For years, American lawmakers and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
ignored the cries for help from those taking the antidepressant medication,
Serzone, of Nefazodone. Serzone was prescribed
for those patients needing an affective antidepressant. Doctors and scientists claimed that one of
the major advantages of Serzone over other antidepressant was that it was not
as likely to cause sexual dysfunction, or insomnia. In fact, it was Serzone that was often given
as an alternative to other antidepressants, because more people seemed to
respond positively to its effects. At its height in 2002, Americans had almost
3 million prescriptions that pharmacies were filling.
However, as more testing was conducted, it was found that Serzone was the
cause of a large amount of liver failures on patients. Given to younger people, the risk of suicide
increased, as well. This drug was known
to be dangerous, and yet the FDA did nothing. Patients were forced to have
liver transplants (if they were lucky enough to get one), children died, and
still the US did not ban the drug. It
wasn’t until Canada and many European countries started banning this drug that
America started to question its use.
The FDA needs to take more
responsibility when hearing out the concerns of patients in the public. It is
their job to protect us and the products that come to us. In the case of
Serzone, they failed.