Maria Bradshaw lost her only child to SSRI induced suicide in 2008. She is the co-founder and CEO of CASPER (Community Action on Suicide Prevention Education & Research). Maria wants everyone using prescription drugs to file their own RxISK Reports, because it is the only way we are going “learn about how these drugs work on people in the general population” and then adjust prescribing practices to protect everyone’s health and well-being. Here is her statement:
On the 20th of March 2008, my seventeen year-old only child died by suicide, fifteen days after taking the anti-depressant Prozac.
During those fifteen days, Toran suffered a range of adverse effects to the drug, which included anger, aggression, fatigue, abnormal dreams, loss of concentration, loss of memory, restlessness, and agitation – all sorts of things that often are not indentified in clinical trials of drugs.
That’s because the clinical trial populations are really different from the populations of real people who take these medications.
In clinical trial populations, drug companies screen out anybody who uses alcohol or other substances. Anybody who has ever thought of suicide or self-harm. All sorts of people who actually present to mental health clinics or GPs.
And so the only way we’re actually going to learn about how these drugs work on people in the general population, is for people like me, and everybody else out there who is using those drugs, to file adverse reaction reports. And it doesn’t matter whether the reaction is mild, or seemingly unimportant — whether it appears unlikely it maybe as a result of the use of the drug.
The important thing is that we file the information so that we can learn about the risk and safety profile of these drugs, and adjust prescribing practices, and monitoring practices, as a result of what we know.
And so I would encourage everybody out there to fill out the RxISK Adverse Reaction Reporting form and be part of collecting the data we need to make sure that people’s health, well-being and safety is protected.
Maria Bradshaw lost her only child to SSRI induced suicide in 2008. Co-founder and CEO of CASPER (Community Action on Suicide Prevention Education & Research), Maria promotes a social model of suicide prevention focused on strengthening community cohesion, addressing the social drivers of suicide and providing communities with the knowledge and tools required to reclaim suicide prevention from mental health professionals. Maria has an MBA from Auckland University and particular interests in sociological and indigenous models of suicide prevention, prescription drug induced suicide, pharmacovigilance and alternatives to psychiatric interventions for emotional distress. Maria can be contacted at Maria