are calling for patients to be warned the antidepressant Seroxat can
Campainers are calling for new warnings on
Government advisors are due to make an announcement about advice
relating to the drug on Tuesday.
Sarah Venn of the Seroxat Users Group, who has been taking the
drug for over five years, talks to BBC News Online about her
experience of taking the drug, and the changes she would like to
"When I was at university, I was diagnosed with a general anxiety
"I was feeling
very wobbly, like I was walking on a boat.
My doctor has told me 'Although it's important to
come off this, you've got a life to live as well'
"As I got older, it became worse, and I became afraid and started
suffering panic attacks."
Ms Venn, who was aged 20 at the time, added: "My GP put me on
Seroxat. He said it was a short-term drug."
She said she suffered side effects straight away.
"I had no energy at all. I was lethargic.
"I started to get what felt like electric shocks, which made me
"It got to the point that I couldn't study."
'Stuck in bed'
Ms Venn said she read the patient information leaflet which said
there could be initial side effects which would soon abate.
She decided to keep taking the drug.
"I wanted to do something to sort out the problem which I was
Ms Venn continued taking the drug, but tried to come off it in
May 2000 when she was in her final year at university.
"I didn't know anything about Seroxat. I tried to come off it
quickly, in a week or two.
"Before I knew it I was stuck in bed. I couldn't see. I felt like
I had flu constantly."
Her doctor put her straight back on to Seroxat.
"I did try to come off it much more gradually, using the liquid
form, but that didn't work either.
"It was about that time I got involved with the Seroxat Users'
Ms Venn, who was due to take up a pupilage to become a barrister,
is currently taking a year off during which she hopes to stop taking
"I have got a third of the way down, from 30 milligrams to 20
milligrams a day."
She has been unable to cut down any further.
"I think I'm going to stay on it. I'm hoping to go back to work
"My doctor has told me 'Although it's important to come off this,
you've got a life to live as well'."
She said she would like to see the patient information leaflet
given out with Seroxat changed to reflect the problems she has
"I would like a clear warning that Seroxat can cause dependency
and proper guidance on how to stop taking the medication.
"I would also like to see a full list of symptoms people might
experience, even after simply reducing the dose."