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.
— Chris Ralph (@OncoPRN) May 27, 2016
— Jeanne Lenzer (@JeanneLenzer1) May 22, 2016
— Deprescribing (@Deprescribing) May 27, 2016
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’.