Violence: Side Effect of Perscription Drugs

Violent behaviors associated with medications

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Illegal street drugs are not the only drugs associated with violent behavior.  Various prescription drugs have been linked to violent outbursts, even homicide, by mental health patients.

A recent study identifies the top ten legal drugs associated with violence.  Prozac, Straterra, Amphetamines and Chantix were among the medications this list.

"Consult with your doctor about 'all' of your medications."

Lead author,  Thomas J. Moore and the FDA's Adverse Event Reporting System and Insitute of Medication Practices reviewed cases reports based on homicide, homicidal ideation, physical assault, physical abuse or any other violent related behavior.

Researchers identified the use of thirty one prescription drugs consumed by individuals involved with the violent incident. Among these, the most common were eleven antidepressants, six sedative/hypnotics and three drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The study notes that many of these medications are meant to be taken to help treat patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Moreover, because of the tendency for violent behaviors to be linked to this disorders it was difficult to determine if the violent behavior was caused by the psychiatric disorder or the prescribed medication.  

This study breaks way for further investigation and understanding between prescription drugs and violent behaviors.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
April 12, 2011
Last Updated:
April 15, 2011