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Newer Antidepressants May Trigger Violent Behavior

David Healy and David Menkes from Cardiff University in Britain and Andrew Herxheimer from the Cochrane Centre say in a new study// that the newer antidepressants trigger violent behavior in people who use them.

People who used GlaxoSmithKline’s antidepressant Paxil were twice as likely to experience a hostile event as those on a placebo. The researchers used several sources of information in the study including data presented to Britain’s Committee on Safety of Medicines Expert Working Group by GlaxoSmithKline.

“The new issues highlighted by these cases need urgent examination jointly by jurists and psychiatrists in all countries where antidepressants are widely used,” they wrote in the online journal Public Library of Science-Medicine. “When violence is a suspected outcome, every case has to be considered carefully, on the principle that individuals are responsible for their conduct, unless there is clear evidence of compromised function that cannot be otherwise explained.”

Some 60 out of 9,219 people who took Paxil or 0.65 percent had a hostile event as compared to 20 of 6,455 given a placebo, the researchers added.


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