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A New South Wales Supreme Court judge has found an elderly man would not have killed his wife if he had not taken an overdose of the anti-depressant, Zoloft.
Justice Barry O'Keefe says the case is a tragic reminder of the possible, even dangerous, detrimental side-effects of the drug. David Hawkins, 76, of the southern New South Wales' town of Tumbarumba, strangled his wife of 50 years in August 1999, after a night in which  he took
five times the recommended dose of Zoloft.
He gave himself up to police almost immediately and was found by psychiatrists to have been in a drug induced toxic delirium at the time, suffering hallucinations and psychosis. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Passing sentence, Justice O'Keefe found but for taking the Zoloft, Mr. Hawkins would not have killed his wife. He sentenced him to three years' jail, but ordered he be freed on  parole.

Australian women cleared of charges due to drugs effects

Antidepressant drugs prescribed to a mother contributed substantially to her two attempts to kill herself and her two young children by gassing them in the family car, Chief Justice David Malcolm has ruled. The 32-year-old woman, whose name is suppressed, walked free from the Supreme Court yesterday with a four-year jail term suspended for two years after pleading guilty to four counts of attempting to murder of her daughters, then aged nine and two. She made separate murder-suicide attempts near Waroona and Pinjarra on June 17 last year.
Justice Malcolm found the medication affected her mental state and "substantially contributed" to the offences.
"The drug . . . impaired her capacity for rational thought to such a degree that her responsibility for her actions was substantially diminished and her capacity for rational thought and action was gravely impaired," he said.

Justice Malcolm described the woman as a loving mother who cared for her children and said her prospects of recovery were reasonably good due to the support of family and friends. She was also sentenced to intensive supervision orders and 80 hours community work. The woman, who lives near Bunbury, wept in the dock and hugged her father in the public gallery after being sentenced. The court was told she had a history of depression and was prescribed high doses of Aropax (paroxetine), a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor, and Effexor (venlafaxine), a serotonin noradrenaline re-uptake inhibitor, in the months before the offences.
The doses were increased after the first of her four suicide attempts in May 2002.


GlaxoSmithKline probed over doctor freebies The prosecutor uncovered evidence of 5,900 instances where Smith Kline Beecham had illicitly paid doctors.


5000 people to be put on trial including 273 GlaxoSmithKline employees

United Kingdom

June 2000 Scotland
-A mum who stabbed a man during a drunken argument is set to cheat jail after a judge heard she was taking Prozac. Louise Wheldon, 34, had been on the anti-depressant for four years before she carried out the knife attack. But the High Court in Edinburgh heard that the stabbing was "out of character" and Lady Paton said she would consider giving Wheldon community service instead of jail. A psychiatrist claimed Wheldon was not mentally ill but that one of the side effects of Prozac was violent behavior.

Charges dropped after report links Seroxat (Paxil in US) to threatening behavior  August 2003 Observer

Hundreds to Sue GlaxoSmithKline in UK

United States  

Man kills his family and then himself after taking Paxil for depression. The surviving family sued  Manufacturers of Paxil (GlaxoSmithKline)and the jury awarded them 6.4 million.

Neuropsychiatrist found innocent of attempted murder Charges dropped over Zoloft defense

Colfax Louisiana March 2000, Paula Pinckard shot her 11-year-old daughter Aubrey to death before shooting herself in their Rock Hill home. Her attorney George Higgins said "Pinckard's doctors believe the Prozac she was taking before the shooting caused her behavior; it acted as a catalyst for a hidden bipolar condition".

Patrick Henry Stewart-Tampa Florida used Paxil defense as cause for his embezzlement Paxil Saves him from prison

Amby Cole vs. Eli Lilly Amby Cole is the wife of Milton Cole who committed suicide 13 days after taking Prozac. 

Sharon Curry-Spokane Washington, who confessed to stabbing her 9-year-old daughter to death in 1999, was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Part of her defense was the overperscription of the medication Adderall.

FDA under scrutiny

Congress Hammers FDA over SSRI's

FDA Lawyer inappropiately intervened for pharmaceutical industry.

FDA withholding data on Antidepressants?

"Just like with the S.E.C,"Mr. Spitzer said, "we're asking where has the F.D.A. been all these years when clinical data has been hidden from public scrutiny. They have simply failed to confront the problem."

 Pharmaceutical Drug Litigation law firm Justiceseekers

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