Monday, November 30, 2020

Psychiatric Drug Side Effects Search Engine

September 13, 2009 by  
Filed under CCHR Issues

See Side Effects of Psychiatric Drugs Reported to the FDA

Decrypted FDA reports reveal 4,260 suicides, 2,452 additional deaths,195 homicides from psychiatric drugs in 2004-2006 alone

Click here to go directly to Psychiatric Drug Side Effects Search Engine

For the first time the side effects of psychiatric drugs that have been reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by doctors, pharmacists, other health care providers and consumers have been decrypted from the FDA’s MedWatch reporting system and made available to the public in an easy to search psychiatric drug side effects search engine provided as a free public service by the mental health watchdog, Citizens Commission on Human Rights International (CCHR).

The report totals reveal that between 2004-2008 the FDA’s MedWatch system received pregnancy-related psychiatric drug adverse reaction reports which included 2,442 babies born with heart disease, 3,372 other birth defects, as well as 1,072 miscarriages, abortions and other deaths. Between 2004-2008 there were 4,895 suicides, 3,908 cases of aggression, 309 homicides and 6,945 cases of diabetes from people taking psychiatric drugs. These numbers reflect only a small percentage of the actual side effects occurring in the consumer market, as the FDA has admitted that only 1-10% of side effects are ever reported to the FDA.

The Psychiatric Drug Side Effects Search Engine provides individual reports of side effects (for the 2004-2006 period), and is searchable by type of drug, age of patient, the side effect reported (suicide, homicide, heart attack, stroke, mania, etc.), who provided the reported side effect to the drug (doctor, pharmacist, consumer etc), and whether the drug in question carries a black box warning (the agency’s strongest warning—short of banning a drug) as well as the top 20 reported adverse reactions (side effects) to all psychiatric drugs to the FDA and combined summaries of all psychiatric drug reactions for the years 2004-2006 and 2004-2008.

Since the reform of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) in 2007, ads for psychiatric and other drugs must include statements encouraging consumers to report adverse drug reactions to the FDA’s MedWatch system—Adverse Events Reporting System (AERS). However, consumers or doctors attempting to access the AERS online were confounded by a system so complex that it was impossible to use. Although the FDA should have made the information collected readily accessible, it failed in that duty to the public. It took a computer programmer over 1,000 hours to decipher four years’ worth of data to make this information available.

The programmer identified the main psychiatric drugs in the AERS, wading through quarterly reports of seven different reporting systems, including the drug name, demographics, adverse reactions, patient outcomes, reporting source, therapy start and end dates and the indication (diagnosis). The result: A database and search engine that unravels the 94,000 pages of codified psychiatric drug adverse reactions reported each year from 2004-2006 and 2004-2008 to the FDA’s MedWatch system.

Reporting of adverse reactions to psychiatric drugs by doctors, pharmacists, other health care providers and consumers once those drugs are out in the consumer market, is fundamental to drug safety monitoring. Yet these reports have been frequently ignored or dismissed as “anecdotal” by the FDA even when serious side effects number in the thousands. The FDA approves the majority of psychiatric drugs only after Phase 2 (short term) clinical trials. However, once the drugs are out in the consumer market, the FDA is supposed to require longer clinical trials, or post-marketing studies of the drugs, however this rarely happens. Subsequently, dangerous and deadly drugs have been left without black box warnings, or on the market for far too long. The best “signal” event for the FDA to direct its resources in identifying or pulling dangerous drugs is what is happening out in the real world, with consumers and patients, not in a controlled short term clinical trial, funded by the pharmaceutical companies seeking approval for their drugs to go to market.

For years the information contained in the FDA’s MedWatch reporting system has been inaccessible and therefore virtually useless for consumers and doctors. CCHR’s stance has always been that consumers have the right to this information for then ̶ and only then ̶ can consumers have full “informed consent” regarding the risks of psychiatric drugs, and so it has provided this database as a free public service.

Click here to go directly to Psychiatric Drug Side Effects Search Engine

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