500+ Drugs that Cause Depression and Suicide – AKA Akathisia

(RxISK.org) – Billiam James’ Akathisia Anthem released last week and available HERE is timely.  Since this headline in Newsweek in May 2013, things have got worse.  In America since 2015, life expectancy has been falling and in other developed countries it has stopped rising.

Recent American studies have fingered rising suicide rates as one factor in this fall.

In March 2013 in a post Left Hanging, we gave a list of 100 drugs that can cause suicide.  This was based on drugs the regulators had described as capable of causing suicide or drugs that companies in the small print of their labels have linked to depression and suicidality.

Pharmaceutical company lawyers have shown interest in this list.  The only drug on the list they quibbled with was Flomax. The implicit message seemed to be it would be difficult for them to argue with the other 99.

In June of this year, a study run from Chicago – available Here – claimed there were up to 200 drugs linked to people becoming depressed or suicidal.

The Chicago study showed that being on one drug companies have noted a drug is linked to reports of people becoming depressed or suicidal increases the risk of becoming depressed or suicidal, being on two doubles that risk and being on three or more triples the risk.  These are average figures – some drugs and some combinations are worse.

The PPI group of drugs used for acid and reflux seem to be among the more problematic drugs.

This was not a matter of being on more drugs being a problem in that if the drugs didn’t have depression or suicide in the label, whether you were on two or three made no difference.

New RxISK List

Stimulated by this and as part of development work for Taper MD, we have gone back to generate a further list of drugs causing Depression/Suicide.  The current draft now has 250+ drugs on it.

Over the next few weeks as we track down combination drugs, we expect the list to expand toward 500 drugs.

In due course when we include all trade names – some drugs like paroxetine can have up to 50 trade names – it is likely that over 1000 drug names will be linked to people becoming depressed or suicidal.

When a drug causes depression or suicidality, this is akathisia by any other name.

Of course there are variations within the drug induced emotional turmoil (DIET) spectrum with perhaps malignant restlessness at one end and tearful brittleness at another and at some point we may be able to distinguish reliably between these but for the moment we can’t – because although these problems have been on our radar for over 60 years companies and clinicians have blocked any exploration of what is involved.

The provisional list is HERE with the categories of drugs listed below.

We welcome all input from anyone who has reasonable evidence linking any drug to suicidality or depression.

There are two areas in particular where input would be welcome.  One is Cancer drugs.  These are generally regarded as the most toxic of drugs but the side effects part of the label for these drugs makes them look harmless compared to Aspirin for instance.  The likelihood is that people put any depression, dysphoria or suicidality down to their illness rather than blame the drug.  We need feedback from people on the drugs or those living with them.

The other group of drugs is typified by Invermectin, an anti-parasitic drug, used in Sub-Sahara. This causes depression but no-one gets to hear about it.  We want to hear about other drugs used in African or Asian settings that might not be known about in Europe or America.

Categories of Drugs causing Depression/Akathisia

The categories of drugs causing depression include:

  • Anti-infectives
  • Antibiotics
  • Antivirals
  • Contraceptives
  • Anti-smoking drugs
  • Anti-asthma drugs
  • Anti-acne drug
  • Anti-psoriatic drugs
  • Anthistamines
  • Urinary drugs
  • Anti-nausea drugs
  • Antihypertensives
  • Statins
  • Stimulants
  • Benzodiazepine & Related
  • Antidepressants
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antipsychotics
  • Disease Modifying Agents
  • Weight Loss drugs
  • Acid, Reflux and Ulcer Drugs
  • Analgesics
  • Dopamine Agonists
  • Hormonal preparations and antagonists
  • Dementia drugs
  • Cancer drugs
  • Anti-arrhythmic drugs
  • Menopause related drugs

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