Skip to comments.Are Veterans Being Given Deadly Cocktails to Treat PTSD?
Posted on 03/24/2010 1:43:42 PM PDT by MestaMachine
A potentially deadly drug manufactured by pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has been linked to the deaths of soldiers returning from war. Yet the FDA continues to approve it.
Sgt. Eric Layne's death was not pretty.
A few months after being prescribed a drug cocktail with the antidepressant Paxil, the mood stabilizer Klonopin and AstraZeneca's controversial antipsychotic drug Seroquel, the Iraq war veteran was "suffering from incontinence, severe depression [and] continuous headaches," according to his widow, Janette Layne, at FDA hearings for new Seroquel approvals last year.
Soon he had tremors. " ... [H]is breathing was labored [and] he had developed sleep apnea," said Janette Layne, who served in the National Guard during Operation Iraqi Freedom along with her husband. On the last day of his life, she testified, Eric stayed in the bathroom nearly all night battling acute urinary retention. He died while his family slept.
Sgt. Layne had just returned from a seven-week inpatient program at the VA Medical Center in Cincinnati where he was being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A video shot during that time, played by his wife at the FDA hearings, shows a dangerously sedated figure barely able to talk.
Sgt. Layne was not the first healthy veteran to die after being prescribed medical cocktails including Seroquel for PTSD.
In the last two years, Pfc. Derek Johnson, 22, of Hurricane, West Virginia; Cpl. Andrew White, 23, of Cross Lanes, West Virginia; Cpl. Chad Oligschlaeger, 21, of Roundrock, Texas; Cpl. Nicholas Endicott, 24, of Pecks Mill, West Virginia; and Spc. Ken Jacobs, 21, of Walworth, New York have all died suddenly while taking Seroquel cocktails.
Death certificates and other records collected by veteran family members suggest more than 100 similar deaths among Iraq and Afghanistan combat vets and other military personnel, many on PTSD cocktails with Seroquel and other antipsychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, sleep inducers and pain and seizure medications.
Since the 2008 publication of "The Battle Within," the Denver Post's expose of a "pharmaco-battlefield" in Iraq, in which troops were found to be routinely propped up on antidepressants, the Department of Defense has sought to curb the deployment of troops with mental health problems to combat zones. The DOD has also stepped up monitoring of soldiers who have been medicated, according to the Hartford Courant. Thirty-four percent of the 935 active-duty soldiers who made suicide attempts in 2007 were on psychoactive drugs.
But the U.S. Army's Warrior Care and Transition Office reports that soldiers are dying after coming home, many in Warrior Transition Units that were established in 2007 to prepare wounded soldiers for a return to duty or civilian life. According to the Army Times, between June 2007 and October 2008, 68 such veteran deaths were recorded - nine were ruled suicides, six are pending investigation and six were from "combined lethal drug toxicity." Thirty-five were termed "natural causes."
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Just sleep meds like Lunesta can cause uncontrollable rage.
Won’t happen under obamadeathcare. Not when they are cut & gutting medical care.
Seroquel, an atypical antipsychotic, has significant anticholinergic effects. They’re probably overdoing the Seroquel part.
SSSSSHHHHH ssssshhhh shhhh.... there now...
Take your Obamacare and close your eyes... it’ll be alright.
Can I get a witness!
Paxil also causes devastating headaches. Klonopin should not even be given with these drugs. I know what it’s for, and 9 times out of ten, these guys are given zanax to go with antidepressants. ANY of these in a mix like this can be harmful.
Celexa is a better antidepressant than Paxil anyhow. (Lexapro even better, but not covered under veteran health plan)
Some soldiers come back from combat in need of counseling and support and maybe meds in dramatic cases. Most of them probably haven't even been given the opportunity to talk it out in counseling. Too easy to just give a prescription and send them on their way.
Our Veterans aren't disposable tools. You don't use them then poison them upon their return home. What the hell is wrong with this country...(don't answer that, it's all too evident).
I’ve been a doctor for 26 years. A psychiatrist for 22 years. Board certified for 17 years. Does even one of you know the first thing about practicing psychiatry? Your comments are laughable.
Flyer, they are giving this stuff to guys ON THE BATTLEFIELD! You know I have been ranting about this forever. WHEN is someone going to pay effing attention???
Then our military has sold its soul. I'm sick.
Yes. I know exactly what I am talking about. And if you are a psychiatrist, then you ALSO know what I am talking about.
It is not laughable by any stretch of the imagination. I know what these drugs are and the side effects associated with them.
How many chronically depressed people have EVER had real relief from their depression from these drugs except temporarily? These drugs mask symptoms and inhibit cognitive functions, sometimes severely.
How many people has psychiatry cured of anything?
Yeah, and everyone KNOWS doctors are ALWAYS right! Exactly how many drug recalls/severe reactions have you been familiar with in your 26 years of practice?
As far as I know, a psychiatrist prescribes medicine. Right?
Lexapro is for temporary use only. Maybe that’s why. It really isn’t for severe or prolonged depression.
Yeah, they do. Psychologists recommend and psychiatrists write the scrips.
Not to denigrate dagogo redux because he might be a rare bird, but almost every psychiatrist I know is frakking nuts and the “profession” itself has caused more havoc within society than they should ever have been able to.
I have been a practicing psychologist for 21 years (and worked briefly at a VA). IMO, some psychiatrists tend to overprescribe for depression because they see Bipolar D/O in every garden variety depressive. That’s an ongoing debate in the community.
However, when it comes to treating PTSD and truly Bipolar vets, medication is the first (but not only) treatment choice.
I agree that people posting on this thread know very little about psychiatric medications. General statements about how one SSRI is better than another is simply ignorant. We have different reactions to different medications. That one person does poorly on Paxil doesn’t mean it is an ineffective drug. That another does well on Prozac doesn’t mean it is appropriate for everyone presenting with depression.
Glad to have another professional opinion on this thread.
Reminds me of the stupidity about Prozac “causing” suicides in the 1980’s. The Scientologists were behind that, but people are generally very gullible and very dangerous when they have a LITTLE information.
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