Posts Tagged ‘benzodiazepines’

Chantix is in Trouble Again

Wednesday, September 29th, 2021

We’ve been regularly warning about the dangers of Chantix since 2009, and now it’s causing trouble again.

The FDA warned in 2009 that Chantix (generic Varenicline), a psychiatric drug made by Pfizer, can have serious side effects, namely suicide.

Chantix is a benzodiazepine-based anti-anxiety drug promoted for smoking cessation. Benzodiazepines are prescribed to treat anxiety, insomnia or panic attacks, typically for a few weeks to six months; an estimated 50% of patients take them for two months or longer. These drugs have significant risks, because they are highly addictive and can have severe side effects, including heart problems, violence and suicide.

However, in 2016 the FDA removed the Black Box warning, after heavy lobbying from Pfizer claiming that additional data showed that the benefits of Chantix outweighed its adverse side effects (oh, and since its sales had significantly dropped.)

But the adverse side effects did not go away; only the Black Box warning went away.

Chantix Recall

Now (9/17/2021), Pfizer has issued a voluntary recall for all lots of Chantix 0.5mg and 1mg tablets due to the presence of unacceptable N-nitroso-varenicline levels, a suspected cancer-causing agent.

If you smoke, you are susceptible to cancer. If you take anti-smoking drugs, you are susceptible to cancer. But what’s the real danger here?

Chantix was developed to specifically affect nicotinic receptors in the brain, under the unproven theory that this would reduce nicotine craving and block the rewarding effects of smoking. As we’ve warned before, messing with neurotransmitters in the brain is playing Russian Roulette with your mind.

The psychiatric industry considers that smoking cessation therapies are their territory, however this drug masks the real cause of problems in life and debilitates the individual, thus denying one the opportunity for real recovery and hope for the future.

Recognize that the real problem is that psychiatrists fraudulently diagnose life’s problems, apparently such as smoking, as a “mental illness”, and stigmatize this unwanted behavior as a “disease.” Psychiatry’s stigmatizing labels, programs and treatments are harmful junk science; their diagnoses of “mental disorders” are a hoax – unscientific, fraudulent and harmful. All psychiatric treatments, not just psychiatric drugs, are dangerous.

FDA Now Requires Strongest Warning for Anti-Anxiety Drugs

Monday, October 12th, 2020

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now requiring the most prominent warning label for benzodiazepines, psychotropic drugs commonly prescribed for anxiety.

According to the FDA, more than 92 million prescriptions were written for benzodiazepines in 2019.

Benzodiazepines are prescribed to treat anxiety, insomnia or panic attacks, typically for a few weeks to six months; an estimated 50% of patients take them for two months or longer. Some of the more common brand names are Ativan, Chantix, Klonopin, Librium, Rohypnol, Valium, Versed, and Xanax.

These drugs have significant risks, because they are highly addictive and can have severe side effects, including violence and suicide. Addiction can occur after as little as 14 days of regular use, and withdrawal is often more difficult than withdrawal from heroin. Stopping benzodiazepines abruptly or reducing the dosage too quickly can result in acute withdrawal reactions, including life-threatening seizures.

There is also a “rebound effect” where the individual experiences even worse symptoms after stopping the drug than they had prior to taking the drug.

The FDA’s announcement means makers of benzodiazepines must now have a boxed warning label to include risks of abuse, misuse, addiction, physical dependence and withdrawal reactions.

Psychiatric Fraud and Abuse

Psychiatry’s fraudulent theory that a brain–based, chemical imbalance causes mental illness was invented to sell drugs. That these drugs are now known to be harmful and addictive is all too typical of psychiatric “treatments.”

But what about those who say psychotropic drugs really did make them feel better? Psychotropic drugs may temporarily suppress the pressure that an underlying physical problem could be causing but they do not correct or cure any disease or condition. Once the drug has worn off, the original problem remains, and the body is worse off from the drug’s nerve damage. As a solution or cure to life’s problems, psychotropic drugs do not work. Often real physical conditions can produce similar mental symptoms as the person is experiencing. The correct action on a seriously mentally disturbed person is a full, searching clinical examination by a competent medical doctor to discover and treat the true cause of the problem.

Report any adverse psychiatric drug effects to the FDA’s MedWatch program.

Hypnotics Causing Death

Monday, March 19th, 2012

A recent British Medical Journal article explores the connection between hypnotic drugs and excessive death. “An estimated 6%–10% of US adults took a hypnotic drug for poor sleep in 2010. This study extends previous reports associating hypnotics with excess mortality.”

This particular study was quite extensive and well-done (over 33,000 people followed for an average of two and a half years), with dramatic conclusions. Great care was taken in this study to eliminate arbitrary factors such as pre-existing conditions or other risk factors.

First, though, what is a “hypnotic” drug? The word comes from a Greek word for “to put to sleep” and means “inducing or tending to induce sleep.” The common hypnotic drugs examined in this study were zolpidem (Ambien), temazepam (Restoril), eszopiclone (Lunesta), and zaleplon (Sonata), and other benzodiazepines, barbiturates and sedative antihistamines.

Temazepam is a benzodiazepine; zolpidem, eszopiclone and zaleplon are non-benzodiazepines that apparently operate similarly to benzodiazepines in the body. All of these drugs appear in the CCHR booklet on psychiatric drug side effects.

This class of drugs should be familiar to CCHR supporters, as they are minor tranquilizers commonly prescribed as an anti-anxiety psychiatric drug. They are majorly addictive and have many nasty side effects.

The main conclusion of this study can be paraphrased thusly: Receiving hypnotic prescriptions was associated with a greater than threefold increased hazard of death, even when prescribed for less than 18 pills per year.

The authors go on to say that, “The meagre benefits of hypnotics, as critically reviewed by groups without financial interest, would not justify substantial risks.”

This study supports and extends the findings in the CCHR booklet “The Side Effects of Common Psychiatric Drugs“, available for free download here.

From a psychiatric fraud and abuse point of view, the continued prescribing of these anti-anxiety drugs by psychiatrists and doctors, often disguised as “sleep” drugs, is harmful and unethical, to say the least. Alert your local, state and federal officials to this abuse.

It could be dangerous to immediately cease taking psychiatric drugs because of potential significant withdrawal side effects. No one should stop taking any psychiatric drug without the advice and assistance of a competent medical doctor. Report any adverse psychiatric drug effects to the FDA’s MedWatch program at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/.

Go here for information on alternatives to psychiatric drugs.

[Study citation: Kripke DF, Langer RD, Kline LE. Hypnotics’ association with mortality or cancer: a matched cohort study. BMJ Open 2012;2:e000850.]