Entrepreneur’s Widow Claims Drug Prozac Caused His Suicide — (Syracuse Post-Standard)

SSRI Ed note: Astute widow brings lawsuit against Lilly because Prozac causes "intense agitation" and a "medically induced preoccupation with suicide."

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The Syracuse Post-Standard

February 26, 1993

A woman claims in court papers that her husband’s suicide was caused by the anti-depressant drug Prozac, which he had taken for two weeks.

Named in the $155 million suit filed with the Jefferson County clerk are Prozac’s maker, Eli Lilly & Co., and the doctor who allegedly prescribed the medication to Joseph J. Capone Jr., Dr. Floyd Bajjaly of Watertown.

“I saw my father change 100 percent when he was on Prozac,” said Capone’s daughter, Tracie A. Capone.

Capone’s widow, Stephanie, is bringing the suit.

The legal papers contend that Prozac causes “intense agitation” and a “medically induced preoccupation with suicide.”

Prozac, known generically as fluoxetine, is the most widely prescribed anti-depressant in the United States.

The federal Food and Drug Administration approved its use in 1987.

Lilly defends Prozac’s safety, although about 100 suits have been filed in courts around the country claiming that its use led to patients’ suicides.

Capone, 48, shot himself in the head Feb. 24, 1991, with a .32-caliber pistol.

He was a prominent entrepreneur in the Watertown area and owned several businesses, including a Holiday Inn.

Dateline:  WATERTOWN
Record Number:  9302260251