Marketing and PR agencies continue Bernays unhealthy legacy promoting antidepressants to women. 12% of all women as compared to only 5% of all men take antidepressants. If you want to know why, just look at the Pristiq television advertisement. It is targeted directly at normal healthy young women to make them feel overwhelmed and dissatisfied.
Pristiq is the successor to an almost identical product Effexor an SNRI antidepressant. The reason for introducing essentially the same drug is Effexor will soon lose its patent protection and the manufacturer Pfizer/Wyeth wants fat profits from a slightly modified drug. It is targeted at women who feel overwhelmed and anxious about their busy stressful lives. Rather than having an outlet for these women to be heard and a chance to learn how to cope with life's challenges they are encouraged to take a pill. Pfizer/Wyeth assault normal healthy women with these direct to consumer advertisements DTC hoping to find a woman temporarily overwhelmed that is receptive to their "take a pill be happy, take a pill be a good person, take a pill be a good mother" message. At the same time, Pfizer/Wyeth has an army of drug sales representatives calling on doctors and psychiatrists promoting Effexor and Pristiq as if they are wonder drugs. Pfizer/Wyeth to invite psychiatrists to promotional events, where they pay psychiatrists to promote Effexor and Pristiq in posh 5 star hotels, in expensive restaurants and at top shelf entertainment events.
This is such a dirty trick. Do a little googling on Effexor and what you will find out is:
Effexor's manufacturer Wyeth paid psychiatrists and researchers to promote the drug even when the promotion proved contrary to unfavorable side effects that were observed in patients who were taking Effexor.
Psychiatrists and researchers were paid to write favorable opinions about Effexor.
Wyeth released only the favorable studies about Effexor and did not release the unfavorable studies. When the FDA was forced to release the data using the freedom of information act, Effexor and other similar drugs proved to be only slightly more effective than plecibos .
The side effects of this drug are significant. Firstly it is addictive. Once on it you can't get off it without withdrawal. It looks to me that Wyeth is employing the same strategy used by cigarette manufacturers. Most of the time patients only learn about their addiction when they try to kick the habit.
The fatigue that accompanies the drug often time results an accompanying prescription for a stimulant "speed" to compensate for this. The drug companies win twice here.
Nightmares, sweating, loss of cognitive and memory capabilities are all commonly experienced side effects.
Many women become frigid when they take Effexor. How does the interruption of a normal sex drive and the disharmony that it causes in a relationship make a patient happy?
Finally, there is no proven "cause and effect" relationship between taking Effexor/Pristiq and a measurable physiological change that correlates to an improvement in a person's mood. You will note the advertisement says, "it is believed to work..." because they can't say what the drug does because they don't know. Essentially the patient is signing up to playing Russian Roulette with her brain chemistry.
The patient's family and friends should give them a going away party before they start taking this medication as the family and friends will remain the family and friends of the patient before the patient took the medication, while the patient often becomes someone else unknown to their family and friends.
It is a shame that women are not given the care and shown the kindness to understand their unhappiness and anxiety. They are drugged into tolerating the intolerable. If they get off these medications, they still need to learn how to cope with the issues that caused their discomfort.
Women are more easily manipulated into taking unhealthy, unproven medication to enrich the pharmaceutical companies. Its about time that society as a whole got behind protecting them from this like we have from domestic violence and the inequities of breast cancer research.