Editorial Note: Following a redesign of the website in 2015, the Violence Zone mentioned in this article now works differently. You can search for violence related side effects in the Drugs A-Z section. Side effects can be reported using the main “Report a Side Effect” function.
Toronto, Ontario (November 12, 2012) — RxISK.org, the first free independent website for researching and reporting prescription drug side effects, has added a Violence Zone to demonstrate and collect data on the links between prescription drugs and violent thoughts and behavior — from mild to suicidal or homicidal.
“Violence and other potentially criminal behavior caused by prescription drugs are medicine’s best kept secret,” says Dr. David Healy, a world-renowned psychiatrist who has written extensively about the lack of data in evidence-based medicine, including in his latest book, Pharmageddon.
Healy says this is a global issue, with medical, legal, ethical, and profound public policy dimensions. “Never before in the fields of medicine and law have there been so many events with so much concealed data and so little focused expertise.”
The Violence Zone allows users to enter the name of a prescription drug and see the side effects relating to violent acts and thoughts that have been reported to the FDA’s MedWatch System since 2004, as well as to RxISK, for more than 35,000 drug names from 103 countries. The data is presented in tables, tag clouds, heat maps, and interactive graphs, showing what’s happening with other people taking the same drug around the world and in a user’s community.
Users can then select the effect(s) they are experiencing and click on Report a Drug Side Effect to complete a report. This will add their anonymized experience to the RxISK database so that others can benefit from this information, as well as provide them with a personalized RxISK Report linking their symptoms and meds, which they can take to their doctor or pharmacist to facilitate a better treatment conversation.
“We are collecting this critical information directly from patients one report at a time,” says Healy. “As more reports are filed, the RxISK database will become the most comprehensive source of independent information on what prescription drugs do and their capacities to relieve aggression or to trigger violence.”
Dr. Dee Mangin, Data Based Medicine’s Chief Medical Officer and a professor and Director of Research in the Department of Public Health and General Practice at the University of Otago in New Zealand, says, “Violence has not traditionally been seen as a medical problem, but the range of drugs now linked to violence has grown, including drugs used in smoking cessation, dermatology, asthma, weight loss, insomnia, and behavior.”
Mangin says some drugs can also cause vivid, frightening dreams. “It’s important to find out if there is a connection between violent dreams or thoughts and your prescriptions so that adjustments can be made before you act on them.”
RxISK.org is owned and operated by Data Based Medicine Americas Ltd. (DBM), based in Toronto, Canada. DBM’s founders have international reputations in early drug-side-effect detection and risk mitigation, pharmacovigilance, and patient-centered care. Although drug side effects are known to be a leading cause of death and disability, less than 5% of serious drug side effects are reported. DBM’s mission is to capture this missing data directly from patients through RxISK’s free drug side effect reporting tool and use this data to help make medicines safer for all of us.
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This is a great tool! I think it will be especially useful to people who find themselves in trouble with the law as a result of sudden aggressive actions they themselves don’t understand. And their lawyers as well.
I have been trying it out on Cymbalta, a drug that’s caused a lot of this kind of trouble. One thing I noticed: the FDA’s two dream-categories of “abnormal dreams” and “nightmares” don’t make it onto the Violence checklist. There’s a related problem that people have been reporting to the Cymbalta Withdrawal board: sleep-related violence or aggression. People thrash around, punch and kick in their sleep (probably in response to nightmares) and some report they’ve attacked a spouse or partner. I don’t find a place for this, and don’t know how it would be coded.
I was also unsure if the Violence Zone is supposed to include suicide and self-harm. Or will this be a separate zone? There is no section for suicidal acts on the Cymbalta Violence checklist, but I know there have been many.
Finally, I’d vote for a Cardiac Zone to join the list at some point. There seem to be a lot of drugs out there that can cause tachycardia or change your cardiac rhythm — and people need to know right away, when they feel these symptoms, whether the drug is responsible.
It is stated, once again, in my medical records, I had tachycardia a few months down the line from Seroxat withdrawal. I went to see a heart specialist, she said, I cannot give you pills for your tachycardia because you overdosed (from Seroxat withdrawal) and I am very afraid you will ‘overdose’ on your heart pill…………………………….
Have a heart……………………???lassie………………………..
My brother took Cymbalta and it turned him into a monster. He was dillusional, paranoid, and turned violent. HE SNAPPED< KILLING HIS WIFE without even remembering what had happened. He's now serving 60+ years in INDOC. He was NEVER a violent or aggressive person before Cymbalta. Nobody even saw him as a mean or agreesive type person. He never even got into fights before that. (Age 47). He claims this is all CYMBALTA's fault and he cannot get help from anyone to stand up for him to agree that this drug and others like this can cause violence. Can ANYONE help him ?? PLEASE HELP HIM !!
I don’t know how much help I can give other than to say that my friend/employee stabbed his mother to death and I am in shock. This person was a really friendly laid back guy, docile. I trusted him. He was on some psychotropic drug and it gave him diabetes and he won a lawsuit because of the side affects. Now I found out he became violent enough to murder.
My X-wife began taking cymbalta for fibromyalgia. Within one week her agression level was unstoppable, especially when she drank alcohol. The night we separated she came home enraged and drank a full bottle of wine.
She began to break our crystal glasses by throwing them into the kitchen sink. After breaking several hundred dollars worth she threw one past my head but missed. She then came from the back side of the kitchen island and attacked me. She grabbed me by the testicles and ruptured the right.one. To get her off of my I slapped her to the floor. She called our children and told them I attacked her. I told them to get her out of the house and keep her away from me. I tried to get her to take a polygraph but she refused. I filed for divorce. My testicle has stopped functioning and had atrophied.
I connect her actions to cymbalta due to the uncharacteristic rage.