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Suicide and Murder — Side Effects of Medication

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

Story at-a-glance -

  • 1 in 6 Americans between the ages of 18 and 85 were on psychiatric drugs in 2013, most of them antidepressants. The highest rates of depression are reported among 18- to 25-year-olds. Suicide rates are at an all-time high as well, rising 31% between 2001 and 2017
  • While antidepressants are routinely used as a first-line treatment for depression, studies show their effectiveness is on par with placebo, while serious side effects are often ignored or hidden
  • Violence, including suicide and homicide, is a serious side effect of at least 25 different psychiatric drugs, some of which are now given to young children, toddlers and even babies
  • The proportion of adults taking at least one drug where suicide is a potential side effect hit 23.5% as of 2013; 38.4% of American adults were in 2014 on one or more medications that can cause depression as a side effect
  • Eli Lilly paid victims of Paxil-induced violence to shield damaging data about another drug that could have influenced the jury’s determination about Lilly’s responsibility in a 1989 mass-shooting

According to a 2017 study, 1 in 6 Americans between the ages of 18 and 85 were on psychiatric drugs in 2013, most of them antidepressants. Of them, 84.3% reported long-term use, and having filled three or more prescriptions during the study year.

Despite such pervasive antidepressant use, we've not seen any improvement in depression rates. On the contrary, it just seems to be getting worse, and the highest rates of depression are now reported among 18- to 25-year-olds.


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