Editorial Note: This post starts with Michelle Millikan’s report to FDA of the night she killed her husband.
Several days after my 6th injection of Lupron Depot, in some kind of an impossible-to-understand and difficult-to-explain ‘fugue state’, I killed my husband with a gunshot to the head while he was sleeping.
I have NO MEMORY of waking up at 4 am in the morning on May 25, 1993 (or of the evening before) and I have NO MEMORY of retrieving the gun – the only memory of this horrific event I have is I do remember holding the gun pointed at him and thinking ‘what am I doing?’ With no further memory, and without any intent, and as if I had no control over my actions, I apparently did shoot and kill him.
In shock afterwards, and, again, in an impossible-to-understand and difficult-to-explain state of mind, I told the police it was an ‘accidental gun discharge as my husband was putting the gun away’, and his death was ruled “inconclusive” in 1993. It was very hard for me to accept the truth that I had to have killed my husband. The severe guilt and utter confusion of how and why I could have done what I apparently did ate at me until 2001 when, against legal advice, I confessed to the police. I am now serving year 11 of the 18 year prison sentence I received for 2nd degree murder.
Our marriage was not perfect and like many marriages had its problems, but we had plans for the future, and were in the process of trying to conceive; and never once had I ever thought of harming, never mind killing my husband. I grew up in a Christian home, attended a Christian School, my father was the founder of a Biblical Counseling and Training Center, and both my husband and I worked at this Center. I did experience feelings of depression related to my infertility and marital stress, but I had no history of any kind of anger issues or emotional instability, had no prior criminal record – not even a speeding ticket. Committing this homicide was and is incomprehensible to me and to those who know me.
But recently I have learned that Lupron has a known history of causing serious, abnormal psychological symptoms and I have been made aware that the FDA database contains the following reports: “disturbances in thinking”, “memory loss”, “thinking abnormally”, “emotional instability”, “mood instability”, “mental impairment”, “psychosis”, “delusions”, “paranoid reactions”, “personality disorder”, “suicide attempts”, “suicide”, and “homicidal ideation”.
And I have been made aware of countless public internet postings of women discussing the effects of Lupron and reporting “homicidal ideation”, “extreme craziness”, “severe mood swings”, “out of body experiences”, “wasn’t myself at all”, “not in control of my emotions”, “foggy brain”, “I didn’t recognize myself in my behaviors”, “memory loss”, “very forgetful”, “I turned into a different person”, “doing some strange things I would have never done before”, “severe episode of anger outburst; threatened to kill my boyfriend”, and thousands more comments like these.
Since 1993 I have been plagued by the incomprehensibleness of my apparent actions – now I feel that finally there is an explanation for what happened to my mind and for what happened to my husband. Because of the extremely atypical and violent nature of my apparent actions, the timing of the Lupron injections with my ‘fugue state’, my life-long stable mental status, and my warm, even-tempered disposition before and since the event, I now strongly believe that Lupron was the causative factor in this homicide.
I also want to report to the FDA that while taking Lupron I suffered from numerous side effects – severe hot flashes, burning up from the inside out and soaking clothes, joint pain, irregular heart beat, depression, and memory lapses. To this day I continue to experience joint pain, irregular heart beat, and serious memory loss. In addition, I also have chronic headaches, numbness in the face, and shooting pains in my back, brain, eyes and chest.”
And continues with this note from Lynne Millican who runs the Lupron Hub a fount of information on everything to do with Lupron that was featured on RxISK earlier this year – Lupron: A Nightmare Produced in AbbVie.
At last check, the FDA continues to list “zero” reports of homicide while on Lupron.
Here is some additional relevant information, which is based upon grand jury transcripts and court records received from Erin, Michelle’s lawyer.
In light of Michele’s discovery of the known Lupron adverse mental status effects, and the fact that these serious mitigating effects were not considered in her sentencing, Michele is now attempting to explore a possible reduction or commutation of her remaining sentence (she has served 11 years of her 18 year sentence).
Transcripts of Michele’s Grand Jury proceedings state that “With regards to mental capacity, at this point in time, that would not be a probable cause determination. That would have to be a determination by the trial judge. It is something you should not take into consideration in your determinations.” (emphasis mine). In transcripts of the judge’s Sentencing of Michele, he states:
“And I considered in mitigation the mental state of Michele Millikan, at the time of the offense. I cannot say that I understand it, but it’s clear that although Michele Millikan did understand the nature of right and wrong and that this act was wrong, her mental state was — if there is such a word — not norm at the time of the event. For a combination of factors that is described by the psychologist in the report that is written to me, and it is too lengthy to go over in detail at this time, it’s the Judgment of this Court that the Defendant should be sentenced to the aggravated term of 18 years in the Department of Corrections because this Court thinks the aggravating factors outweigh the mitigating factors.” (emphasis mine).
The “too lengthy” psychologist’s report, in fact, states “all indicators are that Ms. Millikan was in a dissociative state of mind immediately prior to and during the death of [her husband]. Thus, Ms. Millikan can not be said to have intended to cause the death.” Contrary to the judge’s assessment that “it’s clear  Michele Millikan did understand the nature of right and wrong and that this act was wrong …”, in fact, the psychologist’s report states otherwise.
It is hoped that a second look at Michele’s circumstances can take place, this time with a clinically accurate understanding of the mitigating factors created by Lupron’s adverse psychological effects. Although the psychologist’s report noted that in the months before the homicide, Michele was found to have a “clinically significant mood alteration”, no mention of or association to Lupron was ever made or considered. The introduction of the impact of adverse Lupron mental status effects should be given the consideration it deserves.
Michele’s family and friends have remained steadfastly by her side, are committed to helping her, and are likewise relieved to have some answers to explain Michele’s inexplicable actions (“No one who knows Michele can understand how this could have happened”.) They have reached out, asking if anyone who might have had abnormal mental state and/or violent experiences on Lupron to contact them, as they are trying to find enough evidence to justify asking for a new trial or pardon. To date, they have heard from a woman in Ohio who is willing to testify on Michele’s behalf that while she was on Lupron, she experienced inexplicable moods and behaviors resulting in her attacking her husband, hitting him in the head and requiring stitches.
If you, or someone you know, have or has experienced (or is experiencing) any of the above reported adverse psychiatric effects from Lupron, or know of any instances of violence or homicide committed by someone on lupron, and would like to help Michele, please contact Michele’s friend Erin Moosbrugger at firstname.lastname@example.org, or email here.
There are several reports of homicidality including one homicide on RxISK. Go to the Violence Zone. Enter Lupron and you will see:
There is also a peer reviewed article on mania and paranoia on Lupron.
The data in the violence zone for Lupron and other drugs dates from 2004, but we have data going back to the late 1960s for some drugs and into the 1980s for Lupron. We can make data like this available for someone who finds themselves in the position Michele is in.