An article appeared in yesterday's Daily Mail highlighted a published paper that suggested taking Pioglitazone [Actos] in conjunction with SSRi's could boost the effect of the antidepressant.
SSRi's, such as Seroxat, Cipramil, Prozac!
The study, published in Neuropsychopharmacology, an international scientific journal, is yet another example of poor research skills by the authors of the paper and by the journal itself.
Actos, manufactured by Japanese company, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, has recently hit the headlines in the US for causing bladder cancer in patients. Many lawsuits have been filed, not to mention the lives that have been damaged by the prolonged use of this particular diabetes medication.
As for SSRi medication, well we all know how dangerous they can be and we all know how the UK regulator likes to play down those dangers such as suicide, akathesia, homicidal thoughts and horrendous withdrawal problems.
When studies, such as the one in Neuropsychopharmacology appear, it would be of huge benefit if the UK regulator, the MHRA, actually wrote to the authors or the journal to warn them of the bladder cancer risk with Actos. A 2011 warning on their website does not cover them in garlands neither does it alter the fact that they are responsible for safeguarding human health, a line that they proudly boast at every given opportunity.
I'd write to them if I thought it would make a blind bit of difference but to be honest I'm sick and tired of their worn out phrase that the 'benefits outweigh the risks'.
No doubt doctor's up and down the country will have been told that Actos is not recommended...but they can still prescribe it if they believe the benefits outweigh the risk.
To even suggest that it could be useful if used in conjunction with SSRi's will have tapped into the psyche of those that read it. There are still doctor's that won't know about the Actos bladder cancer link and I know for a fact that there are still doctors who utterly refute any suicide link with antidepressants, they are normally the ones who like to think that the patient is never right.
The editors at Neuropsychopharmacology should, at the very least, add a warning to the recent paper, particularly when the risk of bladder cancer is 40 percent greater in patients taking Actos for longer than one year.
More about Actos and the bladder cancer link HERE
ORDER THE PAPERBACK 'THE EVIDENCE, HOWEVER, IS CLEAR...THE SEROXAT SCANDAL' By Bob Fiddaman US and CANADA HERE OR UK HERE
AUSTRALIAN ORDERS HERE