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Prescription Drugs That Turn You Into a Killer

Updated on August 1, 2017

It is estimated that 100,000 people each year die from prescription drugs. That’s not counting the people who die as a result of being murdered by someone taking a prescription drug.

Below is a list of 10 prescription drugs that have been linked to suicide and homicide:

1. Chantix

The smoking-cessation drug, Chantix, has been associated with an incredible 408 acts of violence, including three highly-publicized murders.

In 2008, 62-year-old Kenneth Heath of Vermont, who had been taking Chantix for several weeks, shot and killed his mother when she came to check on him. She had been worried about his increasingly-odd behavior after taking the drug.

In 2009, 34-year old Pennsylvania native, Sean Wain, shot and killed his wife before turning the gun on himself. Friends and neighbors said there were no signs of marital distress before the murder-suicide. Sean had been taking Chantix for 2 weeks.

In 2010, 33-year-old Andrew Case murdered his wife and children before hanging himself. He’d been on the UK version of the smoking cessation drug, (called Champix) for 2 weeks before the incidents.

Chantix is believed to cause homicidal thoughts and actions due to its ability to increase a neurotransmitter called dopamine in the brain.

In natural doses, dopamine leads to feelings of pleasure and contentment. However, when dopamine levels are forced to over-produce by a prescription drug, the pleasure sensation is overloaded, leading to anxiety, nervousness, agitation, paranoia, and violence.

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2. Prozac

The anti-depressant drug, Prozac has been associated with 72 reported cases of violence and at least two murders. In 2009, a 14-year-old Missouri teen named Alyssa Bustmente viciously stabbed her 9-year-old neighbor to death after an increase in her Prozac dosage. In a similar case, a 15-year-old Canadian boy brutally stabbed his best friend after taking Prozac.

Prozac works by increasing the amount of a feel-good chemical in your brain called serotonin. Too little of this chemical can lead to depression but too much could cause even more damage. Many who take a new antidepressant are at risk for a condition called serotonin syndrome. Serotonin syndrome causes excessive nerve cell activity that may lead to sudden agitation, restless, anxiety and homicidal thoughts and actions.

Recent research has suggested that certain variations in the genetic code may contribute to an inability to properly metabolize Prozac and other SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) drugs. This can lead a predisposition for homicidal behavior.

3. Paxil

Paxil has been associated with 177 reported cases of violence including one murder. In 2001, Paxil was held liable in a $6.4 million lawsuit when a 60-year-old Wyoming man shot and killed his wife, daughter, and granddaughter before turning the gun on himself. He’d been taking Paxil for only 48 hours and had no history of psychosis; just his underlying depression.

4. Adderall

Adderall is an amphetamine (stimulant drug) used to treat ADHD in children and adults. In 2005, Canada suspended all sales of Adderall after 12 American children died suddenly from using the drug. In 2011, 24-year-old college student, Richard Fee, became violently delusional, ended up in the hospital, and hanged himself in his bedroom closet 2 weeks after his Adderall prescription expired.

There is also an ongoing Pentagon investigation of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, a soldier who is accused of the grisly massacre of 17 Afghan civilians, including women and children. He also had been prescribed the anti-malaria drug that has been linked to psychotic behavior, paranoia, and hallucinations.

5. Melfloquine (Lariam)

Psychiatric drugs aren’t the only prescription drugs that have the potential to turn you into a killer. The anti-malaria drug melfloquine has been linked to hallucinations, paranoid thinking, aggression, and suicide thoughts or actions. In 2002, three elite soldiers, who were prescribed melfloquine in Afghanistan, came home and murdered their wives before committing suicide.

There is also an ongoing Pentagon investigation of Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, a soldier who is accused of the grisly massacre of 17 Afghan civilians, including women and children. He also had been prescribed the anti-malaria drug that has been linked to psychotic behavior, paranoia, and hallucinations.

6. Strattera (Atomoxetine)

Strattera is stimulant ADHD drug that has been linked to at least 34 incidents of homicidal behavior in Europe. In 2008, the European Strattera warnings included “the risk of the onset or exacerbation of serious psychiatric disorders, including psychotic reactions, hallucinations, mania and agitation.”

7. Halcion (Triazolam)

The prescription sleeping drug Halcion has been linked to homicide since the 1980s. In 1988, Pontiac, Michigan native, John Caulley, put on a mask and ambushed his estranged wife, shooting her to death. He had been taking Halcion for 3 months prior to the incident. In 1991, a 57-year-old Utah woman fatally shot her 83-year-old mother after taking Halcion for over one year.

8. Luvox (Fluvoxamine)

Luvox, a SSRI similar to Prozac, first made national headlines when Eric Harris of the Columbine massacre was found to have been taking it prior to the rampage. Primarily used in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder, Luvox is also used as an antidepressant. This antidepressant has been linked to manic psychosis, aggression, and abnormal behavior.

9. Effexor (Venlafaxine)

The antidepressant Effexor is known as a SNRI (serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor). It works by blocking transporter reuptake proteins for the key neurotransmitters that regulate your mood.

At first, and in low doses, Effexor seems to stabilize mood and improve concentration.

However, at higher doses, mania sets in and, if this drug is mixed with alcohol, it can have devastating consequences. According to user testimony, generic Effexor has been shown to induce hallucinations, shaking, heart palpitations, tremor, and seizures.

Andrea Yates, the Texas woman who drowned her 5 children in the bathtub, was taking Effexor at the time of the murders. She claimed she was drowning the children to “save their souls”.

10. Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine)

Pristiq, another SSRI, has strong suicide warnings on its label. Mary Richardson Kennedy, Robert Kennedy JRs estranged wife was found to have a combination of medications in her body, including Pristiq, when she committed suicide in 2012.

Yes, prescription drugs that are designed to help improve your health have been proven to make you want to kill yourself and others. If you are currently taking any of these drugs, get a second opinion.

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