I’m kinda sick of @electroboyusa Tweeting every five minutes about the dangers of Abilify and how Bristol Myers Squibb, the pharmaceutical company that manufactures the drug, makes billions off people with BPD who are supposedly “unaware” of the side effect of this drug (which are the same side-effects of almost all psychiatric medications and other common medications, too). electroboyusa made tons of dough as a spokesperson for BMS and Abilify, but started a campaign against the company—and the drug–when he experienced side effects he didn’t like.
Good on him for standing up to Big Pharma on the one hand, but not so good on him that he now has another agenda: to push ECT, with which he had great success. I think it’s great that electroboyusa found something that really worked for him., but I have a different experience. The idea of ECT scares the shit out of me. I have to say it’s much scarier, at least to me, than any consequences of Abilify—or another anti-psychotic for that matter.
I have had enormous success with Abilify. I’ve experienced side effects, sure, that’s all part of the medication game. I might now even have tardive dyskinesia after 20 years on anti-psychotics, and not only Abilify, but Haldol, Risperdal & Seroquel as well. I knew this going in… I also weighed the options, which were to be too sick to function for the rest of my life, be dead by suicide (I tried 3 times and would have kept trying until I succeeded if I didn’t start taking Abilify) or the total unknown. And, I’m not getting paid millions of dollars to say this either. I can barely secure the drug for my own use.
Anti-psychotic medications are nothing any of us would take if they didn’t somehow help us feel better or function better. I fucking hate Bristol Myers Squibb, I’ve written about it, here and elsewhere. I hate them for some of the same reasons as electroboyusa. Because the company is making billions off of us consumers who use the drug they manufacture with a certain kind of impunity and without taking responsibility for actions that might have fatal consequences, including death (a written & warned side-effect of Abilify, as with most pharmaceuticals).
But, BMS also doesn’t consider the other side of the coin: not helping someone on Abilify, who is doing well with Abilify and needs the drug to function (and even to assist her in NOT dying–by suicide), but who cannot afford to purchase the drug because of various reasons, like, oh she doesn’t have insurance, but makes “too much” money to be considered for the company’s Abilify Patient Assistance Program. I’ve gone head-to-head with Mr. James Cornelius and his lackeys on that one more than once. One time I succeeded and one time I did not. And, I’m pretty sure I’ll encounter the wealthy head honcho of BMS again.
Let’s put this all into perspective. Here is the prescribing information for Risperdal (40 pages of it!), which includes: “Other adverse events reported since market introduction, which were temporally related to risperidone but not necessarily causally related, include the following: pituitary adenoma, pulmonary embolism, precocious puberty, cardiopulmonary arrest, and sudden death.”
And, here is the prescribing information for Abilify (19 pages), which includes a similar warning: “Analyses of seventeen placebo-controlled trials (modal duration of 10 weeks), largely in patients taking atypical antipsychotic drugs, revealed a risk of death in drug-treated patients of between 1.6 to 1.7 times the risk of death in placebo-treated patients. Over the course of a typical 10-week controlled trial, the rate of death in drug-treated patients was about 4.5%, compared to a rate of about 2.6% in the placebo group. Although the causes of death were varied, most of the deaths appeared to be either cardiovascular (eg, heart failure, sudden death) or infectious (eg, pneumonia) in nature. “
Here’s the prescribing information for Sigulair, which I take along with millions of other asthma sufferers. The warnings for this medication include this: “Neuropsychiatric events have been reported in adult, adolescent, and pediatric patients taking SINGULAIR. Post-marketing reports with SINGULAIR use include agitation, aggressive behavior or hostility, anxiousness, depression, disorientation, dream abnormalities, hallucinations, insomnia, irritability, restlessness, somnambulism, suicidal thinking and behavior (including suicide), and tremor. The clinical details of some post-marketing reports involving SINGULAIR appear consistent with a drug- induced effect.”
Hmmm, Singulair’s side effects are identical to what electroboyusa has said he experienced with Abilify. OMG, what a fucking revelation that pharmaceuticals are bad for our heath—as well as essential to keeping us alive and, in the case of Singulair, breathing.
Of course, pharmaceutical companies are bad for us, too, because they are profit-making businesses not actually focused on helping people, but rather making as much money as possible. This manifests in incredibly imprecise science & random and unpredictable efficacy of these drugs we ingest as well as the rotten side effects we experience, and many other high crimes and misdemeanors of pharmaceutical companies I do not need to preach about to the choir.