by Lisa Garber
December 23rd, 2012
It’s no surprise that Adam Lanza was on heavy-duty pharmaceuticals, as was Aurora shooter James Holmes, the Columbine shooters, Ted Kaczinski the Unambomber, and many more. Many of the drugs handed out to troubled individuals have troubled histories in Food and Drug Administration testing themselves, and come with a list of side effects including hostility, aggression, confusional states, and impulse-control disorders.
There is nothing about these drugs that should make them so easily prescribed by doctors whose pockets are being lined by the likes of GlaxoSmithKline, which was recently fined for faking research and for 14 infant deaths in illegal vaccine testing. To decry their use in toto, however, might be irresponsible, since violent behavior is linked to these drugs. But perhaps partially so because those using it were prone to violence, anyway, and perhaps not due to the drugs themselves. In example, someone with a history of violent behavior addicted to opiod medications like Oxycontin may turn to violence to sustain their addiction, or a schizophrenic already leaning toward violent tendencies may, regardless of the drug’s intended consequences, be violent anyway.
Most of us, however, are better off without the aid of bank-breaking, mind-crushing pharmaceuticals and are better off addressing emotional issues and even some neurochemical imbalances with nutrition, sunlight, exercise, sleep, a little help from those around us, and stress management. This list of drugs, published in the journal PLoS One and based on the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System, shows which are most linked to violent behavior.
- 10. Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) is an antidepressant associated with 7.9 times more violence than many other drugs.
- 9. Venlafaxine (Effexor) is related to Pristiq and is an antidepressant also used in treating those with anxiety disorders. Effexor is 8.3 times more associated with violent behavior than other drugs.
- 8. Fluvoxamine (Luvox) is an antidepressant that affects serotonin (SSRI), and is 8.4 times more likely to be linked to violence.
- 7. Triazolam (Halcion) can be addictive and is a benzodiazepine that supposedly treats insomnia. It’s 8.7 times more likely to be associated with violence.
- 6. Atomoxetine (Strattera) is often prescribed to tread ADHD and is 9 times more likely to be associated with violence.
- 5. Mefoquine (Lariam) treats malaria and sometimes products bizarre behavior, and is 9.5 times more likely to be linked to violence.
- 4. Amphetamines come in many forms and are often used to treat ADHD (even to children not diagnosed with ADHD). They are 9.6 times more likely to be linked to violence.
- 3. Paroxetine (Paxil) is an SSRI antidepressant. Many users experience severe withdrawal symptoms and are more likely to produce children with birth defects as well as 10.3 times more likely to be linked to violence.
- 2. Fluoxetine (Prozac) is a household name for a powerful SSRI antidepressant linked with 10.9 times more violence than other drugs.
- 1. Varenicline (Chantix) is administered to smokers to supposedly help curb cigarette cravings, but it’s a whopping 18 times more likely to be linked to violent behavior.