ViolenceThe idea that antidepressants cause violent behavior has been a concern for years. A study published late last year in Sweden found convincing evidence that this concern is warranted.

The evidence showed that young adults from 15 to 24 years old who were currently on an antidepressant drug were more likely to be convicted of the following crimes:

 

  • Homicide
  • Assault
  • Robbery
  • Arson
  • Kidnapping
  • Sexual Offense
  • Other violent crimes

SSRIs include fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), Paroxetine (Paxil), citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro) and fluvoxamine (Luvox).

In an article in Psychology Today, Leonard J. Davis says “… these very drugs we hope can treat mental illness are at the same time drugs that cause violent behavior including suicide and aggression toward others. In fact, SSRI’s are the leading drugs in a recent list compiled of the Top Ten Drugs that cause violent behavior.

“It’s been well known that adolescents and young people have an increased risk of suicide when they begin to take SSRIs. But what we may forget is that suicide is an impulsive behavior that is turned against oneself. But impulses, particularly violent ones, can be turned against others.”

These concerns are from the horse’s mouth. And of course, there have been black box warnings about suicidal behavior on bottles of SSRIs prescriptions for many years.

Time compiled a list of the top 10 drugs that can produce violent behavior. Not surprisingly, five antidepressants are on this list. And all but one of these drugs include pharmaceuticals used by psychiatrists to treat their patients.

10) Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) An antidepressant that is 7.9 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.

9) Venlafaxine (Effexor) This is a psychiatric drug used to treat anxiety disorders. It is 8.3 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.

8) Fluvoxamine (Luvox) This antidepressant drug is is 8.4 times more likely than other medications to be linked with violence

7) Triazolam (Halcion) This is a benzodiazepine drug that can be addictive, and is used for insomnia. It is 8.7 times more likely to be linked with violence than other drugs.

6) Atomoxetine (Strattera) Used to treat ADHD, Strattera is 9 times more likely to be linked with violence compared to the other medications.

5) Mefoquine (Lariam) This malaria treatment is linked with reports of bizarre behavior and is 9.5 times more likely to be linked with violence than other drugs.

4) Amphetamines: (Various) Amphetamines are used to treat ADHD. They are 9.6 times more likely to be linked to violence when compared to other drugs.

3) Paroxetine (Paxil) An SSRI antidepressant, Paxil is additionally associated with more severe withdrawal symptoms and a much increased risk of birth defects compared to other medications in that class. It is 10.3 times more likely to be linked with violence compared to other drugs.

2) Fluoxetine (Prozac) The first well-known SSRI antidepressant, Prozac is 10.9 times more likely to be linked with violence in comparison with other medications.

1) Varenicline (Chantix) The anti-smoking medication Chantix affects is 18 times more likely to be linked with violence compared to other drugs.

It is intolerable that psychiatric medications have side effects dangerous not only to the patient himself but to those in his environment. A single life lost due to this profession’s cavalier attitude must be considered when state and federal governments consider giving the mental health community additional support.

There has been research done in safely helping those with mental problems using nutrition and gentle treatment. It is worthwhile investigating and supporting endeavors that do not require a black box warning before administering.

SOURCES:

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-antidepressant-ssri-violent-crime-risk-20150915-story.html

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/obsessively-yours/201212/newtown-shootings-caution-about-violence-and-ssris

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/child-and-adolescent-mental-health/antidepressant-medications-for-children-and-adolescents-information-for-parents-and-caregivers.shtml

http://healthland.time.com/2011/01/07/top-ten-legal-drugs-linked-to-violence/