Medications With Suicide Risks

Medications With Suicide Risks: What You Need to Know

Drugs may have any number of dangerous side effects, including an increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior. One such drug, Lyrica (pregabalin), is used to treat fibromyalgia pain, diabetic nerve pain, spinal cord injury pain and pain after shingles. The drug is also used to treat partial onset seizures in adults with epilepsy who take one or more drugs for seizures.

Drugs like Lyrica that are used to treat seizures increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2008 began requiring makers of epilepsy drugs to add a warning about increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors to the products' prescribing information or labeling. The warning applies to all antiepileptic medications, including those used to treat psychiatric disorders, migraines, and other conditions, as well as epilepsy.

According to the manufacturer Pfizer, some people using Lyrica (about 1 in 500) may experience suicidal thoughts or behavior.

In addition, some drugs used to treat other conditions, including some antidepressants, acne treatment and smoking cessation medications, have been linked to suicidal thoughts.

If you or a loved one has experienced suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide after taking a medication, seek medical assistance immediately. It is important to call your doctor right away if you or a loved one has experienced any unusual mood changes or changes in behavior after taking a drug. If you lost a loved one by suicide, talk to an experienced attorney to learn about your rights. Call 214-618-8222.

A List of Medications That Have Been Linked to Suicidal Thoughts of Behavior

The following are some of the brand names of drugs that have been linked to suicidal thoughts or behavior:

  • Accutane (isotretinoin)
  • Banzel (Rufinamide)
  • Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol, Tegretol XR (carbamazepine)
  • Celontin (methosuximide)
  • Chantix (varenicline)
  • Darvon and Darvocet (propoxyphene)
  • Depakote, Depakote ER, Depakene (divalproex sodium)
  • Depakene, Stavzor Extended Release Tablets (valproic acid)
  • Dilantin Suspension (phenytoin)
  • Felbatol (felbamate)
  • Gabitril (tiagabine)
  • Keppra (levetiracetam)
  • Klonopin (clonazepam)
  • Lamictal (lamotrigine)
  • Lyrica (pregabalin)
  • Mesantoin (mephenytoin)
  • Mysoline (primidone)
  • Neurontin (gabapentin)
  • Paxil (paroxetine)
  • Peganone (ethotoin)
  • Prozac (fluoxetine)
  • Topamax (topiramate)
  • Tranxene (clorazepate)
  • Tridione (trimethadione)
  • Trileptal (oxcarbazepine)
  • Vimpat (lacosamide)
  • Zarontin (ethosuximide)
  • Zonegran (zonisamide)

The following are some of the signs that a drug may be leading to suicidal thoughts:

  • Worsening depression
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Panic attacks
  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Aggression
  • Dangerous impulses or violence
  • Extreme increases in activity or talking

Doctors are advised to monitor patients being treated with antiepileptic drugs for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, or any unusual changes in mood or behavior. Doctors and other prescribers should also alert the patient's family members, after obtaining permission from the patient to do so, of signs indicating possible suicide risk. Failures to properly monitor and alert family members of risk are failures which can lead to a suicide attempt. Patients also should not change their treatment without first talking to their doctor.

How a Medication Suicide Attorney Can Help You

If a loved one has died by suicide after taking a drug, contact a suicide attorney for a free and confidential consultation.  Call 214-618-8222 or complete our online contact form. At the Law Offices of Skip Simpson, we are committed to helping families who have suffered losses through the negligence of mental health professionals and pharmaceutical corporations.  A doctor may not have fully explained the potentially deadly side effects of a medication to the patient and his immediate family or significant others. The idea is to have the physician, patient, and support group working together to keep the patient safe.  We can help you pursue justice. We want to help you send a message that negligence by doctors and other prescribers are a danger to patients, families, and the community.