Cathy Eckstein — (1991 FDA Hearings)

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Department Of Health And Human Services Public Health Service Food And Drug Administration

FDA Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Hearings

Friday, September 20, 1991

MS. ECKSTEIN: My name is Cathy Eckstein. I reside at 197 Jousters Lane in Lawrenceville, Georgia.  I was prescribed 60 mg of Prozac by my physician during a period of grief that followed my son’s suicide. The suicide occurred during the first few weeks of his withdrawal from the prescribed drug Ritalin. I have been trying to come off Prozac since February, 1991, and have only managed to reduce the dosage from 60 to 40 mg.

Since I’ve been on Prozac I’ve experienced the following adverse reactions:   a drug-induced insanity that has caused several self-destructive outbursts, there was an extended period of anger, rage, and hostility, and it turned into terrible feelings that suicide was the only answer.  remember screaming at my family that I now know how  Brad must have felt before he hung himself. I needed help but I didn’t know where to go, I knew that I didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t know how to deal with it.

I was taken to the doctor that had prescribed the Prozac and was told that there was no reason for me to try to  stop taking it and that I should increase the dosage to the original 60 mg. In addition to these outbursts, there have been headaches that feel as though burning pain went from the base of my neck to the top of my head. There have been many episodes where I could not pronounce words clearly or correctly and a tremendous loss of physical strength, leaving me unable sometimes to function in my normal activities for days and weeks at a time.

In my own research of Prozac I have learned that withdrawal only occurs after an addiction to the drug has occurred. Prozac is an addictive drug that has caused me harm. I have yet to get off this horrible drug and to date have found no adequate medical facilities to successfully remove it from my life. I was never informed of its effects.

I want to see Prozac taken off the market. I am concerned as to what other effects or reactions I am now to expect in the future as a result of taking this drug. The drug has falsely been promoted to me as safe and a miracle drug.

My son died as a result of Ritalin. Others are now dead or dying because of Prozac. How many deaths need to occur before the FDA is convinced that this drug is not safe and is not a miracle and the American people are tired of being guinea pigs because of the pharmaceutical companies’ need for profit? No person deserves to experience what I have and am experiencing on Prozac.

I am requesting that you take Prozac off the market. Thank you for letting me speak.

DR. CASEY: Thank you.