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Feature Medicine and the Media

Antidepressants and murder: case not closed

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: (Published 02 August 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j3697

Rapid Response:

Re: Antidepressants and murder: case not closed

I completely agree with Prof David Healy's comments on this short article. Only the one psychiatrist who considered the drug had no part in the murders, is quoted. Comments from the two others (one of which was Prof Healy) who both took the opposite view, were not mentioned. For many psychotropic drugs, abruptly ceasing the medication is highly inadvisable as it may result in further serious psychiatric symptoms. This would be especially the case for this patient whose dose had been increased, despite the presence of contraindications for doing this.

The author comments that there are no simple answers. Perhaps the answer to this dreadful occurrence, some other murders (and many suicides) are more straightforward than many doctors and the drug companies involved are prepared to face.

Competing interests: No competing interests

06 August 2017
Elizabeth H Price
Retired medical practitioner
London NW11