Paxil Studies? Link to Mania or BP?
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Q:  Paxil Studies? Link to Mania or BP?

I have read a lot on message board, on this site and others, about people diagnosed with depression and taking Paxil, having their illness morph (for lack of a better word) into a psychotic manic episode resulting in a bi-polar diagnosis.

I also have a very good friend who has recently suffered from this scenario.  He has been on anti-depressants for years.  He started taking Paxil about a year and a half ago.  For the first time, at age 29, he had a severe manic episode (that he is still in) and spent two weeks in the hospital.

Have there been any studies done on Paxil?  Have they shown any link to mania or resulting in bi-polar disorder?  Where can I find information on this topic?

Thanks for your help.

Dear Kim 
You can find a summary of the problem with antidepressants inducing mania in a book by a Harvard professor named Joseph Glenmullen entitled
Prozac Backlash.  It's a bit overstated in most chapters, but the actual information he provides (as opposed to how he provides it) is enough to make people slow down in their enthusiasm for antidepressants generally.  The problem you clearly understand regarding Paxil holds true for nearly all antidepressants; Prozac may be a bit worse, actually.  The worst part of the story, and the reason why I refer you to Glenmullen, is that the manufacturers of the medications, or at least Eli Lilly who makes Prozac, are well aware of these risks and have taken systematic steps to keep the public from being sufficiently aware as to practically evaluate the risks of taking an antidepressant, for anyone.  

For more on the controversy regarding the use of antidepressants in bipolar disorder, when a person is known to have that illness, see this summary

Dr. Phelps

Published January, 2002

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