Last week, there was much media coverage of a large jump in adverse events reports and deaths due to the use–and, perhaps, misuse–or prescription drugs. Most of the coverage cited the general trend, noted how many thousands of deaths occurred among users of opiate painkillers, and moved along. I wrote about the study here, but at the time had not obtained the entire paper. I have rectified that situation.
What the media failed to report is that Zyprexa, Risperdal, and Clozaril, three atypical antipsychotics, and Paxil, an SSRI anti-depressant, were tied to the deaths of 6,225 Americans from 1998 to 2005. These numbers are shocking and far outpace estimates I’ve run into previously. That this data was not reported by the media is inexcusable, given the millions of Americans–and others around the world–who take these four drugs.
The numbers come from a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine and are based upon reports in the FDA’s adverse events database. There are limits to the numbers from this study. I’ll get to those in a bit. The study may be accessed here…