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Personal Injury Experts Investigate Claims Against Addictive Antidepressant    07/11/2001

'Quick fix' drug with long term side effects


A high profile conference this week in London will look at the issue of adverse psychiatric reactions caused by medicines such as Seroxat.  Lawyers at one of the UK’s leading personal injury litigation practices, Hugh James, are investigating compensation claims on behalf of patients who experience adverse reactions following the use of this powerful antidepressant.


Seroxat is designed for short term use to treat mild to moderate depression, panic attacks and stress and has proved useful for people who find social situations bring on these symptoms.  But patients world-wide have described serious and long-term side-effects that make it very difficult to come off the drug after using it for as little as two days.


Mark Harvey, a Partner at Hugh James and Secretary of the Association of Perosnal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has been investigating the scale of the problem in the UK after hearing about several high-profile lawsuits in the United States.  He says:  “Seroxat is heralded by the manufacturers, Glaxo SmithKline, as a solution to short-term bouts of depression.  Yet evidence is mounting that this powerful antidepressant - which outsells Prozac - is highly addictive and produces side effects that follow trying to come off the medication even after just two days.


“Hugh James has been approached by a number of people who have also heard about the American cases and who want our help to secure compensation to fund ‘detox’ therapy to help them come off the medication safely and get on with their lives.”


Concern over the drug has been gathering momentum since June when a jury in the US ordered Glaxo SmithKline, the manufacturers of Seroxat, to pay substantial damages of £4.6 million to the family of a man who killed his wife, children and then himself after he had been taking Paxil, the US trading name of Seroxat, for just two days.


“There is a lot that people do not understand about this drug and the manufacturers must take responsibility for helping people to safely come off the drug.  Hugh James has been working with MIND, the mental health charity, to identify patients who might be experiencing severe withdrawal reactions.  We need to assess the scale of the problem in the UK and ensure that patients have access to treatment to come of the drug and compensation for the distress it has caused them and their families.”


For further information or legal advice concerning Seroxat, please contact Mark Harvey at Hugh James on or telephone 0845 6010743.


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