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Suicide as Side Effects to Singulair, Chantix, Tamiflu, Accutane and More

Filed May 8th, 2008 amy

Folks take medicine to feel better. But what happens when that prescription leads to suicidal thoughts? Or even a successful suicide attempt? In a perfect world, a dangerous drug linked to being a cause of death would be taken off the market. Unfortunately, we live in America — not a perfect world by far.

A recent article on msnbc.com explores various and reports that physicians or patients have filed anecdotal reports with drug companies or the Food and Drug Administration on at least six drugs or drug classes that may have been linked to episodes of suicidal thoughts or actions. In just the past few months, the FDA has released several advisory notices to both doctors and the public about drugs linked to suicidal thoughts or actions, including Singulair, and the smoking-cessation drug Chantix. Reports have also been filed on antidepressants, the influenza drug Tamiflu and the acne medicine Accutane.

There has also been an increase in suicidal thinking among children and young adults taking antidepressants such as Paxil and Prozac.

Consumer advocacy groups such as Public Citizen in Washington, D.C., say there can be lags in getting information to consumers about new warnings on drugs. Refill prescriptions don’t necessarily highlight new information, and patient information that pharmacies staple to the prescription bag don’t always include all necessary information, Ray Bullman, head of the National Council on Patient Information and Education in Bethesda, Md., which educates consumers and health professionals on safe medication use, told MSNBC reporters.

A common response of family members left behind by patients who kill themselves as a result of taking dangerous drugs is that they didn’t have enough information when choosing a drug to determine whether it was a safe choice.

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