Suicide and Murder — Side Effects of Medication

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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • 1 in 6 Americans between the ages of 18 and 85 were on psychiatric drugs in 2013, most of them antidepressants. The highest rates of depression are reported among 18- to 25-year-olds. Suicide rates are at an all-time high as well, rising 31% between 2001 and 2017
  • While antidepressants are routinely used as a first-line treatment for depression, studies show their effectiveness is on par with placebo, while serious side effects are often ignored or hidden
  • Violence, including suicide and homicide, is a serious side effect of at least 25 different psychiatric drugs, some of which are now given to young children, toddlers and even babies
  • The proportion of adults taking at least one drug where suicide is a potential side effect hit 23.5% as of 2013; 38.4% of American adults were in 2014 on one or more medications that can cause depression as a side effect
  • Eli Lilly paid victims of Paxil-induced violence to shield damaging data about another drug that could have influenced the jury’s determination about Lilly’s responsibility in a 1989 mass-shooting

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