Knacking

Recently I read this marvelous wordsmithing in the book Kraken by China Miéville:

“You have to persuade the universe that things make sense a certain way. That’s what knacking is.”

So, having a knack for something means, in this sense, making the universe work the way you imagine it should. Of course, the normal meaning of knack is a clever skill or special talent.

That may or may not have anything to do with CCHR or psychiatry, I just could not ignore the opportunity to pass it along.

On the other hand, we might observe that pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is knacking when they try to make their criminal activities go away by saying, “The complaint to which you refer concerns events in 1999, 13 years ago. It does not reflect what would be allowed in GSK today.”

The complaint, of course, is the US government’s allegations of criminal and civil charges against GSK resulting in the settlement announced this week, with GSK fined $3 billion for promoting off-label prescription of the antidepressant drug Wellbutrin, among other charges. (Read more about this here and here.)

Wellbutrin, generic term bupropion, is a newer antidepressant of the type Norepinephrine-Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitors. As a short-acting antidepressant and amphetamine-like drug similar to Ritalin and Dexedrine, it is also marketed in slow-release form as Zyban for people trying to quit smoking. While Wellbutrin is not FDA-approved to treat ADHD, doctors still prescribe it for this.

The FDA approved Wellbutrin as an antidepressant in 1985 but because of the significant incidence of seizures at the originally recommended dose (400-600 mg), the drug was withdrawn in 1986. It was reintroduced in 1989 with a maximum dose of 450 mg per day.

It can cause seizures and at rates of four times that of other antidepressants. Fatal heart attacks in those with a history of heart-rhythm disturbances have occurred. Other side effects include agitation, insomnia, increased restlessness, anxiety, delusions, hallucinations, psychotic episodes, confusion, weight loss and paranoia. Teens have abused the drug by crushing and snorting it, causing seizures.

One might say that the continued production and prescription of Wellbutrin itself is criminal, although that was not one of the government’s allegations.

Click here for more information about the side effects, often called adverse reactions, of psychiatric drugs.

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