SSRI Stories Antidepressant Nightmares -- DATABASE OF DANGERS OF SSRI AND PSYCHOACTIVE DRUGS
Click For Sortable Database of 3100+ Media Articles Naming Antidepressants
Withdrawal can often be more dangerous than continuing on a medication. It is important to withdraw extremely slowly from these drugs, usually over a period of a year or more, under the supervision of a qualified specialist.
This website is a collection of 3100+ news stories with the full media article available, mainly criminal in nature, that have appeared in the media (newspapers, TV, scientific journals) or that were part of FDA testimony in either 1991, 2004 or 2006, in which antidepressants are mentioned.
Antidepressants have been recognized as potential inducers of mania and psychosis since their introduction in the 1950s. Klein and Fink1 described psychosis as an adverse effect of the older tricyclic antidepressant imipramine. Since the introduction of Prozac in December, 1987, there has been a massive increase in the number of people taking antidepressants. Preda and Bowers2 reported that over 200,000 people a year enter a hospital with antidepressant-associated mania and/or psychosis. The subsequent harm from this prescribing can be seen in these 3100+ stories.
This web site focuses on the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), of which Prozac was the first. Other SSRIs are Zoloft, Paxil (Seroxat), Celexa, Sarafem (Prozac in a pink pill), Lexapro, and Luvox. Other newer antidepressants included in this list are Remeron, Anafranil and the SNRIs Effexor, Serzone and Cymbalta as well as the dopamine reuptake inhibitor antidepressant Wellbutrin (also marketed as Zyban).
The Physicians' Desk Reference
The Physicians' Desk Reference lists the following adverse reactions (side effects) to antidepressants among a host of other physical and neuropsychiatric effects:
Manic Reaction (Mania, e.g., Kleptomania, Pyromania, Dipsomania)
Emotional Lability (Or Instability)
Alcohol Abuse and/or Craving
Akathisia (Severe Inner Restlessness)
Discontinuation (Withdrawal) Syndrome
Adverse reactions are most likely to occur when starting or discontinuing the drug, increasing or lowering the dose or when switching from one SSRI to another. Adverse reactions are often diagnosed as bipolar disorder when the symptoms may be entirely iatrogenic (treatment induced). Withdrawal, especially abrupt withdrawal, from any of these medications can cause severe neuropsychiatric and physical symptoms. It is important to withdraw extremely slowly from these drugs, often over a period of a year or more, under the supervision of a qualified and experienced specialist, if available.
FDA Public Health Advisory
On March 22, 2004 the FDA published a Public Health Advisory that reiterates several of these side effects and states (in part) "Anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, impulsivity, akathisia (severe restlessness), hypomania, and mania have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants for major depressive disorder as well as for other indications, both psychiatric and non-psychiatric." (Click Links button at bottom of this page for a direct link to this FDA Warning.)
On September 14, 2004 the FDA added a Black Box Warning in regard to antidepressants & suicidality in those under age 18.
On September 14, 2004 the FDA mandated that pharmacies provide to all parents or guardians for those younger than 18 an Antidepressant Patient Medication Guide. This guide reads (in part) "Call healthcare provider right away if you or your family member has any of the following symptoms: Acting aggressive, being angry, or violent & acting on dangerous impulses." This Antidepressant Patient Medication Guide also states "Never stop an antidepressant medicine without first talking to a healthcare provider. Stopping an antidepressant medicine suddenly can cause other symptoms." (Click Links button at bottom of this page for a direct link to this FDA Antidepressant Guide.)
On December 13, 2006, the Black Box Warning for suicidality was updated to include those under age 25. The Black Box Warning is included in the insert to the drugs and in the Physicians' Desk reference.
48 School Shootings/Incidents Involving SSRIs
Most of the stories on this site describe events that occurred after the year 2000. The increase in online news material and the efficiency of search engines has greatly increased the ability to track stories. Even these 3100+ documented stories only represent the tip of an iceberg since most stories do not make it into the media. There are 68 cases of bizarre behavior, 48 school shootings/incidents, 61 road rage tragedies, 13 air rage incidents, 44 postpartum depression cases, over 600 murders (homicides), over 190 murder-suicides and other acts of violence including workplace violence on this site.
A Public Health Problem of Epidemic Proportions
There is a grave concern among advocates that adverse reactions are greatly underestimated by the public, the medical profession, and the regulatory authorities. Each of these stories in our list can be interpreted as an adverse reaction and in most cases we have highlighted the portion of the article that refers to evidence of bizarre behavioral change consistent with drug reaction. In some stories causation is acknowledged and the juxtaposition of these stories with those where it goes unrecognized as well as the repetition of themes and circumstances is chilling. If indeed medications played a significant role in all these tragedies, then this is a public health problem of epidemic proportions on a global scale.
How to Use This Web Site
To enter the site, click on the button below. This will bring up the site index. The index contains 5 columns, each with its own column header displayed in red. Clicking on the column header will re-sort the index according to that heading. A link to the complete media article or testimony, often with a summary heading, is available by clicking on the "What" column entry displayed in blue.
There are 2 flags set in the index which have special meaning as follows:
If the first character of the "Additional" column is a special character sequence (*,**,+,++), then the moderators of SSRIStories consider that story to be of special interest.
** Indicates a school shooting or school incident.
* Indicates a legal case won using SSRI defense.
++ Indicates an important journal article.
+ Indicates a highly publicized case.
If the last character of the "Drug" column is an asterisk, it indicates some expert has indicated the drug contributed to the events documented in the story.
1 Klein DF, Fink M. Psychiatric Reaction Patterns to Imipramine. Am Journal Psychiatry 1962; 119: 432-438
2 Preda and Bowers. Antidepressant-Associated Mania and Psychosis Resulting in Psychiatric Admissions . Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 2001: 62: 30-33
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