Original article no longer available
Tuesday Sep 12 10:56 AEST
New antidepressants, already suspected of increasing the risk of suicide, may also cause a few people to become violent, researchers reported.
They found that people who took GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) antidepressant Paxil were twice as likely to have what was called a “hostility event” as those given a placebo.
Paxil, known generically as paroxetine, is in a class of drugs called selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs). They came under scrutiny when some doctors reported that teenagers taking the drugs might be more likely to commit suicide.
They found that 60 out of 9,219 people who took Paxil or 0.65 per cent, had “a hostility event,” compared to 20 of 6,455 given a placebo, or 0.31 per cent.
Writing in the online journal Public Library of Science-Medicine, the researchers said, however, that such violence was likely to be rare.
“The new issues highlighted by these cases need urgent examination jointly by jurists and psychiatrists in all countries where antidepressants are widely used,” they wrote.
“When violence is a suspected outcome, every case has to be considered carefully, on the principle that individuals are responsible for their conduct, unless there is clear evidence of compromised function that cannot be otherwise explained.”