Man Acts “Out of Character”

Last five paragraphs read:  "UI student Karl Taylor can attest to that. He said that while taking Zoloft for a week – he discontinued using the drug because of an allergy to reuptake inhibitors – he experienced mood swings.

"I would go from laid-back to aggressive at a moment's notice," the freshman said.

He recounted a time on Zoloft when he randomly ripped an envelope up into pieces without giving it any thought. Taylor said this was strange for him because he is normally a "pretty calm person."

Okiishi said before prescribing an reuptake inhibitor, he always informs his patients about what could possibly go wrong.

"Of course [the side effects] are a concern," he said. "It's something I would bring up with anyone who I would be prescribing reuptake inhibitors.""

http://media.www.dailyiowan.com/media/storage/paper599/news/2007/10/31/Metro/Inhibitor.At.Center.Of.Marin.Trial-3068497.shtml

Inhibitor at center of Marin trial

Samantha Miller – The Daily Iowan

Issue date: 10/31/07 Section: Metro

An Australian man admits to strangling his wife. A Wisconsin resident brutally beats his friend on the head with brass knuckles. A woman from England confesses to stabbing a man.

What do these people have in common?

A reduced sentence for committing their crimes while on antidepressants – specifically, a class recognized as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

And the latest indictee banking on a jury to accept the unconventional defense currently occupies a cell in the Linn County jail.

Kyle Marin has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in the April 23, 2006, slayings of 18-year-olds Molly Edmondson and Katrina Hill, though not because he denies his role in their deaths. The 21-year-old's defense claims he is not guilty because he was taking Zoloft at the time of the slayings, a reuptake inhibitor.

Marin's defense called pharmacologist Terry Martinez to testify on Monday regarding the inhibitors. Martinez claimed that not only do reuptake inhibitors, such Zoloft, cause individuals to act aggressively and out of character, but that Marin would not have killed the women if he had not been on the antidepressant.

Statements such as this may hold great weight when considering that reuptake inhibitors are used by millions of people in the world – Zoloft is prescribed to more than 28 million people, making it internationally the most popular antidepressant, according to Drug Topics.

Psychiatrist Christopher Okiishi, who works for numerous health organizations, including the UI Hospitals and Clinics, said reuptake inhibitors are effective for treating depression. The drug works by increasing the amount of serotonin available to bind to receptors – a neurotransmitter that greatly effects mood, he explained.

The psychiatrist acknowledged that adverse side effects do occasionally accompany such drugs. He said it is estimated that 2 percent of people who take Zoloft have suicidal thoughts.

"For major depressive disorders, people may get worse before they get better," Okiishi said.

There are no conclusive findings to suggest there is an increase in suicidal acts from taking the medication, he noted, counter to what the Marin defense alleges.

Marin attempted suicide in April 2006 while on Zoloft. He was released from the hospital less than a week before reportedly killing Edmondson and Hill.

Okiishi said Zoloft, along with all reuptake inhibitors, carry a "black box" warning, which contains information about the potentially serious adverse effects of the drugs.

The Federal Food and Drug Administration has also reported on the negative findings of the drugs. The FDA cited a possible increase in suicidal thinking or behavior, specifically in children and adolescents treated with any type of reuptake inhibitor.

Okiishi iterated that the drug doesn't increase "active" aggression, causing violence, as in Marin's case. He said "reactive" aggression may occur, though, usually entailing crabbiness or a short temper.

UI student Karl Taylor can attest to that. He said that while taking Zoloft for a week – he discontinued using the drug because of an allergy to reuptake inhibitors – he experienced mood swings.

"I would go from laid-back to aggressive at a moment's notice," the freshman said.

He recounted a time on Zoloft when he randomly ripped an envelope up into pieces without giving it any thought. Taylor said this was strange for him because he is normally a "pretty calm person."

Okiishi said before prescribing an reuptake inhibitor, he always informs his patients about what could possibly go wrong.

"Of course [the side effects] are a concern," he said. "It's something I would bring up with anyone who I would be prescribing reuptake inhibitors."

E-mail DI reporter Samantha Miller at:

samantha-a-miller@uiowa.edu