10 Year Old Son Committed Suicide while Taking Effexor

“Most doctors don’t even have a clue about this stuff!”

He was 10. Red headed, brown-eyed, full of life and laughter. His doctor spent 10 minutes with him and prescribed Effexor XR….said they would “ramp up” from 37.5 mg to 225 mg at which time his symptoms of ADHD would disappear.

They were RIGHT. Our son took 225 mg for exactly one day. We found him hanging in his closet by the belt of his new bathrobe that same night. Total time on Effexor: 27 days, each ramp up worse than the last in side effects. We were never told by the doctor nor the nurse that this drug could cause suicide or other very serious side effects.

We were never told to watch him closely. All I can say is don’t give this medication to your children unless you have all the facts, have been educated and feel you are making an educated decision for your child. Most doctors don’t even have a clue about this stuff! If I knew then what I know now, he would have NEVER been on Effexor or any other drug.

Please help us fight for complete transparency in the FDA and push for the pharmaceutical companies’ complete disclosure of all studies, both positive and negative. It is the only way we will ever be informed parents. Please do not let my son’s death be only for the pharmaceutical companies’ gain. Be informed or refuse the drug outright.

Be SAFE, your kids are depending on you.

d.eriksson@comcast.net
Richardson, TX

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My Husband Took His Life on Zoloft

“I am convinced that SSRIs caused akathisia…driving him to suicide very rapidly.”

Dear all,

I am an emergency nurse in Ireland and I was married to Niall a 39 yr Nurse Tutor (psychiatry). Niall committed suicide on the 26th of December 2003 out of the blue, no note, no planning, against his beliefs and his character. Abandoning his 3 children (whom he adored) (5yr, 3yr and 10 months) in the house and my oldest boy (5yr) found him hanging in the garden shed. He was prescribed sertraline 50mg OD for mild depression after 4 days (adverse effects???) (I was not aware he changed drugs) the GP changed it to paroxetine 20mg OD which he took for 13 days before committing suicide. We had a lovely Xmas day and he was not suicidal then. I am convinced that SSRIs caused akathisia on the 26th driving him to suicide very rapidly, he had no choice or say in the matter. Frightening!!

Nuria O’Mahony
nurianiall@eircom.net

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16-Year Old’s Suicide on Zoloft

“Brandon’s mother, and my wife of 15 years, unable cope with loss of her youngest son, [then] took her own life.”

Bandon W. Ferris 1/04/85 – 7/22/01

My 16 year old step-son, Brandon Ferris, committed suicide, on July 22, 2001, approximately 3 weeks after he began taking the SSRI antidepressant known as Zoloft.

As husband to his mother Barbara, I helped raise Brandon from the time he was less than 2 years old. He was a bright and socially outgoing child who got along well with his brother, and step-siblings.

At age 12 he took an interest in martial arts, and we enrolled him in Seongs Tai Kwon Do Academy in Fredericksburg, VA. He found himself well suited to this discipline and worked his way trough the program to achieve his Black Belt. He made many friends there and became an instructor to other children and adults at the age of 15.

As a teenager Brandon’s other activities included sports games with his friends in the neighborhood. He also was active in our church’s youth group where he was involved in drama and many outside volunteer community projects. Additionally, Brandon held down a part-time job at a local coffee shop.

Maybe at this point you are thinking that I have painted a picture of the perfect child. Brandon also had a mischievous side that was more entertaining than bad. For instance he was very creative at finding ways to get out of chores that he didn’t think were fun. “Fun” was a key word for Brandon.

Because of Brandon’s busy schedule, and the fact that we believed his aptitude was beyond the public school system, Barbara and I decided to home-school him. This situation tended to work out well, and as a byproduct, provided more quality communication time between Brandon, Barbara, and myself. Barbara also worked part-time at the Tai Kwon Do School, so she was active in Brandon’s daily activities generally several hours per day.

In June of 2001 Brandon expressed to his mother that he had been feeling despondent over some issues surrounding his life, i.e. a close friend who was having personal problems, and a would-be girl-friend. It was also evident that Brandon was not his ordinarily energetic self. It was decided that 1) he should take some time off from his varied responsibilities, and 2) he should see a counselor.

The Licensed counselor expressed concern over Brandon’s general well-being and suggested that he see the family doctor. The doctor, who could find no evidence of physical malfunctions, gave Brandon a prescription for the drug Zoloft.

We allowed Brandon to go with his best friend’s family to the beach for several days. The friend’s parents were also close friends of ours and were fully up to date on Brandon’s situation. They made sure Brandon took his medicine and monitored his behavior. Reports were that “all had a great time”. However, it was noted that Brandon’s demeanor on a couple of occasions was uncharacteristically less than his usual polite self.

Back at home he seemed fine and appeared to be enjoying his time off from work.

Sunday July 22nd we awoke a little latter than planned to get to church. Barbara didn’t have time to get ready so Brandon and I went together. Brandon hung out with his buddies during the service, which was customary, and in the car going home we discussed current events. Because Barbara’s birthday was the coming Friday, and Brandon liked to cook, he volunteered to make the cake. He told me he had been invited to go on a boating trip on Wednesday, and asked my permission. I was agreeable as long as it was alright with his mother. Back at home he went down the street with friends and I didn’t see him again until later that afternoon, when he asked if he could go out to eat dinner with his older brother Randy. I said yes, and asked him if he planned to attend his usual youth-group meeting at 7:00. He said yes and that he would have Randy drop him off after dinner. Latter, Randy picked him up from church and he was home at approximately 9:15. He seemed fine and went across the street to a friend’s house. He came back at about 9:45 and on his way up stairs he stopped to ask his mother about the boating trip. She told him we would discuss it after the movie we were watching. At about 10:00 I called up to him to take out the trash. He did, and went back to his room. At approximately 10:30 he asked his brother, in the next room, if he could use the computer to check his email. Randy told him that he would be finished with the computer in about 15 minutes. At 11:00 I called upstairs again because Brandon had missed a box that needed to go out with the trash. He did not answer. Randy then went to his room and found him hung by the neck from a belt in his closet. We called 911 and performed CPR to no avail. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Having looked back the day’s events, and spoken to most of those whom Brandon had contact with in detail; I could not detect any indication of forethought to suicide. However, later conversations revealed possible clues, as does the following excerpt of a sympathy card from the parents of two of Brandon’s Tai Kwon Do students.

…The weekend night of Saturday July 21st Paul and I went to the movies. Brandon and a friend were there. Brandon got up and sat down next to us. He looked at Paul and said “Hi, how are you?” It took a second and then Paul recognized him. Brandon smiled. He said “I’m here with a friend, and I told him I was going to play a trick on you.” We asked Brandon how he had been doing. He said “I’ve had a bit of depression; I’m on medicine, Zoloft. Its better I guess, the medicine messes with your head. They told me not to do anything that requires too much thought, So, I’m taking a little time off from Tai Kwon Do. I’ll be back soon. It takes time to adjust to the medicine. I’m getting there.” His manner was upbeat, teasing a little, tired, but he seemed to recognize that some things required time to work through…

The obvious question is, “What happened in Brandon’s mind between 10:30 PM and 10:45 PM on the evening of July 22nd, 2001?”

I wish I could say that, that was the end of an unspeakable tragedy. However, approximately 5 months later, Barbara, Brandon’s mother, and my wife of 15 years, unable cope with loss of her youngest son, took her own life.

Since then I have collaborated with Brandon’s biological father, Dan Ferris, who has worked tirelessly to obtain information that would point to the cause of Brandon’s death. We believe, after having done much research, that the drug Zoloft, produced by Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company, had a causal effect in Brandon’s final actions.

Jeff Avery – Step-father
2204 Thornbury Dr. Richmond, VA 23233
jeffavery@comcast.net

Dan Ferris – Biological father
P.O. Box 29177 Richmond, VA 23242
Eaglespirit2020@cs.com

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Paxil suicide

“…we were devastated by his suicide.”

In May of 1995, my husband was taking Paxil. He made the comment that he was never going to stop taking Paxil, because it made him feel so much better. About 2 weeks later he killed himself by shooting himself under the chin. He left behind me, his wife and 2 children, along with many family members that were devastated by his suicide.

Christy Hunter
903-753-1093603
Audrey St.
Longview, TX 75601

2003

This is Survivor Story number 42.
Total number of stories in current database is 77

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Your Site Explains my Nephew’s

“Thanks for making people aware of the dangers of using any drugs.”

 

I wanted to thank you for your site, and the information on it has helped my family deal with a recent loss.

My 15 year old nephew took his life last month. In the week after this tradegy, his friends came forward and gave information to my brother that led us to research what had happened. They explained that about six of them had been introduced to Zoloft just 7 days before and had been taking those pills. Ray Jr took heavy doses six times. This information, coupled with research on the internet, including your site provided an explanation for what happened, and why he would be driven to do this, with this particular drug.

My brother put up a site at http://www.geocities.com/ray_burk/index.html about two weeks ago as memorial to his son, but also to make people aware of the dangers of using any drugs. He references your site and others to provide information that parents and their kids should read.

Thanks.

Jimmy Burk

 

12/25/2002

This is Survivor Story number 4.
Total number of stories in current database is 48

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Suicide would have been the easy way out.

“I honestly can’t believe that doctors are prescribing depressants for people suffering from depression. And that they are prescribing drugs that cause brain damage.”

 

Dear Sirs,

I can’t imagine anything worse than what happened to me when I was treated for depression. I was told that antidepressants had no permanent side effects so I thought that it would be logical to take the drugs just long enough to fix my “low serotonin” and then get off of them. I thought that as long as a drug had no permanent side effects I had nothing to loose. It sounded like I was taking vitamins for my brain. I expected to feel positive and full of energy and vitality after I fixed my “low serotonin”.

I took one drug and when that didn’t “kick in” I took another drug and then another, and so on. Over two and a half years I took a dozen different antidepressants, all of them at their maximum recommended dosage. I finally realized that the drugs were really depressants. I wanted to commit suicide every minute of every day. Suicide would have been the easy way out. But fortunately I have a strong will to live. I wouldn’t give these drugs to an animal. Drug induced depression was the worst experience of my life and I will never forgive the doctors who infected me with it.

It is now over four years since stopping the drugs and I still feel emotionally unbalanced, weak – both physically and emotionally, agitated, confused, dull, numb. Sometimes I get chest pains and I’m sure that I have heart damage from the drugs. I also still experience sexual dysfunction and low libido, which is a psychological hell. In short, I have absolutely no peace of mind. I can’t even imagine what it would feel like to be normal again. Nothing is more important to me than recovery. I only work part time because I am so weak and distracted.

I honestly can’t believe that doctors are prescribing depressants for people suffering from depression. And that they are prescribing drugs that cause brain damage. I thought that people suffering from depression were supposed to stay away from drugs like alcohol (and antidepressants), which are both depressants.

I’m a grown man and I barely survived antidepressants, I would hate to think that children are being tortured with these same drugs.

Sincerely,

John

John Mazza
john.mazz@worldnet.att.net

 

2/14/2002

This is Survivor Story number 42.
Total number of stories in current database is 48

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Suicide After Only a Month on Celexa

“…depression worsened on Celexa.”

 

My son, age 46, had battled depression, anxiety & panic attacks for many years. He was using Wellbutrin & Xanax. In early June, 2001, his psychiatrist prescribed Celexa. On June 18th, he saw his shrink again to report that his depression was worsening. On June 28, 2001, he shot himself in the head.

The monograph on Celexa under “PRECAUTIONS” states that “the possibility of a suicide attempt is inherent in depression and may persist until significant remission occurs. Close supervision of high risk patients should accompany initial drug therapy”.

A sorrowing Mom in FL.

 

8/6/2001

This is Survivor Story number 18.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

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Prozac Prescribed "Without a Thought"

“I cannot help wondering how much of his problem was enhanced or made worse by this drug.”

 

I was not too surprised to see the list of behavior problems. My son was just sixteen when the diagnosed him with depression. His teachers noticed, people saw and said nothing until he made an attempt at suicide.

We immediately sought medical help, and unfortunately because we have an HMO, were limited to a therapist with little or NO experience in treating his problems. The Psychiatrist who initially saw our Son, prescribed Prozac without a thought, and never informed us of the possible adverse reactions.

Instead of getting better, he got worse. The Therapist (who usually treated ADD juveniles 6- 11 yr. old) was clueless, even after I expressed that I was not comfortable with her treatment. When I suggested she refer us to someone with experience treating teens she stated that she and my son were getting along and not to worry. (She kept telling me how charming my son was).

I even asked that he see a male therapist, because I felt my son was manipulating the situation. No, she (his therapist) would not consider this. In the meantime the psychiatrist, never inquired or saw our son after the first visit.

Things got worse, our son stopped caring about anything, continued to mutilate himself. Finally one night at a friend’s house they snuck out and almost burned down a barn. It was then that the psychiatrist announced that he was only feeling guilty about what he had done and that they were done treating him? Get this, all of a sudden there was supposed to be nothing wrong with him!

The therapist then had the absolute gall to say to my husband and myself that she would not “get involved with kids and the court system” and that our son should “see a male therapist because she now felt he needed someone who would better understand our Son!!!!

They never mentioned the Prozac, or what we should do. So we took him off the meds, went to court, sold our home and moved. I am not blaming Prozac for our son’s problems, just that it made a bad situation worse. It may have been what pushed him over the line. He simply stopped caring.

This story does have a good ending though. When we moved our coverage location changed. We then were blessed to find Dr. Young Ho Kim a psychiatrist who specializes in treating teens. His new Therapist was a woman, Christine Daley, who although I was doubtful at first, turned out to be both professional and qualified. They treated our Son without ANY drugs. While it was a lot of work I at last felt there was hope. That was a while ago, our son is now in College, and seems to have returned for the most part to normal. I cannot help wondering how much of his problem was enhanced or made worse by this drug.

It was when I heard about the boys in (I believe it was) Kentucky, who pulled the fire alarm at their school and proceeded to shoot people coming out, and when I first heard about the boys a Colombine that I started to wonder. Sure enough it wasn’t long before the details about the boys revealed that they had been treated for problems, and like my son had been given anti-depressants.

I was angered that the first reaction to the crimes were “Where are the parents?”, or that somehow it was the fault of bullies, or TV Please. Only after the fact with all the blame properly labeled to the parents, society, school, the weather, whatever, might you have heard someone whisper the word Prozac. I wonder how many listened.

Ms. D. Abel

 

7/26/2001

This is Survivor Story number 16.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

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12/02/2000 – Upcoming shows of interest

Judy Coburn, from here in Utah, whose husband killed himself on Paxil, and
whose daugther Amy (14) attempted suicide on Paxil and was featured on the
cover of US News and World Report earlier this year, will be on Montel show
next week. It will air Wednesday at 10:00 AM MST. Check local listings to
find air time in your local area.

And, although I do shows regularly, I have not generally let you know about
when and where those shows will air. I will attempt to keep you better
informed. This week on Tuesday evening 8:00 PM Central Time I will be doing a
radio show with Alex Merkley. If you cannot find him in your local area, you
can find him on the net at www.broadcasttalk.com. There will be another one
this week out of Detroit, but I do not yet have the date and time for that
show.

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition For Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org

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10/14/2000 – New Suicide Warning in Great Britain

Here’s an email that Circare, a health rights organization, has
sent to the White House recently. Note the new warning that is
eliciting controversy in Great Britain:

“people may feel suicidal in the first few weeks of taking Prozac
and similar antidepressants.”

Also attached are two relevant articles written by Sarah Boseley,
Health correspondent for the Guardian.

Mark

From: Vera Hassner Sharav, President
CIRCARE: Citizens for Responsible Care & Research,
A Human Rights Organization
Tel. 212-595-8974 FAX: 212-595-9086
veracare@…

In response to increasing public concern over suicides among
people taking Prozac and other SSRI anti-depressants, the
British Medicines Control Agency (MCA) (which is the equivalent
to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) now requires the
manufacturers of Prozac and the other anti-depressants to add
the following warning to physicians and patients:

“people may feel suicidal in the first few weeks of taking Prozac
and similar antidepressants.”

Why has the FDA failed to issue similar warnings to protect the
American public?

In the U.S. these drugs, though associated with an array of
severe adverse reactions in some patients, are widely and
haphazardly prescribed, not only for adults, but for children–even
toddlers and infants. Contrary to industry claims that these
drugs are safe– based on short-term (usually 6 week) clinical
trials before they were approved by the FDA– their long-term
effects have not been studied, nor is it known whether they are
safe for children.

According to FDA compiled data, in 1994 Prozac was prescribed
349,000 times in pediatric patients under 16 years; Zoloft was
prescribed 248,000 times. Furthermore, PROZAC was
prescribed 3,000 times for infants under one year old ! [See,
Psychiatric Times, March 1998, p. 69]

Instead of protecting the public by warning physicians and
patients about the risks associated with the drugs, the FDA is
protecting the profit-margins of drug manufacturers.

http://www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,40677
31,00.html

THE GUARDIAN

Prozac warning comes under fire
Position on suicidal tendencies is ‘dangerously misleading’

Sarah Boseley, health correspondent Guardian
Monday September 25, 2000

A new warning issued by the Medicines Control Agency, stating
that people may feel suicidal in the first few weeks of taking
Prozac and similar antidepressants, is dangerously misleading
and could lead to more deaths, according to a leading authority
on the drugs.

David Healy, director of the North Wales Department of
Psychological Medicine in Bangor, has told the MCA that among
those who are not severely depressed – who are the majority of
those now being given antidepressants – it is the drugs, and not
the illness, that make people want to kill themselves. The
warning will lead to doctors keeping their patients on the drugs
in the assumption that the medication will eventually make them
better, when they need to be taken off.
The new warning is the MCA’s response to increasing public
concern over suicides among people on drugs in the Prozac
class. The agency has instructed manufacturers to include it in
the drug datasheets for doctors and information leaflets for
patients. It states that suicidal thoughts may occur or increase in
the early weeks of treatment, and may continue for some time
until the drug takes effect.

But Dr Healy, the UK’s leading historian of antidepressant
medication, believes it is the drugs themselves that are causing
some people to feel like killing themselves – not depression. And
if, as the patient leaflet warning states, there is an increase in
suicidal thoughts, he says, it can only be due to an effect of the
drug. But increasingly the SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake
inhibitors) are being given to adults and children who are not
depressed, but merely anxious and who should therefore have
no suicidal feelings.

Dr Healy has written to Keith Jones, director of the MCA, pointing
to two studies – one of them carried out by his own team –
showing that healthy volunteers with no history of depression
have become dangerously suicidal after taking one of the SSRI
class of drugs for a couple of weeks. “This will lead to deaths,”
he told Dr Jones in a letter. “Your advice will lead to a situation
where patients who worsen on treatment will be kept on that
treatment by their GPs in the belief that it is only in this way that
the suicide risk can ultimately be lowered. This is mistaken
advice that is going to increase the rate at which patients move
from emergent suicidality[beginning to feel suicidal] to suicidal
acts.”

Earlier this year, Dr Healy published a study of the effects of one
of the SSRIs, sertraline, on 20 healthy volunteers. Two of them
became suicidal.

One told researchers that she had become obsessed with the
idea of throwing herself under a car or a train, while the other
fantasized about hanging herself from a beam in the bedroom
ceiling.

The MCA also has in its possession a much earlier study of the
effects of sertraline on healthy volunteers. Dr Jones
acknowledged in a letter to Dr Healy that this study similarly
shows a “pattern of severe adverse side-effects and drop outs.”

He goes on to remark that the pattern “seen in this small study
was not replicated in any other study involving sertraline”. Yet it
has been – in the Healy study published earlier this year in
Primary Care Psychiatry and revealed in the Guardian in May.

These two studies, says Dr Healy, would be conclusive enough
for the manufacturers to get a license from the MCA to market
sertraline as a drug to cause agitation – if anybody had a use for
such a medicine. Yet the MCA will not accept that this, and other
SSRIs, can cause people to feel suicidal as a side-effect. The
MCA’s decision to require a new warning with the SSRIs was
taken after a review of the data by the Committee on the Safety of
Medicines.

The MCA said in a statement that the CSM had considered both
the healthy volunteer studies as part of the overall risk
assessment. “The CSM concluded that reports of suicidal
thoughts in healthy volunteers were difficult to explain, however,
other data were reassuring. For this reason, the issue will be
kept under review and further advice will be sought as
necessary.”

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2000

http://www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,40208
31,00.html

The GUARDIAN

Happy drug Prozac can bring on impulse to suicide, study says
As best-selling pill is prescribed by GPs for ever more sufferers
from mild depression, research brings disturbing evidence to
light

Sarah Boseley, health correspondent
Guardian

Monday May 22, 2000

Alarming evidence from a new British study shows that the
Prozac class of antidepressants can make healthy men, women
and children with no history of depression feel suicidal.

The research undermines the claims of Eli Lilly, makers of
Prozac, that people who kill themselves while on the tablets do
so because of their depression, and that the disease, not the
drug, is to blame for their suicide. Its findings are particularly
worrying because of the increasing numbers of people,
including children, who are being given the drugs by their GP for
mild depression, and who are not seriously clinically ill.

Prozac, the wonder pill of the 1980s and 1990s, became the
biggest drug company blockbuster of all time, prescribed to
more than 38m people around the world. It became a metaphor
for late 20th century life and a cult in its own right, enshrined in
a
book called Prozac Nation.

What began as a medicine for the clinically depressed has been
transformed by use and demand into a pill for minor ills. But
while the happy drug works for many people, in a significant
number it can take them to the edge of despair. The study,
conducted by David Healy, director of the North Wales
Department of Psychological Medicine, reveals the real dangers
for some of the SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors),
as Prozac and its imitators are called.

Nightmare

It found that two out of 20 healthy volunteers on an
antidepressant in the Prozac class called Lustral (or Zoloft in the
USA) became dangerously suicidal, compared with none of
them when they were put on an antidepressant of a different
class called reboxetine.

One 30-year-old woman who took part had a nightmare about
having her throat slit after one week and by the end of a fortnight,
was suicidal. “She felt hopeless and alone. It seemed that all
she could do was to follow a thought that had been planted in
her brain from some alien force. She suddenly decided she
should go and throw herself in front of a car, that this was the
only answer. “It was as if there was nothing out there apart from
the car, which she was going to throw herself under. She didn’t
think of her partner or child,” says the study, published in the
journal Primary Care Psychiatry. Later she completed a diary
entry, describing herself as jumpy, anxious and suspicious. “Her
mind was racing and spiraling out of control. Then it went blank
except for the clear thought that she must kill herself violently by
throwing herself beneath a car or a train.”

Dr Healy says the results of the research should be a warning to
GPs prescribing any SSRIs. “They may not all be equally the
same,” he told the Guardian. “But the risk holds for the whole of
the group.

Generally the findings would indicate that women and children
and those who are least ill may be most at risk.” All the drugs
have been licensed as both safe and efficacious on the basis of
data from clinical trials. But Dr Healy believes that there are
serious problems with the reporting of side-effects in these
trials, and that this has allowed drugs to be handed out to
millions around the globe without their true risks being
understood.

Volunteers taking part in the early trials were never asked
whether they experienced any suicidal feelings or the restless
agitation which can be the precursor of a suicide attempt. If
patients in later trials said they felt suicidal, it was recorded as
part of their depression.

Dr Healey has written to the Medicines Control Agency, which
licenses medicines in the UK, expressing his concern and
pointing out that he believes patients who today become suicidal
on SSRIs are in a state of “legal jeopardy”.

Firms are using data from trials that were not designed to look at
suicidality to prove that their drugs could not have caused it. Until
the system for reporting side-effects is changed, he questions
whether anybody should take part in clinical trials.

The new study’s findings have emerged at a time of acute
embarrassment for Eli Lilly. Its patent on Prozac (fluoxetine), is
soon to expire, but it recently bought the license for a second
version of the drug, called R-fluoxetine. The patent for the new
drug, it has just been revealed in the US, states that R-fluoxetine
is improvement on Prozac specifically as it is less likely to cause
“suicidal thoughts and self-mutilation”.

Eli Lilly argues that the patent was filed by the American scientist
Martin Teicher and the company Sepracor which devised the
new drug. Mr. Teicher, in 1990, was the first to warn that patients
on Prozac were becoming suicidal, but Eli Lilly has always
dismissed his study on the basis that those patients were
suffering chronic depression.

Dr Healy, the UK’s leading historian of antidepressant
medication who has given evidence against Lilly in litigation in
the US, has frequently taken issue with the major study
commissioned by the company to persuade the US Food and
Drugs Administration that Prozac carried no suicide risk. Dr
Healy has argued there has never been a prospective study and
that the retrospective 1991 Beasley study, as it is known,
included only a small selection of the trials that had taken place
on Prozac.

An internal memo released by Eli Lilly during recent litigation
appears to support Healy’s argument. In one of a series of
memos, dated August 27, 1990, a UK-based clinician tells Eli
Lilly management in Indianapolis that critics will be suspicious
of the fact that not all the trials were included and concludes that
it gives “the impression that the question of whether fluoxetine
provokes suicidal thoughts or not has not been properly
considered.”

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