By MATTHEW PERRONE (AP)
WASHINGTON — Andrew White returned from a nine-month tour in Iraq beset with signs of post-traumatic stress disorder: insomnia, nightmares, constant restlessness. Doctors tried to ease his symptoms using three psychiatric drugs, including a potent anti-psychotic called Seroquel.
Thousands of soldiers suffering from PTSD have received the same medication over the last nine years, helping to make Seroquel one of the Veteran Affairs Department's top drug expenditures and the No. 5 best-selling drug in the nation.
Several soldiers and veterans have died while taking the pills, raising concerns among some military families that the government is not being up front about the drug's risks. They want Congress to investigate.
In White's case, the nightmares persisted. So doctors recommended progressively larger doses of Seroquel. At one point, the 23-year-old Marine corporal was prescribed more than 1,600 milligrams per day — more than double the maximum dose recommended for schizophrenia patients.
A short time later, White died in his sleep.
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Questions loom over drug given to sleepless vets
read some more collected reports from this blog
Links to medications suspected with non-combat deaths Sunday, January 13, 2008
Vets taking PTSD drugs die in sleep Saturday, May 24, 2008
"Vets' Sudden Cardiac Deaths Are Not Suicides or Overdoses" says doctor Tuesday, May 19, 2009
But this one really stands out
Seroquel fine to be paid but what about the rest of the story? Wednesday, April 28, 2010
AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals took advantage of the government and has agreed to pay a fine. The problem is, the FDA, another branch of the government, did not approve Seroquel for "uses that were not approved by the FDA as safe and effective (including aggression, Alzheimer’s disease, anger management, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar maintenance, dementia, depression, mood disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and sleeplessness)." Why isn't anyone asking the VA why they used them without checking to see if the company was telling them the truth or not? It's great to hold the companies accountable, but who is holding the VA and other agencies accountable?
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