I’m no fan of the corrupt bureaucrats at the FDA. In particular, I think drugs widely tested & prescribed in Europe but not vetted by the FDA should be available in the US with that caveat. Let the public decide for themselves.
An interesting case is the drug Survector, a novel tricyclic antidepressant which was marketed by Servier in France & widely prescribed in Europe. Unlike serotonin reuptake blockers like Prozac, Survector is a dopamine reuptake blocker & mild psychomotor stimulant. Among its effects: Clinical trials tested favorably against imipramine, Ludiomil, Elavil, & Prozac Its psychomotor stimulant effect resulted in a rapid onset of treatment, critical in severe depression, & a drawback of SSRIs & older tricyclics which can take 6 to 8 weeks for onset Of particular use in depression of the elderly Did not cause sexual dysfunction endemic to SSRIs (which can exacerbate depression), enhanced orgasms, & reported to cause spontaneous orgasms (!)
Because of the latter as well as its mild psychomotor stimulant effect, Survector was deemed to have abuse potential (hardly the case with side-effect rich drugs like Prozac). Pressured by the FDA, Survector’s EC license was withdrawn in 1999. Yet studies of dependence (here & here) showed that those most at risk were people with serious psychiatric disorders & histories of substance abuse (duh).
There were also cases of hepatotoxicity (perhaps due to genetic predisposition). Alcohol, of course, has abuse potential & causes liver damage, but don’t look for it to be withdrawn from the market. As it shouldn’t be: why should a minority of substance abusers set public policy?
The orgasm effect also engages America’s Puritanical pleasure phobia. MDMA is a valuable drug that’s been useful in PTSD & psychotherapy, but due its being scheduled is now almost impossible for scientists to study. Its misuse by kids doesn’t change its potential usefulness.
FOOTNOTE: Survector’s manufacturer Servier is now offering a related drug called Tianeptine, which shows promise, altho there are no plans to market it in America. It’s also self-evident that manufacturers of the multibillion dollar SSRI industry have a vested interest in keeping substances like Survector & Tianeptine off the US market.
(Survector’s not, however, completely unavailable.)
Posted by jeff at 01:51 PM