Several articles and stories have recently come to light concerning a connection between certain antidepressant drugs such as Prozac and Zoloft, and suicides. In the May 15th 2000 issue of the Boston Globe appeared a story that revealed the links between these drugs and suicide. This article cited internal documents from Eli Lilly and Co., showing that the makers of Prozac had known for years that its best selling drug could cause suicidal reactions in a small but significant number of patients.
According to Lillys own numbers, 1 in 100 previously non-suicidal patients who took the drugs developed a severe form of anxiety and agitation causing them to attempt to commit suicide during the study. Dr. David Healy, an expert on the brain and director of the North Wales Department of Psychological Medicine at the University of Wales estimates that, “Probably 50,000 people have committed suicide on Prozac since its launch, over and above the number who would have done so if left untreated.” Lillys own figures from 1984 indicated that severe agitation which can lead to suicide occurs in at least 1 in 100 cases. It should be noted that Lilly got more than 25% of its $10 billion income in 1999 from Prozac.