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Study Reveals Top Ten Violence Inducing Prescription Drugs

For years many researchers have raised concerns and expressed doubts about some prescription drug’s links to outbreaks of violence. While the association of many street drugs to violence, or violent tendencies, is established, not much research has been focused on prescription drugs’ links to violence.

As more anecdotal evidence accrued about the possible association between prescribed drugs and the rise in violence among users, formal studies were called for by medical practitioners. Doctors are concerned about the growing evidence of extremely negative side effects of heavily prescribed antidepressants and anti-psychotic drugs.

These unexpected side effects can create a threat to society and raise the specter of significant health problems in patients.

Recently, a new study published in the journal PLoS One, “Prescription Drugs Associated with Reports of Violence Towards Others” by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), revealed the association between certain prescribed drugs and their ability to incite aggressive behavior. The paper listed the drugs most associated with increased levels of violence.

The top three most dangerous listed are all antidepressants: Pristiq (desvenlafaxine), Paxil (paroxetine) and Prozac (fluoxetine).

Not all of the drugs that made the ignominious list are antidepressants. Also making the list are an insomnia medication, an attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug, a malaria drug and an anti-smoking medication.

For the study the researchers culled information from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS) data. As the abstract states they: “extracted all serious adverse event reports for drugs with 200 or more cases received from 2004 through September 2009 [and] identified any case report indicating homicide, homicidal ideation, physical assault, physical abuse or violence related symptoms.”

The researchers reviewed the association between 484 prescribed drugs and identified 31 drugs that met their criteria. The 31 accounted for a whopping 79 percent of all incidents of violence. The study also reveals that the U.S. FDA’s AERS has compiled statistics linking many popular drugs to murders.

The weekly news magazine, TIME, also ran a story covering the ISMP’s report and listed the top ten most dangerous drugs that are linked to increased violence.

The top 10 drugs associated with increased levels of violent behavior as listed in TIME Magazine are:

10. Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) – An antidepressant that affects serotonin and noradrenaline. The drug is 7.9 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.

9. Venlafaxine (Effexor) – An antidepressant that treats anxiety disorders. The drug is 8.3 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.

8. Fluvoxamine (Luvox) – A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drug that is 8.4 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.

7. Triazolam (Halcion) – A benzodiazepine drug for insomnia that is 8.7 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.

6. Atomoxetine (Strattera) – An ADHD drug that is 9 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.

5. Mefoquine (Lariam) – A malaria drug that is 9.5 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.

4. Amphetamines – This general class of ADHD drug is 9.6 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.

3. Paroxetine (Paxil) – An SSRI antidepressant drug that is 10.3 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs. It is also linked to severe withdrawal symptoms and birth defects.

2. Fluoxetine (Prozac) – A popular SSRI antidepressant drug that is 10.9 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.

1. Varenicline (Chantix) – An anti-smoking drug that is a shocking 18 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.

If you, your family members or friends are currently taking any of these drugs medical experts recommend consultation with your physician.