SSRI Ed note: Prozac causes suicidal impulses in man who never had them before. He drives car at high speed into a truck, survives, sues Eli Lilly.

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Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Aug. 9 1990 12:00 a.m. MDT

A salesman says he developed suicidal impulses while taking the  anti-depression drug Prozac, and he once intentionally smashed his car into a  truck.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court, Ralph Langer of  suburban Chicago is seeking more than $1 million in damages from the drug  manufacturer, Eli Lilly & Co. of Indianapolis, and its subsidiary, Dista  Products Co.Langer contends in the lawsuit that Eli Lilly has failed to warn doctors  about what the suit said is a link between Prozac and suicidal or aggressive  behavior.

An Eli Lilly spokeswoman refused to comment on the lawsuit, but defended  the drug as safe.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has no evidence of the drug being  linked to specific deaths and still considers the drug safe, spokeswoman Eva  Kemper said in a telephone interview from Maryland.

Langer contends he began experiencing suicidal and self-destructive  impulses after his therapist prescribed Prozac in September 1987 to treat his  depression.

Other lawsuits also have been filed involving the drug.

Langer’s lawsuit says that at one point while on the drug, he intentionally drove his car at high speed into the rear of a truck. He suffered broken bones and bruises in the crash.

His attorney, Aron D. Robinson of Chicago, said his client had never had  suicidal impulses before being prescribed Prozac.

He said this was the pattern in other Prozac cases studied by his law  firm.

Lilly spokeswoman Mari Abbott said the drug was tested on more than 11,000  people before it was marketed.