RxISK.org, the first free independent website for researching and reporting prescription drug side effects, interviews Dr. David Healy, co-founder of RxISK, on the connection between suicide and prescription drugs. In the video, Dr. Healy explains how prescription drugs can lead to suicide, and what can be done to address this problem.
Many people know anti-depressants come with black box warnings stating that they can cause suicidal thoughts and behaviors, but many do not know that anti-psychotics and mood stabilizers can also cause these side effects, according to Dr. Healy, a world-renowned psychiatrist and psychopharmacologist.
“Even less known is that a range of drugs like the statins, acne drugs, weight loss drugs, anti-smoking drugs and asthma drugs are also linked to suicide,” Dr. Healy says.
Dr. Healy says that suicidal thoughts often begin within two weeks of starting an antidepressant, but can also occur when changing the dosage, ending treatment or adding another prescription drug to the mix. On the other hand, it usually takes a few months for suicidal thoughts to occur while taking mood stabilizers or anti-convulsants.
In the video, Dr. Healy also discusses the likelihood of experiencing these side effects, and the steps one should take when experiencing them. Dr. Healy encourages people to visit RxISK.org if someone believes they, or someone they know, are experiencing prescription drug-induced suicidal thoughts. Here, they can discover whether others experienced the same side effect, while on the same prescription drug.
“It becomes a lot easier to believe that the drug has caused you the problem if you become aware that there are hundreds of people who have experienced the same thing on the drug you are on,” Dr. Healy says.
RxISK is owned and operated by Data Based Medicine Americas Ltd. (DBM). 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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Are prescription drugs causing suicides, is the question….and what can be done to address this problem, is the other question……..
Clearly, Rxisk is up and running with some evidence of the many drugs which are being taken, innocently……
When a gp and/or psychiatrist nearly/or do – kill their patient – with anti-depressants, in particular, it’s a bit rich that surgeries and hospitals have a one year cut-off, the Medical Council has a five-year cut-off and this, despite legal proceedings which, naturally, take years and years, which could, in the end, put a lot of gps and psychiatrist in the dock for ‘Dial M for Murder.’
Methinks, a capable law firm could clean up, with a list of gps and/or psychiatrists, longer than your arm, who have avoided prosecution because they think they are not accessories to ‘Dial M for Murder’.
Police prosecutions appear to have no time limit……….arm/law/me – I could go into a police station tomorrow and get Mr. Novia Scotia, who called me, at my home, and threatened me because his colleague made up porky pies about Fluoxetine and Seroxat and I could probably get him charged.
I might, I might not, depends on my confidence levels……..
I will take my time, no rush, ‘rushing into suicide’ from Seroxat, was as much rushing, as I intend to do, in my lifetime……
This is great — in the end, I think the best advice in these situations is to trust your gut. It’s good to hear a doctor say it.
I would love to hear more on what’s known about the risks of painkillers, especially the synthetic opiate type. Search the FDA information on suicides connected to drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone etc. and you will see lots of reports — but it’s not clear whether the drugs are actually thought to have sparked the suicide, or whether the person just chose the drugs as a means of suicide. The numbers of actual suicide reports are much higher than the reported attempts for both of these drugs — which leads me to believe FDA are mixing these two very different kinds of reports together. Does anyone know?
It frustrates me that therapists think they are helping you when they throw up their hands and say “take anti-depressants.” That’s therapy? Years ago, during a divorce, I was prescribed Prozac. That and Serzone were all that the doctor at the HMO would prescribe.
In a few days, I was contemplating ending my life. I was in tears. I had a plan, where my body would be found near a hospital that could use organs that were not damaged. Luckily, I was taken off Prozac and put on Serzone for 7 months. Then Serzone was withdrawn from the market because it causes liver damage.
For drug companies to make a profit from human illness and suffering is immoral and detrimental to public health. It’s high time we had free public health care. Why should Americans accept second-class citizen status when people all over Europe get excellent health care, free of charge? My sisters have lived for decades in France and Italy. They love the superb care they get, at literally no charge to them. Our system is sick.
I just started a petition on the White House petitions site, We the
People. Will you sign it? http://wh.gov/lqjNy
Sincerely a Rx drug suicide attempt survivor!
My husband took his life over 2 years ago after taking Vyvanse for ADHD. He explained to his nurse practitioner that he was seeing at the VA that he had a family history of Bipolar. They prescribed the drug anyway. He stated that he was feeling “overly emotional” and wanted to change meds, but they didnt. I wish this site was around then.
http://www.cchrint.org, scroll to veteran suicides.
So sorry for your loss.
Painful to know, what is about to be disclosed.
More painful not to, and remain lost.
I know that this will not bring closure, perhaps, hopefully, one small step in the the path, I am to familiar with the ways of Veterans Affairs, and it not due to a lack of treatment, but an overabundance of inappropriate treatment
My beautiful only child who was college educated but suffered from migraines for the past few years was treated with many prescribed drugs. In her purse at the time of her death (self inflicted gunshot wound to the head) on 9/11/15 was the following med bottles all dated as being prescribed within one month of her death or less. All meds prescribed by her general md and all prescriptions filled at one pharmacy.
Adderall generic 30 mg twice a day. This bottle was empty. This was dispensed on 8/12/15 and she died by suicide on 9/11/15.
Sertaline 100 mg once a day (generic antidepressant). 30 pills dispensed and 8 remaining in the foil.
Clonazepam 0.5 mg tab purepac – One tablet by mouth twice a day. (One and 1/4 pills remained in the bottle. This was dispensed on 8/20/15 with a quantity dispensed of 60 pills).
Gabapentin 300 mg take twice daily for 30 days (yet this was prescribed and taken monthly). Dispensed on 8/20/15 with a quantity dispensed of 60. Two pills were what were left in the bottle.
Hydroco/acetamin 10-325 mg tab quantity 90 and to be taken every 4 hours as needed for pain. (This bottle was empty) and dispensed on 8/12/15 with her death being on 9/11/15. I fear she ran out and this helped her commit her suicide?
Approximately a year and a half before her successful suicide on 9/11/15 she had attempted suicide. She didn’t remember putting the gun to her mouth. She asked to be taken to the stress center. We spoke at length via visits and on the phone. She promised she would never wish death. The stress center blamed the cocktail of different drugs prescribed and being taken by her at that time. They changed some and added some new drugs. She seemed past that. I never dreamed it could happen again and this time she was taken from me forever. She was the light of my life.
So why is it (and I suppose it has to do with privacy laws) but why wasn’t her prescribing doctor unable to be informed and as such would surely have been more carefully monitoring what he was prescribing and helping her more vs prescribing in an effort to treat versus doing more.
I am saying two things.
I am saying that privacy laws hurt and did not help in my instance here of daughter committing suicide.
2ndly that my small daughter who started suffering migraines after bariatric rou n y weight loss surgery was just given a host of differing meds to treat her problem along with acupuncture an nerve blocks. But nobody has studied what all these many drugs do taken daily in a cocktail in my bariatric surgery daughters system. I feel extreme sadness and disgust and pray that these issues will one day be worked on to be better for all. Maybe all doctors should NOT be able to prescribe all the drugs they do. Maybe in matters of so many meds a psychiatrist would be the one to take care of these type patients? I have no answers. I only know that the meds changed my daughter and not in a good way. I feel she knew no other way to continue but to exit our planet. What a loss to society, her family and friends and this world. She mattered more than this.
My heart goes pit to you. Knowing time has passed since your post here I still understand deeply how she might have felt. Poly pharmacy can be overwhelming. Be kind to yourself …
I do not care if I live or die with my prescription pain killers. Whatever!
I have experienced this first hand and I’ve seen it many many times to other people in a med group that I was in. It’s been just with the generic drugs and they are not working right they’re not releasing right like the brand name. Lamictal was the first one I never realized something could do this to your brain. I had other things happen at the same time and thought I was grieving and didn’t realize it was the medicine. People have the same symptoms no matter which drug it is. Anxiety I never ever had before. Its a very scared horrible feeling, stomach upset ,not being able to eat ,diarrhea, memory loss , cognitive functioning decline and then the Suicidal Thoughts. It’s very overwhelming and very strong all I could think about was dying. I also have tremors and shakes and even upper body stiffness seizure-like episodes. It happens on different medications. After the Lamictal I started on Effexor and didn’t realize for 2 more years the same thing was happening( I thought it was still the effects of the Lamictal) until I got brand name and it was completely different. Later I had taken Wellbutrin and did OK until I got one that wasn’t releasing right which is a well-known problem with Wellbutrin. I had all the same symptoms all over again. I believe this is the reason why a lot of people kill themselves on these drugs. Good luck trying to get a doctor to listen to you or even the pharmacy for that matter. Most people have it happen on one drug or don’t realize that it was because of the drug. Since I had it happen on 3 and I knew that brand name each time was different and my symptoms stopped on brand name I realize that is all from the generic drugs. These drugs are not being tested by the FDA since funding has changed. The funding for the FDA now comes from the pharmaceutical companies . This has taken 7 years of my life and I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same again.