Magazine article Drug Topics

Some Psychoactive Prescription Drugs Associated with Violence

Magazine article Drug Topics

Some Psychoactive Prescription Drugs Associated with Violence

Article excerpt

New data suggest that a variety of prescription drug products are associated with aggression and violence toward others. The list of drugs associated with reports of this serious adverse drug event includes antidepressants, sedative/hypnotics, medications for attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, and antismoking agents.

There appears to be less risk of violence assodated with antipsychotics and anticonvulsants/mood stabilizers, In fact, most prescription drugs have few or no reports of assodated violence, according to drug safety researcher Thomas Moore, Institute of Safe Medication Practices (ISMP).

However, "A substantial number of drugs already carry warnings of violent acts," Moore told Drug Topics. "Pharmacists, patients, and physidans need to understand that psychoactive drugs can induce negative changes in behavior as well as positive changes."

MedWatch search

Moore and other ISMP researchers studied cases of violence or aggression reported in FDA's MedWatch adverse events database over a 69-month reporting period ending in September 2009, The study was sparked by what seemed to be an unusual number of reports associated with varenicline (Chantix, Pfizer), a smoking- cessation agent, Varenicline carries a black-box warning for depression, suicidal thoughts, and suiddal actions, Moore said, but violence directed toward others is not highlighted.

Researchers found 78 adverse event reports in MedWatch that described acts or thoughts of aggression or violence toward others. They found 4 more cases noted in clinical trials and 3 more in the reported literature, In cases where "dechallenge and rechallenge" data were available, violence/ aggression resolved in 93% of cases when varenicline was discontinued. …

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