What is prescripticide?


A newly created concept is gathering momentum on social media.

‘Prescripticide’ has been officially embraced by the internet, with the creation of a new Wikipedia page that defines it as a death caused by an adverse reaction to a prescription drug.


The word was coined in December 2015 by David Carmichael, who killed his son over a decade ago while experiencing an SSRI-induced psychosis.

Carmichael was charged with first-degree murder in the US, but after multiple psychiatric assessments the court found him not criminally responsible for his son’s death.

In an article published by web-based medical research group Rxisk, which advocates for improved drug education, Carmichael describes his experience after increasing his antidepressant dosage.

“Over a three-week period, I changed completely from being a loving, caring and nurturing father of two beautiful children to taking the life of my beloved son Ian, in a calm, organised state of delirium-psychosis,” says Carmichael.

Alongside other stories of alleged antidepressant-related homicides, Carmichael’s account is leading healthcare practitioners and mental health advocates to question whether SSRIs and other prescription drugs carry side effects that are more dangerous than previously thought.

The Wikipedia page also cites Danish medical researcher Dr Peter Gotzsche, co-founder of the Cochrane Collaboration, who has stated that prescription drugs are the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer.

Dr Gotzsche has written extensively against the widespread use of antidepressants and ‘Big Pharma’.

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4 Comments

  1. Michael Gilbert
    30/05/2016

    David Carmichael’s story as well as many others can be seen in this award winning documentary film from Kevin P. Miller

    https://vimeo.com/ondemand/lettersfromgenerationrx/161781026

  2. Neil
    31/05/2016

    It’s worth noting that Gotzsche has not just “written extensively against the widespread use of antidepressants and ‘Big Pharma’” but has also been a prolific opponent of mammography. Besides “The Mammogram Myth” by Rolf Hefti, Gotzsche’s “Mammography Screening: Truth, Lies and Controversy” are the only two really extensive independent works on the deep fraud of mammography.

  3. Kristina Kaiser Gehrki
    31/05/2016

    My nineteen-year-old daughter died of prescripticide after her doctor increased a dangerous Black Box drug over the phone without ever seeing my child. My daughter never received informed consent, was never told of the risk vs. benefits, and I was never informed by the doctor of the new prescription nor the critical need to monitor for serious side effects. Thirty hours later the result of such callous negligence was my beautiful daughter’s prescribed death. I pray that one day doctors and pharmaceutical companies are held accountable for prescripticide.

  4. Kristina Kaiser Gehrki
    02/06/2016

    Thank you for covering this public health topic and better informing consumers. Please note the first sentence contains an unintentional error. Using the word “killed” and attributing the child’s death to his father is inaccurate. Prescripticide is caused by the product, by manufacturers and by doctors who fail to adequately inform consumers. Prescripticide takes the lives of many victims to include family members who live on after their loved one has died. I have posted again to clarify this error as I sincerely believe word choice really matters.

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