Zoloft is an anti-depressant that may induce suicidal behavior in some patients. Zoloft is used to treat depression, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder as well as OCD in children and adolescents. It is manufactured by the drug maker Pfizer.
Zoloft is in a class of drugs, that also includes Paxil and Prozac, and is known as an SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors). SSRIs are designed to correct a chemical imbalance in the brain and work by preventing the re-uptake of serotonin between neural connections so that more serotonin is left over to transmit neural electrical messages.
The unproven facts that the SSRI manufacturers assume is that 1) all depression is the result of a chemical imbalance and 2) all depression is the result of decreased serotonin levels. To avoid liability on this point, each SSRI manufacturer discretely mentions in their advertisements that depression "may be" rather than "is" the result of "chemical imbalances".
The deeper question, however, is whether or not the chemical imbalance seen in many types of depression is the origin of the depression or a reaction to some external (non-chemical) origin of depression. Many things have changed drastically in the last fifty years; social pressures, family life, the availability and acceptability of drugs/sex for teenagers, pressures of pop culture; all of which have been found to contribute to depression. The result is that in the last twenty years the rate of suicide attempts in the united states has tripled among teenagers.
Is medication always the answer, as Pfizer and other drug makers would like you to believe? Many respected psychiatrists have long argued that the SSRIs in general are nothing more than a way for drug makers to earn huge profits by selling mind altering drugs that have been legalized for "medicinal" purposes. Some of the same psychiatrists have also argued the notion that psychological depression is biochemical is purely a myth created by the marketing campaigns of big drug companies. Unfortunately, unlike the drug makers, these voices have not had the benefit of well funded marketing campaigns.
Now that numerous reports have emerged linking SSRIs to suicide the legitimacy of SSRIs becomes even more questionable. Already over 200 law suits have been filed against the three SSRI manufacturers: Pfizer, Eli Lilly and GlaxoKlineSmith and though these drug companies have remained adamant in their insistence that their drugs do not induce suicidal behavior in some people, the evidence demonstrating the contrary is overwhelming. Recently some key court victories have been won that will hopefully pave the way to just compensation for everyone who has been victimized by the terrible side effects of SSRIs like Zoloft. If some one you love has lost their life because of the terrible side effects of Zoloft please contact us to learn more about your legal rights.
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