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Drip Drip Drip - Paxil Info Leaks Out

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Message Evelyn Pringle
Secrecy agreements in litigation hide information about defective products or a company's negligence, and sometimes go so far as to prohibit the parties from discussing that there ever was a lawsuit. Such is the case with Paxil and as a result, unwitting patients continued to take the drug long after its dangers were known to GlaxoSmithKline.

Many lawsuits filed against Glaxo have been settled out of court, with confidential agreements that prevent the public from knowing about the harmful effects of the Paxil.

Previously sealed documents and internal company memos suppressed with protective orders, prove that Glaxo knew about the problems with Paxil before it received FDA approval, but continued to sell the drug for over a decade without warning consumers.

Long overdue legislation is currently pending in both the US House of Representatives and the Senate known as Sunshine in Litigation Act of 2005, which basically says that a court shall not enter an order restricting the disclosure of information obtained through discovery, an order approving a settlement agreement that would restrict the disclosure of such information, or an order restricting access to court records in a civil case

Glaxo currently faces thousands of lawsuits over Paxil side effects related to addiction, dependence, and a severe withdrawal syndrome.

SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) like Paxil, are not addictive in the sense that "an individual would mortgage their livelihoods and all they hold dear for further supplies of the drug," according to Dr David Healy MD, FRCPsych, North Wales Department of Psychological Medicine

SSRIs can hook patients in the sense of making you "physically dependent," he explains.

Dr Healy, is considered an expert on Paxil and has had access to confidential studies from the Glaxo archives. The common symptoms of withdrawal, he says, break down into two groups. The first group may be unlike anything you have had before, he warns, to include:

Muscle Spasms
Electric Shock-like Sensations
Other Strange Tingling or Painful Sensations
Nausea, Diarrhoea, Flatulence
Dreams, including Vivid Dreams

The second group overlaps with general nervousness, Dr Healy says, and may lead to you or your physician to think that all you have are features of your original problem. These symptoms include:

Lability of Mood
Flu-like Feelings
Insomnia or Drowsiness
Mood Swings
Feelings of Unreality
Feelings of being Hot or Cold

These symptoms appear in anywhere between 20% to 50% of patients taking SSRIs, Dr Healy says, sometimes within hours of the last dose.

In the class action case against Glaxo settled in 2005, In re: Paxil Products Liability Litigation, MDL No 1574, CD Calif, the plaintiffs were forever silenced by a strict confidentiality clause incorporated into the settlement agreement.

This author obtained a copy of the lawsuit's complaint, dated August 23, 2001, as well as a copy of the settlement agreement with a secrecy clause that states in relevant part:

Plaintiffs and their attorneys, "will not make any statements, either directly or indirectly, by implication or innuendo, to anyone, including but not limited to consultants, experts, the press or media, concerning the amount or other terms of such settlement or settlements, or the nature and substance of settlement negotiations, or describing or characterizing the settlement in any way."

Plaintiffs and their attorneys "will not, either directly or indirectly, publicize the fact of the settlement and that any inquiry into the settlement, its amount, meaning, interpretation or comparative value, or the negotiations leading to the settlement by anyone, including but not limited to the press or media, will be met only by a statement that the case has been resolved, and will decline any requests for interviews by the press or media regarding the settlement, its history or its terms."

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Evelyn Pringle is a columnist for OpEd News and investigative journalist focused on exposing corruption in government and corporate America.
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