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  1. https://scitechdaily.com/ssri-antidepressants-associated-with-increase-in-violent-crime-in-some-people/ Stockholm, Sweden: Scientists have found that some people being treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have a greater tendency to commit violent crime. In addition, this effect seems to continue for up to 12 weeks after stopping SSRI treatment. This work is published in the peer-reviewed journal European Neuropsychopharmacology, alongside a linked comment. The authors of both the paper and the comment note that the work indicates an association (rather than cause and effect) and urge caution in how the findings are interpreted. First author Tyra Lagerberg at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, said: “This work shows that SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) treatment appears to be associated with an increased risk for violent criminality in adults as well as adolescents, though the risk appears restricted to a small group of individuals. We don’t claim that SSRIs cause the increased risk we see in our data. It is possible that the disorders that SSRIs are prescribed to treat, such as depression, are driving the association. In that case, our findings may mean that SSRIs are unable to fully remove this tendency towards violent crime, which is also a potentially important insight. Previous work has found an association between SSRI use and violence in young individuals, but not in adults. Ours is a much bigger study which allows us to confirm that there is an association in adults as well.” The researchers examined the records of 785,337 people aged 15 to 60 years who were prescribed an SSRI in Sweden in 2006 through 2013. These patients were followed up for an average of around 7 years, which included periods when individuals took SSRIs and when they did not. Individuals in the study were found to have committed 6306 violent crimes while taking SSRIs, and 25,897 when not taking SSRIs. After accounting for follow-up time and variables that were associated both with the probability of getting SSRI treatment and with the risk for violence, the researchers found that the risk of committing a violent crime was on average 26% higher during periods when individuals took SSRIs compared to periods when they did not, though only a small proportion of individuals went on to commit violent crimes regardless of treatment (<3% in the study sample). Due to the rarity of violent crimes, periods of SSRI medication are expected to coincide with only a small increase in the rate of this event. When the researchers subdivided the study follow-up according to time since start and end of SSRI treatment, they found that the risk for violent crime was higher throughout treated periods. The increased risk also persisted for up to 12 weeks after the estimated end of SSRI treatment, after which the risk returned to levels before start of SSRI treatment. The researchers showed that the association between SSRI treatment and violent crime existed in young adults as well as in adults aged up to 60 years (the study did not investigate the association in adults older than 60 years). However, only 2.7% of individuals in the study committed violent crimes during the study period, meaning the increased risk applied to a small subgroup of SSRI users. Tyra Lagerberg commented: “Previous studies have shown that depression itself is associated with a 3-fold increase in the risk for violent crime, and of course many SSRIs are prescribed for depression; so it may be the underlying depression that causes the association with violent crime, rather than any effect of the SSRI. More work is needed to uncover the causes of this association. Our results suggest there may be a need for clinical awareness of the risk for violence during and possibly after SSRI treatment across age groups. However, a large majority of SSRI-users, around 97% in our sample, will not experience the outcome of violent crime, so our work needs to be understood in this context. Our findings do not affect the vast majority of people taking antidepressants and should not be used as basis for individuals to stop their SSRI treatment, nor for prescribers to withhold treatment from individuals who might benefit from it. Nevertheless, clinicians should be attentive when prescribing SSRIs to individuals with aggressive tendencies. More work is necessary to identify what further individual characteristics might give someone a higher risk of committing violent crimes during SSRI treatment, regardless of whether the risk is increased because of the SSRI or because of the underlying disorder that indicates an individual for treatment with these medications”. An associated commentary, explores possible explanations for the increase. Lead author, Professor Eduard Vieta (University of Barcelona) said: “This observational study presents a firm basis for further investigations on SSRI use and criminality. However, as the authors themselves say, we need to emphasize that the study shows an association between violent crime and SSRI use in a small subset of patients, it doesn’t show that one causes the other. The study also shows that past offenders were more likely to commit a violent crime during SSRI treatment: this in itself is an interesting finding, which could be the main focus of future research on the topic”. Reference: “Associations between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and violent crime in adolescents, young, and older adults – a Swedish register-based study” by Tyra Lagerberg, Seena Fazel, Yasmina Molero, Mikael Andersson Franko, Qi Chen, Clara Hellner, Paul Lichtenstein, Zheng Chang, 29 May 2020, European Neuropsychopharmacology (2020). DOI: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2020.03.024 Commentary: “Association between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and violent crime – could underlying psychopathology be the cause?” by Aiste Lengvenyte and Eduard Vieta, 29 May 2020, European Neuropsychopharmacology. DOI: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2020.04.005
  2. Well I can't follow all the details now but, for those interested, it looks like the US government has taken advantage of the holiday and are trying to push forward a new version of the Murphy Bill early this week, people on MIA are recommending those in opposition call their senators on MONDAY: https://www.madinamerica.com/forums/topic/a-nightmare-bill-including-aot-funding-is-about-to-be-passed/
  3. Not sure if anyone has posted about this so thought I'd add it just in case it hasn't. Dr Yolande Lucire is the researcher who tested Shane's blood (the son of Irish mental health campaigner, Leonie Fennell). Copied and pasted in case it disappears but here is the link: http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/pysch-drug-link-to-violent-episodes-analysed-400571.html ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Friday, May 20, 2016 Jennifer Hough Forensic testing of blood can now determine if anti- depressants were the cause of violent behaviour, including murder or suicide, new research has found. Forensic testing of blood can now determine if anti- depressants were the cause of violent behaviour, including murder or suicide, new research has found. Genetic variations in metabolism affect how different people react to anti-depressants, and now medical examiners say they can identify those variations, and use the evidence to “potentially absolve people charged with homicide”, and explain why they acted like they did. The research, published recently in the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, was carried out by a medical specialist, a forensic psychiatrist and a pharmacogeneticist. It looks specifically at three cases where people with no previous diagnosis, who were prescribed antidepressants for stress-related issues, ended up killing others, with two attempting suicide. “An out-of-character unmotivated homicide or suicide by a person taking medication might be chemically induced and involuntary. The capacity to use frontal lobe functions and control behaviour can be impaired by brain toxicity,” the paper states. “None improved on medication, and no prescriber recognised complaints as adverse drug reactions or was aware of impending danger.” The researchers took accounts of restlessness, akathisia (a state of severe restlessness associated with thoughts of death and violence), confusion, delirium, euphoria, extreme anxiety, obsessive preoccupation with aggression, and incomplete recall of events. “Weird impulses to kill were acted on without warning. On recovery, all recognised their actions to be out of character, and their beliefs and behaviours horrified them,” the paper notes. The research concludes that the “medicalisation of common human distress” has resulted in a very large number of people getting medication that may do more harm than good by causing “suicides and homicides and the mental states that lead up to them”. Irish mental health campaigner Leonie Fennell, whose son Shane was prescribed anti-depressants and soon afterwards killed himself and another person, said she has been aware of this evolving science for some years, and has had Shane’s blood tested in Australia. The researcher who tested Shane’s blood, Dr Yolande Lucire, is one of the papers’ authors. She cited his case in another research project she carried out in 2011. Dr Lucire noted Shane was initially prescribed a double dose of the common SSRI anti-depressant, citalopram. Five days later he overdosed on the tablets, and two days later he told his doctor, who then restarted him on a lower dose of the anti-depressant. “He immediately became violently akathisic, unable to stay in one place, moving constantly between the houses of friends, unable to sit and have a conversation. According to his mother, communicating with him was like ‘talking to a brick wall’. His friends reported that, immediately after taking citalopram, he became agitated, emotional, irrational, and aggressive. His brother saw him throw a mobile phone, destroying it, with trivial, if any provocation,” Lucire writes. Post-mortem toxicology of blood revealed levels of citalopram of about 30 times the therapeutic level. Dr Lucire, a forensic psychiatrist who specialises in adverse drug reactions to psychiatric drugs, said in her experience patients do not need the drugs they are being prescribed. ___________________________________________________________________________________________
  4. http://www.madinamerica.com/2016/04/legal-journal-says-antidepressants-can-cause-violence-and-suicide/ Legal Journal Says Antidepressants Can Cause Violence and Suicide April 18, 2016 Antidepressants have been reported to cause a state called “akathisia,” where people feel extremely agitated and restless and may become preoccupied with thoughts of violence. In a new article, to be published in the latest issue of the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, researchers investigate the role of antidepressants in three recent murders. The researchers, a medical specialist and a forensic psychiatrist and pharmacogeneticist, suggest that tests may be done to assess the role of antidepressant toxicity in violent events that may affect legal determinations, potentially even absolving people charged with homicide. The “new generation” antidepressants, SSRIs and SNRIs, appeared in the 1980s but, according to the reviewers, “their adverse effects and clinical trial data have not been fully disclosed.” In 2004, the FDA published a public health advisory warning of worsening depression and suicidality in some patients being treated with antidepressants. In 2007, a Black Box suicide warning was extended from just teenagers and suggested monitoring all patients up to age 24 for anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, hostility, impulsivity, and akathisia. Recent findings show an increased risk for violent crime in young adults taking antidepressants and a groundbreaking reanalysis of the infamous Study 329 on the effects of Paxil on teens found a heightened risk for suicide that was not initially disclosed by the drug companies. The authors report that genetic variations in metabolism affect how individuals react to antidepressants and that research indicated that “ultra-rapid metabolizers” may be at an increased risk for changes in behavior. More at above link...
  5. Hi. I have a friend that I believe may have suffered from withdrawal syndrome. Which resulted in aggression, violence and arrest. I'm interested if anyone has advice or information on how withdrawal syndrome has been addressed in legal situations and what results were. I'd be happy to provide more details if it would be helpful. Thanks for any help that you can offer.
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