Anti-addiction drugs linked to depression
CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- Two years ago, scientists had high hopes for new pills that would help people quit smoking, lose weight and maybe kick other tough addictions such as alcohol and cocaine.
Margaret Bastian's doctor took her off the smoking-cessation drug Chantix after she grew depressed.
The so-called "super pills" worked in a novel way, by blocking pleasure centers in the brain that provide the feel-good response from smoking or eating. Now it seems the drugs may block pleasure too well, possibly raising the risk of depression and suicide.
Margaret Bastian of suburban Rochester, New York, was among patients who reported problems with Chantix, a highly touted quit-smoking pill from Pfizer Inc. that has been linked to dozens of reports of suicides and hundreds of suicidal behaviors.
I predicted this side effect when Chantix first hit the market. What exactly did they expect to happen to people who took a drug to block pleasure centers in their brain? I said from the beginning that there was no way to block some pleasure centers without blocking others and that tinkering with the pleasure centers in the brain is dangerous. Imagine a life without pleasure. Imagine people with their pleasure centers blocked becoming depressed. Wow! Who'da thunk it?
Personally, I think I'd rather be addicted to something that gives me pleasure than to take a pharmaceutical that blocks my natural pleasure centers and causes me to want to kill myself or others.
Drugs like Chantix should never have made it to the market. How come the makers of these dangerous and highly advertised drugs never see prison time for all the death and destruction their products cause?