(Flashback!)…SSRI-Induced Akathisia’s Link To Suicide and Violence
By Evelyn Pringle
August 18, 2007
Washington, DC: Medical experts have long known that the side effect associated with the class of antidepressants known as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors most likely to drive people to suicide or violence against others is “akathisia”.
Akathisia is but one in a long list of side effects that SSRI makers were able to keep hidden, as they settled thousands of lawsuits out of court, by obtaining court orders to seal documents produced in litigation. For instance, a 1984 Eli Lilly document showed akathisia occurred in at least 1% of patients long before Prozac was approved.
In a paper entitled, “Suicides and Homicides in Patients Taking Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft: Why They Keep Happening – And Why They Will Continue,” Dr Jay Cohen points out that, as soon SSRI’s arrived on the market in the late 1980s, reports of sudden, unexpected suicides and homicides by patients taking the drugs began to come in.
The DSM-IV acknowledges the association of akathisia with suicidality and states: “Akathisia may be associated with dysphoria, irritability, aggression, or suicide attempts.”
According to Dr Cohen, SSRI’s can create a combination of side effects that reduce impulse control and cause severe agitation or restlessness that may become intolerable. He says, impulsive behavior coupled with impaired cognitive functioning can be dangerous.