Tagged: Antidepressant

How FDA Avoided Finding Adult Antidepressant Suicidality (Dr Peter Breggin- Mad In America)


How FDA Avoided Finding Adult Antidepressant Suicidality

Peter Breggin, MD


Doctors often tell patients that antidepressants can only cause suicidal behavior in children and not in adults. Many publications also make the same claim. The false claim is based on the FDA-approved Black Box Warning for antidepressants that warns about an increased rate of suicidality in children, youth and young adults taking antidepressants, but not in adults over age 24. The Black Box Warning specifically summarizes, “Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24.”

The studies that the FDA relied upon for adults over age 24 were dismally flawed and untrustworthy compared to the ones used for children. According to the FDA at the 2006 hearings:

Due to the large number of subjects in the adult analysis, almost 100,000 patients, the adjudication process was left as the responsibility of the sponsors [the drug companies] and was not overseen or otherwise verified by the FDA. This is in contrast to the pediatric suicidality analysis in which the FDA was actively involved in the adjudication (p. 14).”

In addition, the FDA also announced at the 2006 hearings on antidepressant-induced adult suicidality that it did not require a uniform method of analysis by each drug company and an independent evaluator as required with the pediatric sample.

Thus, the FDA was comparing somewhat good apples (the pediatric studies) to rotten apples (the adult studies), while making them seem comparable. The child studies showed that antidepressants can cause suicidality — the adult studies (after age 24) showed nothing other than FDA collusion with the self-serving drug companies. As I have described in my books and scientific articles, drug companies routinely manipulate their data on suicide to avoid any causal connection to their drug (see for example my 2006 paper about GSK and Paxil).

In the case of Eli Lilly, here are two memos by employee Claude Bouchey (pages 2 & 3 of document) written to the hierarchy of the company in which he expresses guilt and shame about changing official investigator reports of Prozac-induced suicide attempt to misleading terms like “overdose” or “depression.”

Ironically, the FDA controlled and monitored the original pediatric studies precisely because the drug companies on their own failed to find any risk of antidepressant-induced suicidality in any age group. Why would the FDA assume these same self-serving drug companies, left on their own again, would spontaneously begin for the first time to conduct honest studies on the capacity of their products to cause adult suicidality?

Furthermore, even in the rotten-apple adult studies, despite the drug company’s manipulations, Paxil (paroxetine) turned out to be causally associated with increased suicidality in depressed adults in an internal FDA review of the data. As a result, in 2006 the FDA then forced the maker of Paxil, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), to write a “Dear Doctor” letter to all healthcare providers confirming the Paxil/suicidality causal link in adults.

In April 2006, the FDA also made the drug company put a warning in its Full Prescribing Information (label or package insert) about the risk of Paxil causing suicidality in adults with depression; but GSK convinced them to drop it in subsequent years. The warning appeared in the Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR) only once in 2007.

Meanwhile, there are many studies showing that antidepressants do cause suicidality and suicide in adults.

Next time you hear someone say that the FDA studies only showed increased suicidality in children and young adults as opposed to adults, remember that the adult studies, unlike the pediatric studies, were not controlled, monitored or validated by the FDA. This is one more example of the extremes the FDA will go to in order to protect drug companies and their often lethal products.

It was bad enough to find out that antidepressants cause suicidality in children. The drug companies and their minions complained mightily. The FDA and the drug companies were not going to allow a repetition of sufficiently unbiased studies that might conclude that adults are also vulnerable to antidepressant-induced suicide.

What Meds Did They Prescribe Jonathan O’ Driscoll?

Despite engagement with the mental health services and an improvement in his health in the weeks before last September’s tragic murder-suicide, Jonathan stopped taking his medication just days before he stabbed his twin brothers to death, and took his own life.


It sounds to me that Jonathan O’ Driscoll was in a severe withdrawal from either the anti-psychotic, anti-depressant, or both?

What psychiatric meds was he prescribed? What dose(s) was he on, and for how long? and furthermore what was the last  (apparently new/experimental) drug which the psychiatrist (Robert Burns) prescribed? and why did he think it was a good idea to keep increasing the dose?

Jonathan’s story is very typical of how vulnerable young people become ensnared in the psychiatric system. It’s a clear illustration of how the psychiatric meds (the psychiatrists and GPs prescribe), produce worsening side effects; which leads to an increase in anxiety and other mental health symptoms. The person’s condition deteriorates, another drug is then prescribed, more (mis)diagnoses follow- irrational behavior and out of character events start happening etc. Eventually- the individual tries to stop the meds suddenly and goes into severe withdrawal psychosis: mania, akathisia and de-personalization soon follows. Basically the drugs turn the individual into a toxic timebomb.

Then they lose their grip on reality, become aggressive, hostile etc. In some tragic cases-like Jonathans- they commit murder, suicide, or murder and suicide together, and often they murder those closest to them- wives, daughters, brothers, parents etc. These cases all have the hallmark of psychiatric drug induced crimes. They are well documented now, and there are many many examples.

Most of these psychiatric meds can induce homicidal and suicidal reactions and- in withdrawal- the side effects can become particularly intense- so why do psychiatrists not warn people? (the drug companies even admit these homicidal/suicidal side effects in their PIL’s yet psychiatry continually blames the person suffering from side effects -this implicates their ‘illness- and not the drug!).

Jonathan was a victim of the Irish psychiatric system, that much is abundantly clear. He also was a psychiatric drug casualty. Broken and failed by the system which is supposed to heal and help people like him.

Depression doesn’t cause murder-suicides, but prescribing vulnerable people lethal psychiatric drugs and not warning them of the side effects and withdrawals certainly does!

Withdrawal from anti-psychotics and anti-depressants can push people over the edge..

They make you edgy and aggressive when you first go on them, even worse after a few months/years, and then the withdrawal literally snaps your sanity into smithereens..

I know because I’ve been there…

It’s interesting that the coroner decided to err on the side of caution, and record an ‘open verdict’ in this case, I wonder was this because of the involvement of psychiatric drugs (and the frightening and dangerous withdrawal syndromes which they produce?).

“Like many young men he stopped taking the medication and became unwell again prior to his death,” consultant psychologist Dr Robert Burns said.

I also find it interesting that the last psychiatrist (Dr Robert Burns) seemed to think it was a good idea to try a new drug on Jonathan, and also to increase the dose, what was this new drug? why did he try it on Jonathan? Jonathan was prescribed many medications, it seems, prior to his death for a few years, so Robert Burns saying that ‘like many young men, he stopped taking the medication and became unwell again prior to his death’- is a simplistic way of saying it was nothing to do with the meds.

Many psychiatrists get away with human experimentation because the mentally ill are the most vulnerable demographic in society, and the psychiatrist’s view is perceived as the logical, rational side of the equation, however it’s quite often the psychiatric ‘treatment’ (or mistreatment) which is the most dangerous factor in these cases. The late Irish doctor- Dr Michael Corry- was a leading figure who challenged the psychiatric establishment regularly, and Dr Terry Lynch and Dr David Healy continue to do so, however most psychiatrists refuse to engage with the notion that these drugs can- and do- cause a multitude of problems. It’s much easier, and much more convenient, to just blame the ‘mental’ patient and exonerate the drug- that way psychiatry takes no blame, and the tools of their trade- the psychiatric drugs- remain blameless also.

The website antidepaware has been documenting medication induced violence, murder and suicides, in England for some years now, it’s well worth checking out, as is SSRI stories (an American website collecting similar SSRI antidepressant related events in the media).



SSRI Stories is a collection of over 6,000 stories that have appeared in the media (newspapers, TV, scientific journals) in which prescription drugs were mentioned and in which the drugs may be linked to a variety of adverse outcomes including violence.

Leone Fennell has been campaigning on these issues on her blog for years now, check it out here:




Jonathan O’Driscoll Googled ‘murder in Charleville’, inquest hears

Court told man who fatally stabbed his brothers researched killing on internet

 Jonathan O’Driscoll. Photograph: UTV/PA Wire Jonathan O’Driscoll. Photograph: UTV/PA Wire

Jonathan O’Driscoll (21) typed the words ‘murder in Charleville’ into an online search prior to stabbing his nine-year-old twin brothers to death.

Examinations of his computer and mobile phone gave gardaí an indication of his “state of mind”, Det Supt Sean Healy told an inquest into the three deaths in Mallow.

He also conducted another online search with the words ‘Irish Law, stabbing with a knife’, the inquest heard.

A third search of the ‘science of suicide by hanging’ was found on his laptop, Det Supt Healy said.

The inquest heard how Jonathan O’Driscoll, who was fostered by Helen and Thomas O’Driscoll when he was three days old, doted on his younger brothers.

He grew up in a “loving and caring home”, was officially adopted at 15 and was healthy and happy until he was involved in a road traffic incident in 2012.

After this incident, his behaviour changed and he grew quiet and depressed. He was badly affected by the break-up of a relationship and his mother described him as heartbroken.

“He was quiet in himself, he was heartbroken after her,” Mrs O’Driscoll told the inquest.

Jonathon O’Driscoll grew curious over his birth family and began to believe his adopted mother Helen had information she was not sharing with him.

“He pushed me against the wall. It was out of character but I wasn’t going to take it,” she said.

She said she obtained a barring order against her son, but it was lifted after 10 days because he was “crying and ringing to apologise every day”.

The inquest heard how doctors became concerned for Jonathan O’Driscoll’s mental health and he was prescribed anti-depressant and anti-psychotic medication.

However, a postmortem revealed no evidence of medication in his system.

Consultant psychologist Dr Robert Burns said the medication had helped. “But like many young men he stopped taking the medication and became unwell again prior to his death,” Dr Burns said.

Dr Molloy, who had prescribed anti-depressants, referred Jonathan in April 2013 to the North Cork Mental Health Services, but he failed to engage with its home-based crisis team, failed to attend a July appointment, and continued intermittent visits to his GP’s practice.

However, a locum GP was so concerned about Jonathan’s mental health during a visit in February 2014 that he referred him for an urgent psychiatric assessment.

Jonathan complained of paranoia, he claimed his home was bugged, and he said he was avoiding certain chippers in case his food was poisoned.

During a series of visits to the mental health services, it was decided that Jonathan did not require admission and he was prescribed anti-psychotic drugs in April 2014, and was referred by a GP again in May for another urgent psychiatric assessment.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Bobby Burns met Jonathan in July 2014 and said he felt his patient was displaying signs of early onset schizophrenia or psychosis. He prescribed a new drug, with the dose due to increase incrementally over several months, and Jonathan’s mental health improved over the coming months.

But at yesterday’s inquest, it was confirmed that Jonathan had stopped taking his medication in the days before the murder-suicide.

MadInAmerica: Germanwings Pilot Saw Psychiatrist Three Times, Doubled Antidepressant In Month Before Crash


Germanwings Pilot Saw Psychiatrist Three Times, Doubled Antidepressant In Month Before Crash

The man who deliberately crashed a Germanwings commercial airliner with 150 passengers aboard was actively in psychiatric treatment at the time, reported the New York Times.

Pilot Andreas Lubitz “had seven medical appointments in the month before the crash, including three with a psychiatrist, and had taken eight sick days off work,” reported the Times. “Some of the doctors felt Lubitz was psychologically unstable, and some felt he was unfit to fly.”

According to the official investigator cited by the Times, Lubitz had expressed to his physicians that he could only sleep two hours a night, was anxious about losing his sight, and had doubled the dosage of the antidepressant mirtazapine that he was taking from 15 to 30 milligrams.

Prosecutor: Germanwings Co-Pilot Feared Going Blind (New York Times, June 11, 2015)

“Open Verdict” in Trinity College Student Cyanide Suicide Case (He had been prescribed anti-depressants)

What anti-depressant was this young man prescribed, what dose and for how long was he on the drugs?

Was he monitored for anti-depressant side effects such as suicidal thoughts, personality changes etc?

If not, why not?

and why no mention of the dangers of mixing anti-depressant’s with alcohol?

“The court heard that since January 2013, Mr Bray regularly attended the health centre in Trinity for mental health problems and had been prescribed an anti-depressant.

He told GP Dr Niamh Murphy that he had taken chemicals from the lab with the intention of harming himself but assured her that he had gotten rid of them. He subsequently reiterated this to consultant psychiatrist Dr Niamh Farrelly.”


A Trinity postgraduate student found collapsed in a corridor and then moved by a security guard, thinking he was drunk, had taken cyanide, an inquest heard.

Ashley Bray (23), a biochemistry postgrad from Surrey, England, and living at East Wall Road in Dublin 3, died on October 26th last year having been found unresponsive in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI) on Pearse Street, Dublin 2.

Dublin Coroner’s Court heard that Mr Bray, a second year student researching the prevention of tooth decay, was drinking with colleagues in Dublin city centre before his death.

He was in “good form” but his mood changed as they finished up at 3am, colleague Jonathan Bailey said. Mr Bray told him that he “wanted to die” and that he was going back to the laboratory to take cyanide.

Mr Bailey put his arms around him to stop him running off. They were then trying to persuade him to get a taxi but he ran back toward the college. Asked whether he had considered the cyanide comment “talk”, Mr Bailey said he hadn’t given “too much weight” to it.

Mr Bray went to the TBSI, where post-grads have 24-hour access, at 3.08am. Security guard Samee Khan said Mr Bray’s hands were shaking when he showed his identification. CCTV footage shows him going into a fifth floor laboratory.

After 3.30am while checking the building, Mr Khan found Mr Bray lying in a corridor asleep. He tried rousing him but he “just moaned”. He moved him to a carpeted corridor where it was warmer. “I could smell alcohol from him. I just thought he needed a rest to sleep off the alcohol,” he said.

At around 5.45am, Mr Bray was in the same place and snoring. Mr Khan noted he was cold and his pulse was slow. He finished his patrol and then rang main campus security who put him through to ambulance control.

When he went back to him, Mr Bray was unresponsive. He performed CPR until paramedics arrived, telling the coroner there was a “bitter taste” when he was doing mouth-to-mouth.

Mr Bray was taken to St James’s Hospital where attempts to resuscitate him failed.

‘Lethal’ dose of cyanide

The court heard that since January 2013, Mr Bray regularly attended the health centre in Trinity for mental health problems and had been prescribed an anti-depressant. He told GP Dr Niamh Murphy that he had taken chemicals from the lab with the intention of harming himself but assured her that he had gotten rid of them. He subsequently reiterated this to consultant psychiatrist Dr Niamh Farrelly.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell said the main findings at postmortem were a “lethal” dose of cyanide and a “high level” of alcohol in his system.

“Cyanide is a highly toxic chemical asphyxiant which interferes with the body’s utilisation of oxygen. It can be rapidly fatal,” he said.

The court heard that potassium cyanide and other chemicals are kept in the lab in unlocked lockers. The bottle retrieved by gardaí­ appeared to be sealed. The TBSI’s Professor Martin Caffrey said the chemicals are required for research.

“Everybody is cautioned in regard to their use, their safe handling,” he said, “It is not up to me to lock things away and to require permission for people to access things. That would just make the research impossible.”

Speaking from the body of the court, the deceased’s father Clive Bray said he would not want any “knee-jerk change in laboratory practice which would make working in a laboratory more onerous” as a result of his son’s death.

Dr Farrell said the death was self-inflicted, but because there was a high level of alcohol in Mr Bray’s system, he could not say whether he was clear in his mind when he died.

The legal test for a verdict of suicide was not satisfied, he said, before returning an open verdict.