Lust for $$$ blinded pharm giants from foreseeing that a pharmaceuticals that blocks pleasure would cause depression.
Regarding RimonabantRisk of depression dims hope for anti-addiction pillsCHICAGO — 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 liquor and cocaine.
By MARILYNN MARCHIONE The Associated Press
The pills worked in a novel way, by blocking pleasure centers in the brain that provide the feel-good response from smoking or eating. It seems the drugs may block pleasure too well, possibly raising the risk of depression and suicide.
Margaret Bastian, of suburban Rochester, N.Y., was among patients who reported problems with Chantix, a highly touted quit-smoking pill from Pfizer that has been linked to dozens of reports of suicides and hundreds of suicidal behaviors.
"I started to get severely depressed and just going down into that hole ... the one you can't crawl out of," said Bastian, whose doctor took her off Chantix after she swallowed too many sleeping pills and other medicines one night.
Side effects also affect two other drugs:
• Rimonabant, an anti-obesity pill sold as Acomplia in Europe, was tied to higher rates of depression and a suicide in a study last month. The maker, Sanofi-Aventis, still hopes to win its approval in the United States.
• Taranabant, a similar pill in late-stage testing, led to higher rates of depression and other side effects in a study last month. Its maker, Merck, stopped testing it at middle and high doses.
The makers of the new drugs insisted they are safe, although perhaps not for everyone, such as people with a history of depression. Having to restrict the drugs' use would be a setback because it would deprive the people who need help the most, since addictions and depression often go hand-in-hand, doctors said.
A bigger fear is that the approach may be in trouble. Researchers said that blocking pleasure, especially the way the anti-obesity drugs do, might take the fun out of many things, not just the harmful substances and behaviors these drugs target.
It may be possible to improve the drugs so they act more precisely. Chantix targets a different pathway — nicotine pleasure switches — in a different way than the anti-obesity drugs, which aim at the same pathway that gives pot smokers the munchies. That is one reason many doctors are optimistic that any risks from Chantix will prove manageable.
But doctors are no longer talking about "superpills" for a variety of addictions.
"It certainly diminishes my enthusiasm" to see these side effects, said Mark Egli, co-leader of medicine development at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
Just another quack pharm "remedy" that is being protected from God's gift of Marijuanna!
Shortly after market introduction, press reports and independent studies suggest that side effects occur stronger and more commonly than shown by the manufacturer in their clinical studies. Reports of severe depression are frequent. This is deemed to result from the drug being active in the central nervous system, an area of human physiology so complex that drug effects are highly difficult to determine reliably.
Because the drug has the opposite effects of cannabinoid receptor agonists such as tetrahydrocannabinol, which is neuroprotective against excitotoxicity, it can be theorized that Rimonabant promotes the development of neurodegenerative diseases of the central nervous system such as Multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease in persons who are susceptible. The reported development of previously clinically silent multiple sclerosis in one patient taking Rimonabant suggests that any patients with an underlying neurological condition should not take Rimonabant, given the neuroprotective role of the endocannabinoid system in many experimental paradigms of neurological disease.