From anxiety to suicide — (Los Angeles Times)

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Los Angeles Times

The People’s Pharmacy

Feb 13, 2006

Q:  My husband went to the hospital for chest pains on a Sunday. He was kept overnight and was finally told that he’d probably just had an anxiety attack.

He was given Wellbutrin and sent on his way. On Tuesday, he still wasn’t feeling any better, so his doctor told him to stop taking Wellbutrin and prescribed Paxil. My husband took this drug for three days and then hanged himself on Friday. 

This man was full of life and had so much to live for. He wasn’t depressed. I don’t know why this medication would be prescribed for someone with chest pains. Why is the drug still on the market?

A:  We are so sorry to learn of this tragedy. Although the Food and Drug Administration now requires drug companies to warn people that some antidepressants may trigger suicidal thoughts, doctors don’t always pass this warning along.

Many people benefit from drugs such as Paxil, Prozac, Wellbutrin or Zoloft, but others experience agitation or anxiety.