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PTSD, Anti-Depressants, Seroquel & Tranquilizers
Dr. Phil Leveque Salem-News.com
If the VA was doing their job effectively, this would be a far less common sight. Courtesy: oldtimer.wordpress.com
(MOLALLA, Ore.) - I have written and posted about myself being a frontline Combat Infantryman, seeing fellow soldiers crack up on the frontline, getting near breaking up myself and finally being a physician for PTSD Veterans and others. PTSD is a far more widely suffered condition than many will admit.
The worst thing is that many people, including VA Caregivers, seem to think PTSD is relegated to those locked up in “rubber rooms” or cerebrally smashed with the most powerful brain depressants.
What these head shrinkers don’t seem to realize is that PTSD, like any other disease, is on a scale of 1 to 10 with the 10’s in a rubber room or lobotomized.
The “shrinks” boast about their successes. These are most likely the 1's 2’s, 3’s and 4’s. From my own experience in front of the frontlines in NO MAN’S LAND, I feel that I can state that almost every Combat Infantryman has some level of PTSD. In the lower ranges they can probably tolerate and cope, but there is always a “hair trigger” or a grenade with a loose pin waiting to explode. The high number of domestic abuse cases, alcoholism and tobacco addiction rates all attest to that.
The following is a story about one of my patients; a PTSD VA Lab Rat. I am throwing in the presumed rationale of the VA treatment.
Veterans and families of U.S. War Veterans have known about (and suffered from) what we know as PTSD since before our Revolutionary War. Indian massacres produced their own PTSD victims. Many American fighters against the Indians stayed away from civilized centers and became mountain men. Isolation and solitude became their PTSD treatment.
Alcohol has been used for millennia as a tranquilizer/sedative and War Veterans are known to suffer severe alcoholism. Opium has been used for several hundred years also but the first real medicine for PTSD occurred about 1940 with the phenothiazines of which there are about 13. Most do not work as advertised and have extremely serious adverse side effects limiting their use.
I searched the Internet for Anti-depressants and Anti-psychotics primarily used for PTSD, called a Depression by the VA. There are at least 17 various types including Cannabidiol, a marijuana component. The VA has used all of these drugs. I have been prescribed Neurontin, Elavil, Trazodone, Prazosin, and Ambien, none of which were satisfactory and left me with the mother of all hangovers till about noon the next day. My problem was pain, insomnia, nightmares and panic attacks.
This brings me to my “poster boy” patient. He was given most of the above with results similar to my own, and was just about to give up and turn to the old Army standby – alcohol. His VA Caregiver talked him into taking Seroquel and he told me of his experience... He said it was the strongest, longest acting sleeping pill he ever took.
As a physician/pharmacologist/toxicologist, I was interested in this, so I decided to look it up on wikipedia and elsewhere. First of all, Seroquel is called an Atypical anti-psychotic drug. The computer indicated 13,000,000 hits and sales of $4.7 billion per year. It was mostly used for schizophrenia along with anti-depressants. Its greatest side effect was sedation with low blood pressure and tachycardia. It can cause addiction, overdose deaths and suicides.
Minor side effects are pneumonia, confusion, stiff muscles, tremors, panic, insomnia(?), agitation and depression(?). One of the most adverse effects was diabetes, with many deaths. The company Astro Zeneca was fined $593,000,000 by the FDA which is small change compared to sales income.
The Eli Lilly Company with a similar drug, Zyprexes, was fined $1,200,000,000 for the same reason, but those fines never even slowed them down.
The sleeping dose for Seroquel is 12.5 to 25 mg but doses as high as 500mg per day have been given.
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More information on the history of Leveque can be found in his book, General Patton's Dogface Soldier of Phil Leveque about his experiences in WWII.
Order the book by mail by following this link: Dogface Soldier.
If you are a World War II history buff, you don't want to miss it.
Watch for more streaming video question and answer segments about medical marijuana with Bonnie King Dr. Phil Leveque.
Click on this link for other articles and video segments about PTSD and medical marijuana on Salem-News.com: Dr. Leveque INTERVIEWS & ARTICLES