Effexor's manufacturer, Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories
those experiencing difficulty with the prescription antidepressant, Effexor
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We the individuals listed below have electronically signed this petition for the purpose of making it known that consumers treated with the SSNRI antidepressant Effexor have or are experiencing "often ignored" serious side effects of this medication. And that thousands of patients in the US and worldwide are unable to discontinue Effexor or even reduce dosage due to the rapid onset of severe withdrawal-like symptoms which often initiates before a patient begins dose reduction due to the short half-life of Effexor. Documentation of which the manufacturer, Wyeth-Ayerst has gradually disclosed now some 8 years after this drug was first licensed, being aware of these problems all along but failing to communicate this knowledge to the public and the medical community.
Wyeth-Ayerst misleadingly advertises through its Effexor labeling that only drug abusers are at risk of physical and psychological dependence, and withdrawal problems when tapering back or abruptly discontinuing Effexor usage. Wyeth-Ayerst knows such representations are false, and that all patients, including patients not having a history of drug abuse, are susceptible to withdrawal problems after tapering back or abruptly discontinuing Effexor.
Effexor as prescribed to us by our doctors resulted in anxiety and agitation, sexual dysfunction, hypomania, weight gain, and many other debilitating adverse reactions such as insomnia and bizarre vivid nightmares, deterioration in eyesight, high blood pressure, dehydrating night sweats, memory problems, thyroid disorders which can cause the very depression this medication was first prescribed to treat, among other serious side effects. These iatrogenic (medication induced) effects were ignored or underplayed by its manufacturer, which resulted in our overall inability to function normally for lengthy periods of time during usage and attempted dose reduction. Nor had proper disclosure been made that benzodiazepines had been co-prescribed during clinical trial in order to minimize the agitation that the manufacturer had recognized this medication could cause. Effexor in many cases is not the "stand alone" remedy that it has been advertised to be. Patient in accepting treatment with Effexor are not being forewarned that by their use of Effexor -- sleeping medication, blood pressure medication, and anti-anxiety medication might become a concurrent necessity. Thus the mis-informed consumer totally unexpectedly finds themselves being prescribed many more drugs than they ever anticipated needing.
We all know that taking prescription medication involves some risks and that with each medication some percentage of patients are likely to experience adverse results. We strongly feel however, that the risks involved with the usage of Effexor is greater than the medical community and the public realize, certainly greater than we were ever told, and that Wyeth-Ayerst knew of these risks but failed to communicate those risks to the consumer and their physicians.
Our lives have been negatively, unexpectedly, and undeservingly impacted by the antidepressant Effexor. We were not given full disclosure of this medication's known adverse effects, and many of us suffered greatly because of this failure to warn. Therefore, our purpose with this petition is to share information that we have gathered so that others will have adequate knowledge and be able to fully discuss options and risks of the use of Effexor with qualified medical professionals before they make any final choice regarding initiating these types of medications. Thereby being able to be a knowledgeable consumer and make the appropriate decisions together with their physicians in regards to their own medical treatment and might be spared the suffering we have experienced first hand.
By this petition let it be made clear that we are not advocating the non-use of Effexor because this medication's possible benefits to the public at large is beyond our scope of knowledge to the extent that each individual now considering the use of Effexor has informational benefits we did not, now that more medical information regarding Effexor has been released to the public. Now that others will have the benefit of this information where we did not, and the benefit of important public websites such as Steve Whiting's -- www.effexorfx.freeuk.com, each person must take responsibility to make their own decision regarding the use of these types of medications, assisted by proper advise from a qualified medical professional, fully knowledgeable of Effexor's profile and side effects.
But as individuals, and their are a significant number of us, we have found that the disclosure regarding the side effects and efficacy of Effexor that we were given and which is still being propagated, is significantly misleading to the consumer and the medical community at large. This cannot continue and we hope you will support us with our pleas to Wyeth-Ayerst for full and accurate disclosure.