Richard Wontorski — (1991 FDA Hearings)

SSRI Ed note: Man "feels a little low", doctor prescribes Prozac, he becomes suicidal, believes drug is dangerous and should not be on the market.

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Department Of Health And Human Services Public Health Service Food And Drug Administration

FDA Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Hearings

Friday, September 20, 1991

DR. CASEY: Thank you.  Wontorski?

MR. WONTORSKI:  My name is Richard Wontorski. I’m a survivor from Prozac. I wrote a five-minute speech, but listening to everybody else, I don’t want to bore a lot of people in here, because a few of them look like they’re bored.

The drug does cause suicidal tendencies, that’s all I can tell you. It shouldn’t be on the market. If it’s going to be on the market, give me a choice whether it’s going to label “This could be suicidal”. I had no choice. I went to a family doctor. I was feeling a little low. He gives me a new wonder drug, Prozac. I was told of no side effects, none at all.

If I’m going to get something — even a pack cigarettes tells you it could cause cancer, saccharine causes cancer, they’re giving you warning on pop cans — that’s just pop, everybody drinks pop all day long. I just don’t understand why you can’t give a label on a medication that does (cause) suicidal tendencies, or anything that could cause you any harm. I want to know, I want the right to know if I’m going to be harmed by a medication I’m taking.

That’s why the FDA is out there, to help us, to protect us. Just like your family doctor, like myself and  everybody else, we trust our family doctors. My family doctor trusted Eli Lilly. Somebody’s got to do something with this drug. I’m glad this is going about. It’s taken a lot to get everybody here. I didn’t want to be up here. I?m shaking in my boots now. I’ve never sat and talked in front of anybody before, other than a basketball group, but for these people that have stood up, my hand goes out to them, because I’ve been there, and the ones that didn’t show and you’ve called their names, I think I know why they didn’t want to be up here. You know, I don’t want to relive any of this.

Please, Eli Lilly,  take this off the market.   If you’re going to make another drug in lieu of this one, label the warning.  I went to get – my first prescription, I never got anything that said it was toxic or any harm to me. You take it because your doctor tells you.

You take it like your religion, one in the morning, one at night.

I don’t know what to tell you other than please take this drug off the market, and I thank everybody that showed up today and had the courage to come up here and talk. Thank you .

DR. CASEY: Thank you.