The Government's watchdog on the safety of
drugs has warned the controversial anti-depressant Seroxat
should not be given to people under 18.
|NEW SEROXAT WARNING|
The drug is the most frequently-prescribed anti-depressant
pill in the UK.
Thousands of patients have complained of chronic problems
trying to get off Seroxat while there are also claims the drug
can trigger suicidal tendencies and violence.
"It has become clear that the benefits of Seroxat in
children for the treatment of depressive illness do not
outweigh these risks", the Medicines and Healthcare products
Regulatory Authority said.
GlaxoSmithKline, which manufactures Seroxat, insists that
the drug is safe.
Seroxat, which is similar to Prozac, has been crucial in
alleviating depression in millions of people.
But others complain of paranoia, dizziness and electrical
shocks when they try and come off the drug.
Campaigners want the claim that Seroxat is not addictive to
be removed from the information given out to patients and for
the risk of violence to be acknowledged.
The Seroxat Users Group has around 5,500 members, some of
whom are involved in legal action calling for improved patient
Glaxo insists that no valid scientific research has shown
that it causes suicidal thoughts or actions.
But a jury in the US ordered Glaxo to pay almost £5m two
years ago to the family of a man who killed himself, his wife,
daughter and granddaughter after two days on the drug.
And in March this year, Brecon coroner Geraint Williams
said he would ask Health Secretary Alan Milburn for an inquiry
after retired headteacher Colin Whitfield, 56, committed
suicide by cutting his wrists after taking Seroxat for two
Mr Williams said he had "grave concerns" that Seroxat was
dangerous and was "profoundly disturbed" by reports that it
had radically changed Mr Whitfield's personality.
An expert group from the Committee on the Safety of
Medicine was set up last month to look into the effects of