Merck drug-suicide link?

I’m not anti-pharmaceuticals. (You should see the regimen I’m on to keep my allergies and cholesterol under control.) But this is a reminder that there are
billions and billions of reasons to be wary of all the ads we see on TV for wonder drugs:

The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it is investigating a possible link between Merck’s best-selling Singulair and suicide.

FDA said it is reviewing a handful of reports involving mood changes, suicidal behavior and suicide in patients who have taken the popular allergy and asthma drug. Merck has updated the drug’s labeling four times in the past year to include information on a range of reported side effects: tremors, anxiousness, depression and suicidal behavior.

It’s one thing when the drug simply doesn’t work (which GlaxoSmithKline’s VP of genetics, Allen Rogers, admitted is the case for “most patients”). It’s quite another when it sends you into a crushing depression.

This wouldn’t be the first. Prozac, Tamiflu (antiviral), Seroxat (antidepressant), Lariam (antimalaria), Accutane (acne drug), Paxil (antidepressant), and others have been linked to suicidal tendencies.

And yet we’re told to stay on the meds. It’s big business. Keep that in mind.

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