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FDA Won’t Put Warning on Epilepsy Drugs Despite 80% Increase in Suicide Risk

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And you can quote me: "In news of the disgusting, the FDA today decided not to put a warning on 11 epilepsy drugs known to increase suicidal thoughts and tendancies by at least 80%!!! (Some reports put the increase at 100%.)"

Posted in Rants, Serious, July 10th, 2008


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In news of the disgusting, the FDA today decided not to put a warning on 11 epilepsy drugs known to increase suicidal thoughts and tendancies by at least 80%!!! (Some reports put the increase at 100%.)

The FDA, listening to a panel of outside experts, heard that the increase was “only” 2 people in 1000, and the experts said that they were “very concerned … about the risk of unintended consequences of influencing practice and discouraging patients” (from taking antiepilepsy drugs).

According to news reports, the FDA had wanted to require a warning in a big box on all anti-epilepsy drug labels, but was talked out of it by the panel which, of course, included representatives of the drug manufacturers.

The drugs implicated in the suicide and suicidal thoughts increase are:

  • carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol, Tegretol XR)
  • felbamate (Felbatol)
  • gabapentin (Neurontin)
  • lamotrigine (Lamictal)
  • levetiracetam (Keppra)
  • oxcarbazepine (Trileptal)
  • pregabalin (Lyrica)
  • tiagabine (Gabitril)
  • topiramate (Topamax)
  • valproate (Depakote, Depakote ER, Depakene, Depacon)
  • zonisamide (Zonegran)
  • Patients taking any of the above drugs who become stressed at the thought that it might lead to their committing suicide are advised to take Prozac to help with their stress*.

    (*That is irony – I am not a medical doctor, and that is not a real recommendation.)

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    3 Comments »

    1. My sister takes Limictal and if anyone out there knows anything more about it please email me at [email protected]. This article concerns me and I worry about these findings.

      Comment by Joanni — February 1, 2009 @ 10:07 pm

    2. Well, are we really surprised at the good ole FDA for not regulating appropriately? That is like being surprised at the USDA for not regulating healthy food (think Hallmark Westland beef recall). FDA is only going to say whatever needs to be said to get paid, and I am guessing that they have received hefty checks from each of the above drug manufacturers. Have you watched “Food Matters” yet?

      Comment by Jess — July 11, 2008 @ 9:32 am

    3. -yup,it’s not only ironic, but tragic,prof Annie,
      since Prozac has been known to cause suicide[as well as homicide] since it’s 1988 introduction!
      -google yields 1 – 302,000 for prozac+suicide,1 – 107,000 for prozac+homicide

      Comment by dar — July 11, 2008 @ 2:55 am

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