The ban on SSRIs followed concerns that the antidepressants could cause children to attempt suicide. One of the cases that sparked fears was that of Adrian Keegan, 19, who had been taking the drug for 26 days when he committed suicide. In 2001, following the breakdown of his relationship with his girlfriend, he was diagnosed with depression and prescribed Seroxat by his GP. His father Christopher found his body hanging in his flat.
Mr Keegan, from Market Drayton, Shropshire, said: “There needs to be more information and better control as it is given out far too easily, like sweets.”
Chris and Dawn Keegan’s son Adrian was prescribed Seroxat for his temper
Adrian was 19 years old when he took Seroxat. It had been prescribed to him by his GP to help control his temper
His mother Dawn had hoped to get him on an anger management programme, Adrian was prescribed the antidepressant instead.
But after taking Seroxat for just 26 days, Adrian committed suicide. He was discovered by his parents Dawn and Chris who had dropped by his flat with some shopping one Friday night.
When they knocked on the door they got no reply, but they realised someone was wrong as he had left the light on – something Adrian never did when he went out as he was short of money.
Adrian’s dad Chris took his wife home and went back to the flat alone. He eventually broke in and discovered that he had hung himself.
He told the programme that he noticed a difference after Adrian started taking Seroxat: ” He sort of changed. He was like very quiet within himself. Even his friends commented it wasn’t Adrian. It was like with them he wasn’t saying much at all, or joking, he wasn’t jokey like he used to be.”
Father calls for tighter drug control
A Shropshire man whose teenage son hanged himself while taking a controversial prescription drug has called for the government to introduce tighter controls.
Adrian Keegan, 19, from Market Drayton, was being prescribed Seroxat at the time of his death.
The government’s advisors on the safety of medicines have recommended that the anti-depressant should not be given to children.
But Mr Keegan’s dad, Chris Keegan, said the move is not going far enough.
Four million prescriptions
He told BBC Radio Shropshire: “It does need greater control and even monitoring correctly instead of being passed over the counter and doctors telling patients to come back in two weeks time to see how they are.
“Then when the two weeks is up, being told to keep taking the tablets if they say they are working fine.”
Seroxat has been available in the UK for the past 13 years. Approximately four million prescriptions for the drug were issued in the past year.
However a recent review of the drug, launched by the Department of Health, found children taking the drug may be more likely to self-harm or partake in suicidal behaviour.
But the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has warned that adults who are on the drug should not suddenly stop taking it.