Mylan Pharmacuticals link with suicide?

Read this article written by a New Zealand woman, and the experiences she is facing after her sons suicide.

Here is an excerpt:

A couple of days ago, after two years of fighting, I received Mylan Pharmaceuticals assessment of the causal link between their drug Fluox and my son’s suicide. Their conclusion is identical to that of the New Zealand drug regulator Medsafe, that the SSRI antidepressant Fluoxetine is the probable cause of Toran’s death. The rating of ‘probable’ includes an assessment that Toran’s suicide was ‘unlikely to be attributed to disease or other drugs.’

I recieved two documents from Mylan. The first was a record of the adverse reaction report I made to them. It is full of errors. Critically, my son is recorded as having been 19 years old. In fact he never got to be 19, or even 18. He was 17 when he died. He was a pediatric prescription drug user, not an adult as Mylan has recorded.

The second major error is that the person who received the information I reported, recorded that Toran had been diagnosed with depression. Toran did not ever have a diagnosis of depression or any other mental disorder. At the time of his death, his medical records showed ‘diagnosis deferred.’

There are lots of other errors – the dates on which his dose was titrated, the date on which he took three times the prescribed dose and ended up in the emergency room having self harmed, the levels of glucose in his blood prior to starting Fluoxetine, while on the drug and after withdrawal.

The most shocking thing about the form though, is that despite my providing my contact phone numbers, despite my offering to provide Torans medical file and the transcripts of his inquest (in which his clinicians, teachers and others gave evidence on his adverse reactions to the drug), the recorder has finished the report by ticking the box ‘unassessible’ under the heading ‘Causality of Reaction (In the Opinion of the Reporter) which provides the options ‘possible’, ‘unlikely’, ‘unassessible’ and ‘not related’. The definition of unassessable is a report suggesting an adverse reaction which cannot be judged because information is insufficient or contradictory, and which cannot be supplemented or verified.

This makes me unspeakably angry. It takes no small emotional toll to call a drug company and recount the events leading to your child’s suicide. For my report to be dismissed so easily is insulting to me and to Toran.

Perhaps the Regulatory Affairs Team Leader mistook the word causal for the word casual.

This report was sent to Mylan’s UK office for assessment where despite the errors, notably the incorrect record of Toran having depression, the assessment was that the drug was the probable cause of his death.

The Mylan NZ report is here Mylan NZ Causality Assessment

The Mylan UK report is here Mylan UK Causality Assessment

I have written to Mylan correcting the errors in their reports and asking for an amended report to be sent to me along with an explanation of the ‘unassessible’ rating in the face of my clear offers to provide any information necessary for the assessment.


More info on the website as link above,


Research paper on Schizophrenia and Dietary intake

I was sent this link to an interesting article about Schizophrenia and diet. ( Also covers depression and diet.)

Here is a bit of an excerpt, to see the whole paper and tables etc click on the link above.
The British Journal of Psychiatry (2004) 184: 404-408
© 2004
The Royal College of Psychiatrists

International variations in the outcome of schizophrenia and the prevalence of depression in relation to national dietary practices: an ecological analysis

Malcolm Peet, FRCPsych Swallownest Court Hospital, Aughton Road, Sheffield S26 4TH, UK.Declaration of interest M.P. has received research funding fromLaxdale Ltd, a company which is developing ethyleicosapentaenoicacid as a treatment for psychiatric and neurological disorders.  
Background Dietary variations are known to predictthe prevalenceof physical illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease butthe possible influence of diet on mental health has been neglected.

Aims To explore dietary predictors of the outcome of schizophreniaand the prevalence of depression.

Method Ecological analysis of national dietary patterns in relationto international variations in outcome of schizophrenia andprevalence of depression.

Results A higher national dietary intake of refined sugar anddairy products predicted a worse 2-year outcome of schizophrenia.A high national prevalence of depression was predicted by alow dietary intake of fish and seafood…

Here is some of the further info

…Conclusions The dietary predictors of outcome of schizophreniaand prevalence of depression are similar to those that predictillnesses such as coronary heart disease and diabetes, whichare more common in people with mental health problems and inwhich nutritional approaches are widely recommended. Dietaryintervention studies are indicated in schizophrenia and depression.

The most consistent finding is that a greaterconsumption of refined sugar is associated with a worse outcomeof schizophrenia and a greater prevalence of depression. Inthe schizophrenia data-sets, a high correlation with sugarconsumption was seen both for outcome measures based on hospitaladmission and those based on social outcome. Other correlationsthat were found in both schizophrenia data-sets but not necessarilyfor both admission and social outcome measures included theconsumption of meat and eggs (adverse relationship) and theconsumption of pulses (beneficial relationship). Dairy productsand alcohol consumption were associated with a poor outcomein the IPSS study but not in the DOSMED database. With regardto depression, the strongest association was between a highdietary intake of fish and seafood and reduced prevalence ofdepression. A high intake of dairy products and sugar was associatedwith an increased prevalence of depression, whereas a highintake of starchy roots was associated with a reduced prevalenceof depression…

…Diet and outcome of schizophrenia
The finding that the outcome of schizophrenia is better in developingthan in developed countries has never been satisfactorily explainedand does not appear related simply to confounding factors suchas diagnostic differences and selective outcome measures (Hopper & Wanderling, 2000).Christensen & Christensen (1988)reported a correlation between international variations inoutcome of schizophrenia according to the IPSS study and theratio in the diet of animal (mainly saturated) fat to fish andvegetables (mainly polyunsaturated) fats. This was reflectedin the present study, where correlations were shown betweena higher consumption of meat and dairy products and a worseoutcome of schizophrenia. However, strong intercorrelationsare found between various dietary constituents, and on multipleregression analysis it was sugar consumption that was the predominantpredictor of poor outcome in schizophrenia. Exceptions to thiswere that the consumption of dairy products predicted hospitaladmission in the IPSS study, and alcohol was a weak predictorof global good outcome in the DOSMED study. Therefore, thedominant and robust finding of this analysis is the predictivevalue of sugar consumption.

Diet and prevalence of depression
There has been recent interest in the relationship between fishconsumption and depression. Hibbeln & Salem (1995) notedthat the increased prevalence of depression in the 20th centuryparallels the increased rates of coronary heart disease thatare thought to be associated with altered dietary patterns,including reduced dietary intake of omega-3 polyunsaturatedfatty acids. Hibbeln (1998) has subsequently demonstratedstriking correlations between dietary fish intake and internationalvariations in major depression. Using the same depression databaseas Hibbeln (1998), we have confirmed the relationship betweenfish consumption and international variations in rates of depression,and also found that sugar consumption relates to the prevalenceof depression. This had been noted previously by Westover &Marangell (2002). However, multiple regression analysis showsthat fish and seafood consumption provides the strongest andmost robust independent predictor of depression prevalence.

Emma Thompson says work saved her from ‘going under’ in her battle with depression

This article was in the New Zealand Herald today. I found it online at the Telegraph website here

I posted this article as I think it is important to see that people from all walks of life can have these experiences. She also talks of the Voices in  Her head. It does not say if this is in  the literal sense.

“By Roya Nikkhah, Arts Correspondent
Published: 8:30AM BST 28 Mar 2010

 Speaking on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs,[you can listen to her Desert Island Disc session here] the Oscar-winning actress described being crippled throughout her life by the condition, which she first suffered while playing the leading role in a West End revival of the musical Me and My Girl in the 1980s.

She said: “I think my first bout of that was when I was doing Me and My Girl, funnily enough.

“I really didn’t change my clothes or answer the phone, but went into the theatre every night and was cheerful and sang the Lambeth Walk.

“That’s what actors do. But I think that was my first bout with an actual clinical depression.”

During the programme, which is broadcast today, Kirsty Young, the presenter, asked Thompson about a five-year period during the 1990s, when she starred in seven films, was nominated for five Oscars and was also divorced from the actor and director, Kenneth Branagh.

Asked how she stayed sane, Thompson replied: “I don’t think I did stay sane, actually. It was tough. I think I probably should have sought professional help long before I actually did, for all sorts of reasons.

“Yes, divorce, ghastly, painful business but also fame, in some ways a ghastly, painful business as well. You become slightly more public property in a way that’s not necessarily always comfortable.”

Thompson, 50, who is married to the actor Greg Wise, described how writing the screenplay for the film adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, in which she starred alongside Wise and Kate Winslet, helped her overcome another period of severe depression during the breakdown of her first marriage.

She said: “The only thing I could do was write. I used to crawl from the bedroom to the computer and just sit and write, and then I was alright, because I was not present.

“Sense and Sensibility really saved me from going under, I think, in a very nasty way.”

The star of films including Nanny McPhee, Love Actually and An Education, also described acting as “an escape from myself, which I’m ashamed to say I enjoy very much.”

Asked what she was escaping, Thompson said: “Oh, you know, the voices in my head. The constant “must do better”, “must try harder” plus “you’re too fat and not really a very good mother”.

“That punitive conscience is part of my psychiatric problem.”

Thompson also recounted how Wise initially pursued Winslet during the filming of Sense and Sensibility, because a soothsayer had told him that he would meet his future wife on the set.

She said: “Of course I was still married, so he thought it was Winslet and courted her assiduously. ..

See the rest of the article on the link above.

Here is an excerpt.