Archive for April, 2017

Contrave Contrived to Confuse

Monday, April 24th, 2017

Contrave is marketed as a prescription weight-loss drug made from a combination of naltrexone HCL and bupropion HCL. Bupropion is an antidepressant, also marketed as Wellbutrin and Zyban for smoking cessation. Naltrexone is used to counteract alcohol and opioid addiction. (See our previous newsletter on Contrave.)

We’re not sure how this drug has anything to do with weight loss, except that the FDA allows it to be prescribed for that. We’re guessing it has something to do with calling obesity an addiction similar to smoking, and it’s another way to make money off of a drug by expanding its potential client base. The DSM-5 has a mental diagnosis called “Overweight or obesity.”

Naltrexone is not used extensively because the retention rate of patients is very low, so this use gives it additional life.

Bupropion increases the amount of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. The most common side effects associated with bupropion are agitation, dry mouth, insomnia, headache, nausea, constipation, and tremor. It can also cause mania, hallucinations, seizures, suicidal thoughts and behavior, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, irritability, hostile/angry feelings, impulsive actions, and severe restlessness. Additional adverse events of the Contrave combination are loss of consciousness and abuse of the drug.

Bupropion can also cause unusual weight loss or gain. We guess the doctor is betting on the former. The exact neurochemical effects of Contrave are not fully understood. What we fully understand is that the doctor is gambling that users will experience weight loss as a side effect of the drug.

Contrave has a boxed warning to alert health care professionals and patients to the increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors associated with antidepressant drugs. The warning also notes that serious neuropsychiatric events have been reported in patients taking bupropion.

Contrave is a trademark of Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. and is distributed by Takeda Pharmaceuticals. Shares of Orexigen (NASDAQ:OREX), collapsed 72% in 2015, based on its long-term cardiovascular-outcomes study for Contrave. The FDA chastised Orexigen for releasing immature data from a study where the analysis was incomplete, requiring Orexigen to run an additional long-term study.

Just for completeness, these are are inactive ingredients in Contrave: microcrystalline cellulose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, lactose anhydrous, L-cysteine hydrochloride, crospovidone, magnesium stearate, hypromellose, edetate disodium, lactose monohydrate, colloidal silicon dioxide, Opadry II Blue and FD&C Blue #2 aluminum lake. (With apologies to your dictionary, which may or may not help with some of these strange ingredients.)

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.The current recommended dose for Contrave is no more than 4 tablets per day; each tablet has 90 mg bupropion HCL for a total of 360 mg per day. In Contrave clinical trials, 24% of subjects discontinued treatment because of an adverse event.

The cost of Contrave varies from about $55/month to over $200/month depending on dose, location, and insurance coverage.

We can contrive several less dangerous and cheaper alternatives for losing unwanted weight, without Contrave.

1 in 5 Mentally Ill? Don’t Believe It!

Monday, April 17th, 2017

False information published by the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration claims that “19.9 percent of American adults in the United States (45.1 million) have experienced mental illness over the past year.”

In fact, statistics provided on the number of people suffering mental illness are completely false or, at best, questionable.

Psychiatry has literally covered every base with invented criteria. The child who fidgets is “hyperactive;” the person who drinks coffee has “caffeine intoxication;” if you smoke or chew you could have “tobacco use disorder;” a low math score is an “academic or educational problem;” arguing with parents is “oppositional defiant disorder;” and of course the catchall “unspecified mental disorder” for the rest of us. Many of these so-called “disorders” are really medical conditions, such as “restless legs syndrome” — there is sufficient evidence that restless leg syndrome can be caused by a magnesium deficiency. And if you’ve been held up at gunpoint, you are a “victim of crime,” and consequently in desperate need of an anti-anxiety drug.

Counting these normal human problems, emotions and reactions as “mental illness” is a fraud, designed to solicit funds for the mental health industry and sell more drugs.

The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is the book that contains names and descriptions of 955 so-called mental disorders (including everything from “alcohol intoxication” and “religious or spiritual problem” to “wandering.”)

Doctors, psychiatrists and other medical and mental health practitioners use the DSM to diagnose patients. Each DSM mental disorder description carries a code that clinicians can use to substantiate claims for health insurance reimbursement.

Though it has become very influential since it first appeared in 1952 (when it contained only 112 disorders), there is one crucial test the DSM has never passed: scientific validity. In fact, after more than 50 years of deception, broad exposure is now being given to the unscientific and ludicrous nature of this “947-page doorstop.”

Psychiatric diagnosis has come to be accepted as legitimate, reliable and scientific, though it is based on a system whose own authors admit that it is not. Within the covers of the various editions of DSM, its editors freely admit to the book’s intended use and its limitations.

For example, the DSM-IV states, “…although this manual provides a classification of mental disorders, it must be admitted that no definition adequately specifies precise boundaries for the concept of ‘mental disorder.'”

The fifth edition of DSM, released in 2013, has been garnering continuous criticism for the inclusion of ridiculous so-called behavioral disorders — “lack of adequate food or safe drinking water;” “alcohol-induced sexual dysfunction;” “cannabis intoxication;” “discord with neighbor, lodger, or landlord;” “extreme poverty;” “low income;” “inadequate housing.” Being diagnosed with a “conviction in civil or criminal proceedings without imprisonment” can lead to involuntary commitment. And to tie in with the current frenzy over opioid addiction, you can have a mental disorder called “opioid use disorder” for which you can be prescribed, guess what, another addictive psychotropic drug.

The contention of many is that the DSM’s developers are seeking to label all manner of normal emotional reactions or human behavioral quirks as mental disorders — thereby falsely increasing the numbers of “mentally ill” people who would then be prescribed one or more drugs that carry all manner of serious side effect warnings.

Based on the DSM then, statistics are touted about near “epidemic” rates of mental illness in order to demand more government funds and sell more harmful drugs, making people “patients for life” as the drug adverse events then require more drugs to handle these side effects.

The apparent epidemic of “mental illness” is because the psychiatric industry, working with the pharmaceutical industry and the Food and Drug Administration, invents new disorders almost every year. Take, for example, “intermittent explosive disorder,” often referred to as “road rage” and which psychiatrists report afflicts one in 20, about 16 million Americans. How, exactly, did psychiatrists come up with this? They conducted a survey. The survey asked American adults if they had ever experienced three anger outbursts in their entire life. Not surprisingly, a whole lot of people said they had. From this flimsy evidence the Archives of General Psychiatry printed the survey results that hype this fictitious disease.

In September 2001, a U.S. Senate hearing on “Psychological Trauma and Terrorism” was told that, “Seventy?one percent of Americans said that they have felt depressed by the [9/11] attacks.” It’s a worrying statistic, until one realizes that the survey was conducted during the six days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks when Americans were, naturally, in a state of shock. The survey sampled 1,200 people only, which, by some quantum leap, led to the conclusion that nearly three-quarters of Americans were mentally damaged, requiring “professional” help.

What did have an impact were psychotropic drug sales. Immediately following the 9/11 attacks, new prescriptions for antidepressants in New York jumped 17% and prescriptions for anti-anxiety drugs rose 25%.

Behind the alarming reports of mental illness gripping our nation are psychiatrists and drug companies inventing diseases and placing healthy people at risk.

People can have serious problems in life; these are not, however, some mental illness caused by a deficiency of psychotropic drugs in their brains. Click here to find out the alternatives to psychiatric drugs.

With $76 billion spent every year on psychiatric drugs internationally, and billions more in psychiatric research, one would and should expect an improving condition. However, after decades of psychiatric monopoly over the world’s mental health, their approach leads only to massive increases in people taking addictive and harmful mind-altering drugs, escalating funding demands, and up to $40 billion a year in mental health care fraud in the U.S.

What are you going to do about it? Get the Facts. Fight Back.

Knocked Out, Paralyzed, and Shocked

Saturday, April 8th, 2017

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), or shock therapy, is a controversial psychiatric “treatment” in which seizures are deliberately induced in the patient with an electrical current to the brain. There are roughly 100,000 ECT sessions given per year in the U.S.

The unproven theory is that somehow a seizure is beneficial; in actual fact, seizures are considered a serious health issue by real medical doctors.

There are several different words used to describe the seizures. “Tonic-Clonic,” or “Convulsion,” or “Grand Mal” seizure, are some of these terms. Tonic means stiffening, and Clonic means rhythmical jerking. Grand Mal is generally associated with epilepsy, so its use is discouraged for ECT seizures.

In the 1500’s seizures were induced by chemical means to treat various mental conditions. At some point it was observed that some agitated people appeared to improve during spontaneous epileptic seizures — at least, they got quieter. In 1939 Cerletti in Italy substituted electricity for chemicals to induce seizures. (See here for more information.)

The severe muscle contractions attendant with seizures was causing bone fractures and dislocations, resulting in the use of neuromuscular-blocking drugs (NMBD) to paralyze the muscles, along with anesthetics to block the pain. In 1951, the introduction of the synthesized NMBD suxamethonium as an alternative to curare led to the more widespread use of ECT since that regimen was less likely to result in broken bones and presumably had less side effects than curare. Suxamethonium has been described as a “perfect poison” for murder, and has been used by criminals in murders.

The ECT seizure lasts about a minute, and is administered two or three times a week, or until the patient’s cognitive side effects become too severe. A seizure lasting more than 5 minutes would be a medical emergency. There is a delicate balancing act to the administration of anesthetic, NMBD, and electricity, since the side effects of improper dosage and current can be a restriction of blood flow to the heart, or heart attack, or hemorrhage of blood vessels in the brain, or loss of vision.

Total paralysis with suxamethonium or another NMBD is not desired, since the attending psychiatrist needs to observe some muscle twitching in order to judge if a seizure is occurring. Total paralysis would also interfere with normal breathing, although intubation would normally be used during ECT.

The appropriate dosage of suxamethonium is difficult to determine; it would likely be adjusted in subsequent sessions based on the parameters of the individual’s response. Suxamethonium has a long list of possible side effects such as: high blood potassium leading to cardiac arrest; prolonged paralysis; slow heart rate; low blood pressue; neuroleptic malignant syndrome, a fast rise in body temperature with severe muscle contractions; skin rashes.

There are other NMBDs which can be used if suxamethonium is contraindicated, although these have their own peculiarities. [Reference: “Neuromuscular blocking agents for electroconvulsive therapy: a systematic review”, Acta Anaesthesiol Scand 2012; 56: 3-16]

All told, it is a complicated procedure, and not one to be suffered lightly. Full informed consent is a must. If you know someone who was abused by electroshock therapy, or who has witnessed such abuse, have them submit an abuse report here.

Shocking News About Seizures

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

The April 2017 issue of Scientific American has an article about epileptic seizures which says, “People who keep having seizures, especially convulsive seizures, may suffer progressive impairment of cognitive functions [as well as personality changes].”

This impairment of cognitive function is apparently what psychiatrists are going for during electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), as evidenced in this 1942 quote from psychiatrist Abraham Myerson: “The reduction of intelligence is an important factor in the curative process. … The fact is that some of the very best cures that one gets are in those individuals whom one reduces almost to amentia [feeble-mindedness].”

Epileptic seizures are a significant health issue for roughly one million people in the U.S. who do not respond to any known drug treatments.

The latest psychiatric billing bible Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) lists seizures as a mental disorder [“Conversion disorder (functional neurological symptom disorder), With attacks or seizures”]. A “conversion disorder” is a condition in which one shows psychological stress in physical ways.

Interestingly enough, the whole point of electroconvulsive therapy, also called shock therapy, is to force a person to have a seizure. The unproven theory is that the seizure interrupts whatever brain issue is causing the person’s mental disturbance. However, the brain is not the real cause of life’s problems. People do experience problems and upsets in life that may result in mental troubles, sometimes very serious. But to represent that these troubles are caused by incurable “brain diseases” that can only be alleviated with dangerous pills or electric shocks is dishonest, harmful and often deadly. ECT masks the real cause of problems in life and debilitates the individual, so denying him or her the opportunity for real recovery and hope for the future.

Here’s the conundrum: On the one hand, real medical doctors treat seizures as a serious health issue. On the other hand, psychiatrists artificially create seizures as a “treatment” for mental disorders. And on the third hand, psychiatrists also list seizures as a mental disorder.

So, is a seizure a good thing or a bad thing?

If you thought, “bad thing”, now we’re starting to make some sense of this conundrum.

Seizures are a bad thing; psychiatrists who shock people to create seizures are bad people. Electroshock should be completely banned. Psychiatrists who shock people should be criminally prosecuted for patient abuse.

Just keep sticking your finger into the light socket until you fall down kicking and screaming, and let us know if you feel any better.

Additional details about the harm caused by ECT can be found here. If you know someone who was abused by electroshock therapy, or who has witnessed such abuse, have them submit an abuse report here.