (CELEXA) for the treatment of depression in children and teens, which was never approved by the FDA.

May 3/17 — Citalopram (Celexa) in children and adolescents for depression: What we knew and when.

April 11/17 — How many pills are too many?

March 17/17 — Analysis: Reports of drug side effects increase fivefold in 12 years.

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December 31/16 — Why do we doctors so often fail to see symptoms are drug side effects?

December 8/16 — The harms of antipsychotic drugs: evidence from key studies.

November 15/16 — Canadian children now take far more mood-altering drugs, prescription count shows.

October 24/16 — The Benzodiazepine Medical Disaster is a documentary that tells the hidden story of how benzodiazepines can both maim and kill. Professor Heather Ashton compares it to the Thalidomide scandal. Added to our Video Links.

October 21/16 — Hospitals struggle to address terrifying and long-lasting ‘ICU delirium’

October 14/16 — Systemic review finds antidepressants double the risk for agitation and violence in healthy volunteers.

October 3/16 — Explosion in the number of prescriptions of antidepressants for seniors (French — Le Journal de Montréal).

September 2/16 — Opiods and anti-anxiety medication are killing white American women.

August 29/16 — For mild depression, try jogging, yoga, or any form of aerobic exercise before drugs, psychiatrists say.

August 14/16 — My trip through the polypharmacy blender.

August 12/16 — Dangerous mix of medication leads to faulty Alzheimer's diagnosis. (Up to 1 in 5 dementias are caused by a bad combination of medications in Canadian seniors.)

July 7/16 — Promo Video: World “Benzodiazepine Awareness Day” July 11, 2016. More…

March 7/16 — Deprescribing medications for seniors a safety priority.

February 26/16 — More overdose deaths from anxiety drugs.

February 5/16 — Some antidepressants linked to aggression and suicide in young people, study says. | View the study.

January 28/16 — Common antidepressant 'could put children at greater risk of suicide.'

January 19/16 — Benzodiazepines; Risks and Benefits. A Reconsideration. (PDF–27.1 KB) A review by Professor C Heather Ashton, DM, FRCP. See also this section of The Ashton Manual Supplement.

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December 12/15 — Still in a crib, yet being given antipsychotics.

September 4/15 — Psychiatrists: the drug pushers. Is the current epidemic of depression and hyperactivity the result of disease-mongering by the psychiatric profession and big pharma? Does psychiatry have any credibility left at all?

September 4/15 — Fears that antipsychotic drugs being used as “chemical cosh” in disability care.

April 6/15 — Benzodiazepines: widely prescribed, dangerous sleep and tranquilizer drugs (subscription-based).

March 25/15 — Prescription Pharmaceuticals in Canada: Final Report (PDF–4.08 MB). Canada's Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, March 2015.

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October 3/14 — Reducing polypharmacy: A logical approach. Polypharmacy is the use of multiple medications by a patient.

October 1/14 — Eszopiclone (LUNESTA): too dangerous at any dose (subscription-based).

July 11/14 — Prescriptions for benzodiazepines rising and risky when combined with opioids, researchers warn.

July 1/14 — New study shows increased risk of death with sleeping pills and tranquilizers (subscription-based).

June 4/14 — Journeying Back To Self — one woman's experiences of psychiatric oppression and liberation — was added to our General Resources.

May 12/14 — Open Pharma is a movement to have all drug company payments to physicians made accessible to the public. Added to our Self-Help Resources.

May 12/14 —'s free consumer information on drug safety and more provides an invaluable resource to consumers.

April 26/14 — SSRIs: The gateway drug to mass murder.

April 26/14 — Psychiatrists now say non-conformity is a mental illness: only the sheeple are 'sane.'

March 31/14 — American Addict is a documentary film that reveals the relationships between the FDA, big Pharma, physicians and the media that are in place to ensure that medical problems are treated primarily with pills.

March 28/14 — Cases of abnormal heart rhythm have been reported with the antidepressant REMERON / REMERON RD (mirtazapine).

March 7/14 — From compliance to mental health civil rights activism: a mother's journey.

February 3/14 — There are no randomized controlled trials that support the United States Preventive Services Task Force guideline on screening for depression in primary care.

January 7/14 — Antidepressant-induced liver injury: a review for clinicians.

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December 3/13 — Relabeling the medications we call antidepressants.

November 22/13 — Antidepressant use in Canada among highest in world: OECD.

November 22/13 — Dramatic increase of mass shootings in America: The role of prescription psychiatric drugs?

September 25/13 — Anti-depressants linked to type 2 diabetes.

September 14/13 — Too much medicine is bad for our health.

September 6/13 — The psychiatric drug crisis.

September 3/13 — Report: corporate crime in the pharmaceutical industry is common, serious and repetitive. (PDF–174 KB)

July 31/13 — Despite risks, sedatives called 'benzos' widely used across Canada, experts say.

July 1/13 — Drug reactions and the effectiveness of antidepressants.

July 1/13 — Health Canada announced changes to the system for reporting adverse drug reactions (extended interview).

June 11/13 — Rise in off-label use of antipsychotic drugs for B.C. youth soars, study says. See also:

May 31/13 — Time for a paradigm shift in psychiatric diagnosis (PDF–121 KB).

May 21/13 — Benzodiazepines may increase risk of CAP, mortality

May 21/13 — Parental depression, maternal antidepressant use during pregnancy, and risk of autism spectrum disorders: population based case-control study

May 21/13 — Hypnotics' association with mortality or cancer: a matched cohort study

April 22/13 — Addiction to prescribed drugs: round table discussion

April 22/13 — Drug Reactions: The effectiveness of antidepressants

April 9/13 — Diagnosis: Human

April 9/13 — Top 10 drug advertising spends predict your doctor's “flavour of the month.”

April 8/13 — 'Deceitful' Big Pharma accused of putting lives at risk.

March 26/13 — Editorial: Assessing drugs a vital function.

March 26/13 — Drug reactions send 26,000 seniors to hospital.

March 26/13 — OUse of high potency statins and rates of admission for acute kidney injury: multicenter, retrospective observational analysis of administrative databases.

March 26/13 — RxISK blog added to our Self-Help Resources.

March 18/13 — Open letter to Brown University re journal article misrepresenting efficacy and safety of paroxetine.

March 13/13 — Rethinking Depression three-part CBC audio series: Part 2 and Part 3.

March 13/13 — Adjunctive atypical antipsychotic treatment for major depressive disorder: a meta-analysis of depression, quality of life, and safety outcomes.

March 3/13 —
Medicating the military Use of psychiatric drugs has spiked; concerns surface about suicide, other dangers.

February 21/13 — Medicines flushed down toilets hurting fish: study.

February 13/13 — Overdoing Prevention: Beware of regular check-ups, healthism by numbers and genetic profiling.

February 8/13 — Inappropriate long-term use of antipsychotic drugs is common among people with dementia living in specialized care units.

January 24/13 — Top psychiatrist: [Psychotropic] meds behind school massacres.

January 22/13 — Benzodiazépines: une overdose française (Benzodiazepines: a French overdose [Google's English translation]).

January 20/13 — Burlington's HowardCenter tries a new approach to treating mental illness: more talking, fewer meds.

January 3/13 — Antidepressants to treat grief? Psychiatry panelists with ties to drug industry say yes.

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December 20/12 — The antipsychotic prescribed to Connecticut shooter Adam Lanza has a troubled history all its own.

December 16/12 — Still relevant — a 2007 call for an investigation of the link between mass shootings and psychiatric drugs.

December 5/12 — Paxil lawsuit approved as class action by B.C. judge.

December 4/12 — Long-term use of some antipsychotics not warranted in older adults: study.

November 26/12 — Grapefruit juice interaction with drugs can be deadly.

November 25/12 — New PMAG “benzo help” blog: Benzodiazepine and Sleeping Pill Addiction, Tapering & Recovery.

November 19/12 — Heartburn pills that cause heart attacks, antidepressants that lead to suicide: Why does Canada trail the U.S. and EU in protecting its citizens from dangerous meds?

November 12/12 — Forgetfulness in seniors tied to anxiety and insomnia drugs.

November 12/12 — Prescription opioid deaths as high as drunk driving deaths, say B.C. officials.

November 5/12 — Depression and antidepressants in Australia and beyond — a critical public health analysis. (PDF–2.69 MB)

October 31/12 — Taking SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy: considerations and risks.

October 29/12 — Health Canada brushes off reports of serious side effects.

October 28/12 — Tony Scott suicide & anti-depressants: prescription drugs found in Top Gun director's system.

October 10/12 — Psychiatry — and medicine in general — has a dangerously close relationship with the pharmaceutical industry.

October 7/12 — Drug giants fined $11bn for criminal wrongdoing — fines are not enough to reform drug industry, warn lawyers.

October 3/12 — Drug Safety Initiative: Potentially Inappropriate Medications in Seniors — a CME guide designed for family physicians, geriatricians, and other health care professionals who care for older adults.

September 30/12 — Valium’s contribution to our new normal.

September 25/12 — The drugs don't work: a modern medical scandal.

August 30/12 — Doctor Who? The corporations behind WebMD's friendly, free advice.

August 28/12 — Overtreatment is taking a harmful toll.

August 25/12 — A systematic review of comparative efficacy of treatments and controls for depression.

August 20/12 — Andrew Scull on All We Have to Fear: Psychiatry's Transformation of Natural Anxieties into Mental Disorders.

August 9/12 — Advertising dollars predict drug prescription rates.

August 3/12 — Is Anxiety Overdiagnosed?

July 17/12 — FDA maintained an 'enemies list' to quell critics.

July 12/12 — 3 antidepressants found in autopsy of Mary Kennedy.

July 12/12 — Happiness is being a loser.

May 30/12 — Nursing homes pushed to reduce antipsychotic drug use by 15 percent this year.

May 11/12 — Antipsychotic use and myocardial infarction in older patients with treated dementia.

May 4/12 — Psychiatry's bible, the DSM, is doing more harm than good.

April 10/12 — Taking SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy: considerations and risks.

March 15/12 — La molécule qui rend fou (French video — The molecule that [drives them] crazy is an Google translation into English of the synopsis).

March 13/12 — Afghanistan massacre by U.S. sergeant reveals epidemic of psychiatric drugging of soldiers.

March 13/12 — New worries about sleeping pills.

March 6/12 — Psychiatric adverse reactions with statins, fibrates and ezetimibe implications for the use of lipid-lowering agents.

February 29/12 — Study: Popular sleeping pill Ambien linked to increased death rate. (BMJ Abstract)

February 22/12 — Mass-withdrawal disaster feared as OxyContin funding pulled.

February 21/12 — Medicalizing Grief May Threaten Our Ability to Mourn.

February 13/12 — Risperdal on trial, Texas style.

February 13/12 — Prevention of depression and anxiety.

February 3/12 — Celexa medication guide (PDF–44 KB). The companies know all about the adverse drug reactions.

February 1/12 — Searching for side effects.

January 22/12 — Dr. David Healy's Data Based Medicine blog added to our Self-Help Resources.

January 17/12 — 4 creepy ways big pharma peddles its drugs.

January 17/12 — Pharmawatch Canada blog added to our Self-Help Resources.

January 12/12 — Dr. Heather Ashton & Panel: Coming off medication including benzodiazepines, SSRI and similar antidepressants [Video].

January 12/12 — Drugs associated with more suicidal ideations are also associated with more suicide attempts.

January 2/12 — Health Care Renewal blog added to our Self-Help Resources.

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December 22/11 — Recent Speech given by Dr. Heather Ashton, developer of the Ashton Protocol for withdrawal from benzodiazepines to a Benzodiazepine Support Group in Bradford, England. (PDF–118 KB)

December 5/11 — ABC News video: Too many meds for foster kids? Foster children are given mind-altering drugs at up to 13 times the rate of other children.

November 21/11 — Drugs used for psychotics go to youths in foster care.

November 17/11 — U.S. study: Use of psychiatric drugs spreads.

November 8/11 — YouTube Video: Robert Whitaker — Rethinking psychiatric care.

November 7/11 — Brain damage from Benzodiazepines: The troubling facts, risks, and history of minor tranquilizers.

October 29/11 — CDC: Antidepressant use skyrockets 400% in past 20 years.

October 1/11 — "The Myth of Mental Illness" by Thomas Szasz

September 27/11 — How do patients weigh the risks of taking a prescription drug?

September 20/11 — Prescription drug deaths now outnumber traffic fatalities in the US

September 20/11 — Baby deaths spark fears over antidepressants.
— CBC video: Deaths spark fears.

August 29/11 — Celexa (citalopram hydrobromide): Drug Safety Communication — Abnormal heart rhythms associated with high doses

August 27/11 — Is your mum on drugs?

August 15/11 — Life addicted to prescription drugs

August 3/11 — Antipsychotic wrongly marketed to kids

August 2/11 — Antipsychotics to treat post traumatic stress among returning soldiers found ineffective

July 21/11 — Patients who use antidepressants more likely to relapse

July 17/11 — The illusions of psychiatry (part 2 of a series).

July 12/11 — Children born to mothers who took Valproate products while pregnant may have impaired cognitive development

July 4/11 — Now antidepressant-induced chronic depression has a name: Tardive Dysphoria

July 2/11 — The epidemic of mental illness: Why? (part 1 of a series).

June 29/11 — Psychiatric drug promotion and the politics of neoliberalism

June 22/11 — "Neurontin killed our husbands, we believe"

June 22/11 — Fractured health-care system sets scene for drug deaths

June 20/11 — Judge chastises Johnson & Johnson over Risperdal lies and concealing evidence

April 12/11 — The other drug problem: The prescriptions we take to regulate cholesterol, blood pressure and stomach acid are supposed to make us healthier. But could these medications be doing us more harm than good?

March 22/11 — Health Canada "silent" on drug safety decisions

March 8/11 — Talk doesn't pay, so psychiatry turns instead to drug therapy

February 25/11 — Are antidepressants better than a placebo?

February 22/11 — Antipsychotic drugs: FDA class labeling change — treatment during pregnancy and potential risk to newborns

February 4/11 — Rapidly increasing criminal and civil monetary penalties against the pharmaceutical industry: 1991 to 2010 — view entire report as a PDF

January 13/11 — Criminal fraud by the drug companies
— a new featured video

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December 7/10 — Is psychiatry for sale?

December 5/10 — Check on benzodiazepine-use must be done, say MPs.

November 17/10 —
America's mental illness epidemic: It turns out that the drugs are the problem.

November 15/10 —
Pharmaceutical scandal in Britain sheds disturbing new light on benzodiazepines.

November 10/10 — Drugs linked to brain damage 30 years ago.

November 10/10 —
Covered up evidence from medical research files on brain damage caused by benzodiazepines (PDF–3.87 MB)

November 10/10 —
Chemical cosh drugs to be cut by two thirds.

November 10/10 —
Mad in America: History, science, and the treatment of psychiatric disorders — a Psychology Today blog.

November 10/10 —
Prescrire in English provides factual information on adverse drug reactions and drug safety.

November 10/10 —
Is your mom on drugs? — a guide for family members, caregivers and primary care providers.

October 23/10 —
J&J told to pay $257.7 million over Risperdal marketing tactics

October 19/10 —
Side effects may include lawsuits

October 18/10 —
Lies, damned lies, and medical science

October 6/10 —
Antipsychotic and Benzodiazepine use among nursing home residents: findings from the 2004 National Nursing Home Survey

September 17/10 —
Are antidepressants safe in pregnancy? A focus on SSRIs

September 16/10 —
The secret lives of big pharma's "thought leaders"

September 16/10 —
Forest, maker of Celexa, to pay more than $313 million to settle marketing case

September 7/10 —
Taking SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy: considerations and risks (PDF–62 KB)

September 7/10 —
Child's ordeal shows risks of psychosis drugs for young

September 7/10 —
Informed consent and shared decision-making: a requirement to disclose to patients off-label prescriptions (PDF available for download — 93 KB)

May 4/10 —
Big Pharma, Bad Medicine: How corporate dollars corrupt research and education

April 29/10 —
Getting people on antidepressants early in life makes them loyal customers forever

April 26/10 —
Exercise helps fight anxiety, depression

April 22/10 —
Depression medication: patients report 20 times more side effects than recorded in charts

April 17/10 —
8 invented diseases big pharma is banking on

April 8/10 —
Mental health providers should prescribe exercise more often for depression, anxiety, research suggests

April 8/10 —
blog, Beyond Meds — Alternatives to Psychiatry, added. More…

April 8/10 —
Manufacturing Depression by Gary Greenberg

March 22/10 —
When drug makers' profits outweigh penalties

March 18/10 —
The long-term course of unmedicated depression

March 15/10 —
The Emperor's New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth, a book by Irving Kirsch

March 15/10 —
Some anti-depressant drugs associated with increased chance of developing cataracts: Study

March 8/10 —
Seroquel cocktail and military deaths

March 6/10 —
Emotional side-effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

February 10/10 —
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and breast cancer mortality in women receiving tamoxifen

February 8/10 —
Too much health care: We can't afford life's creeping medicalization

February 4/10 —
The depressing news about antidepressants: no more effective than a placebo … may be worse

January 22/10 —
How the US exports its mental illnesses

January 13/10 —
Monitoring of high-risk medications unchanged despite FDA warnings

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December 17/09 —
Anti-depressants "up stroke risk"

December 14/09 —
Poor children likelier to get antipsychotics

December 8/09 —
Deaths related to narcotic pain relievers have doubled since 1991: study

November 28/09 —
 Big pharma beaten

November 19/09 —
 Pediatric Zyprexa brochures embarrass British health service

November 16/09 —
 Pfizer VP appointment to Canadian Institutes of Health Research a clear conflict of interest

November 13/09 —
 Chemical restraints killing dementia patients

November 13/09 —
 US Senator wants Pentagon to review antidepressants

November 11/09 —
Pregnant women risk early delivery from using psychiatric medication

October 29/09 —
 Compromised care: psychotropic drugs given to nursing home patients without cause

October 29/09 —
 Weight gain associated with antipsychotic drugs

October 29/09 —
 Effectiveness of antidepressants: an evidence myth constructed from a thousand randomized trials?

October 27/09 —
 Bleak Britain: anti-depressant prescriptions soar even though illness declines

October 22/09 —
 3/4 of the donations to the largest mental health organization in the US come from drug companies

October 20/09 — Pharmalot blog added blog added to our Self-Help Resources.

October 15/09 —  Do depressed people really have a chemical imbalance in the brain?

October 15/09 — The Cochrane Library added to our Self-Help Resources.

October 13/09 — Canadian Adverse Reaction Newsletter added to our Self-Help Resources.

October 9/09 — Drug Product Database Online Query — more complete descriptions of drugs, their use, contraindications and potential risks

October 9/09 — Drugs associated with more suicidal ideations are also associated with more suicide attempts (PDF–226 KB)

September 22/09 —  Document details plan to promote costly drug

August 10/09 — Doped and duped

August 10/09 — Women given antidepressant that can cause birth defects

August 10/09 — Antidepressants once seen as miracle drugs: now risks are becoming evident

July 8/09 — Interpreting antidepressant clinical trials

July 8/09 — Antidepressant use linked to bone loss

June 17/09 — Sudden death and use of stimulant medications in youths

June 8/09 — Meltdown in the drug industry

June 8/09 — Study shows some SSRIs may cause Tamoxifen breast cancer drug to lose effectiveness See also related BMJ study (PDF–132 KB)

June 1/09 — Psychiatric Drugs Might Raise Cardiac Death Risk

May 28/09 — Legal loophole exposes Canadians to drug advertising banned in US: UBC research

A legal loophole is counteracting Canada's ban on direct-to-consumer drug advertising and has exposed Canadians to more than $90 million worth of ads, including those for drugs with life-threatening risks, according to a study by UBC researchers.

March 27/09 — Online age quiz is a window for drug makers

March 27/09 — Prescription sales rise by $1.2-billion, even as generics gain popularity

March 18/09 — A silenced drug study creates an uproar

March 6/09 — Important ruling — Patients in the US who have been harmed by drugs can continue to sue for damages!

January 29/09 — Death by Prescription: A Father Takes on His Daughter's Killer — the Multi-Billion Dollar Pharmaceutical Companies (book review)

January 23/09 — Eli Lilly to pay largest settlement in history over Zyprexa marketing tactics

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November 27/08 —  Proceedings from Adverse Reactions to Drugs: What is Our Responsibility? by Sara Bostock (PDF–32 KB)

November 19/08 — Use of antipsychotics in children is criticized

October 3/08 — Top psychiatrist failed to report drug income

September 26/08 — Antidepressants may harm male fertility

September 26/08 — B.C. Health minister won't prevent gifts going to doctors

September 11/08 — Drugs and the elderly in Canadian nursing homes

September 11/08 —  2004 report states 5/6 elderly taking prescription drugs in the US

August 28/08 —  Drug safety warnings ineffective in decreasing antipsychotic prescriptions for the elderly in Canada

August 26/08 —  Stanford to limit drug maker financing

August 26/08 —  Drug Companies and Schizophrenia: unbridled capitalism meets madness (PDF–324 KB)

August 22/08 —  Don't become a victim of medical marketing

August 15/08 —  Ending the Love affair between big pharma and the medical profession

August 1/08 —  Pill Pushers: pharmaceutical marketing in an overmedicated nation

July 12/08 —  American Psychiatric Association Faces scrutiny for drug company ties

June 23/08 —  The accuracy of psychiatric medication advertisements in medical journals

June 21/08 —  Britain's Child victims of the chemical Cosh

June 18/08 —  Non drug treatments for attention deficit disorder gaining credibility

June 16/08 — Legal drugs kill far more than illegal, Florida says

June 10/08 — Researchers fail to reveal full drug pay

June 5/08 — Persistent sexual dysfunction after discontinuation of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

May 29/08 — Psychiatric Medication Awareness Group Condemns government recommendation to scrap drug safety watchdog (PDF–15 KB)

May 29/08 — Highly-lauded drug assessment program under attack; (PDF)

May 29/08 — Current prescriptions of psychotropic drugs are irrational for the patients but very rational for the big pharma

May 29/08 — Life saving drug watchdog may be scrapped

March 4/08 — Drug firms pressed on secret pill data

February 27/08 — Drug giants warned: tell the truth on medicines

February 26/08 — Anti-depressants' "little effect"

January 31/08 — A Pill for every ill — or an ill for every pill? (archived by WayBackMachine)

January 17/08 — Researchers find a bias toward upbeat findings on antidepressants

January 15/08 — The ABCs of Disease Mongering: An epidemic in 26 letters (new book)

January 8/08 — The Medicated Child: PBS takes on pharmaView video

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Updated: January 10, 2024