Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Widow Welcomes Probe into Prozac

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Widow Welcomes Probe into Prozac

Article excerpt

Byline: By Daniel Thomson

Us report suggests suicide side effect

A widow who fought to prove her husband had not killed himself last night welcomed a report which suggests a link between an anti-depressant and suicide attempts.

Anne Hearn is now calling for patients to be warned that violence and suicide are possible side effects of using the medication.

Family man Peter Hearn was found hanged in his garage in September 2003 after being prescribed the anti-depressant Prozac.

His widow Anne, 51, of McNamara Road, Wallsend, North Tyneside, believes he would still be alive if she had been warned about the drug's side effects.

Last night Mrs Hearn said the confidential report ( produced by Prozac makers Eli Lilly and handed over to US authorities by the British Medical Journal ( was a step in the right direction.

Mrs Hearn said: "I more than welcome this report.

"It is about time drug companies admitted that suicidal tendencies are a side effect of taking this medication.

"There isn't a shadow of a doubt in my mind that what happened to my husband was a side effect.

"I have never given up on that and this report confirms what I already knew in my heart ( that there is no possibility Peter would have done something like that. It just wasn't in his nature.

"If we had realised that one of the side effects of the drug was suicidal thoughts, at least we would have known what to look out for. But we were never warned.

"We have to start making people more aware of the side effects of these drugs, because they have affected so many lives in horrific ways. It is scary."

Mr Hearn had two daughters ( Leanne, 24, and Lucy, 21.

He died at the age of 51 having just completed his third consecutive London Marathon and was busy decorating a nursery for his first grandchild, Lauren, whom he did not live to see. …

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