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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 September 2006, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK
Seroxat update
Panorama reporter Shelley Jofre
Shelley Jofre gives an update on her investigation into the antidepressant Seroxat. Shelley has currently made three films about the drug.

Seroxat and the other SSRI antidepressants (including Prozac, Lustral and Ciprimil) may provoke violence in a small number of people who take them, according to a paper published today on the Public Library of Science Medicine website.

The study - which focused primarily on Seroxat - looked at clinical trial data and reports of adverse effects and found possible links between SSRI antidepressants and violent behaviour.

Back in October 2002, Panorama broadcast Secrets of Seroxat.

This film included the disturbing claim that Seroxat had thrown one man into a state of mental turmoil which led him to kill himself and three members of his family.

We also uncovered evidence that the antidepressant was addictive, that it could make some adults self-harm and become suicidal and that clinical trials had shown that these effects were also possible in children who took the drug.

Seroxat's manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) vigorously denied each of these claims at the time and still continued to defend its best-selling drug in two subsequent programmes that we made on the subject.

Gradually though, over the last four years we have been proved right on each of the claims we made in the original programme.

  • May 2003
    GSK drops the claim you cannot become addicted to Seroxat" from Seroxat packs.
  • June 2003
    The medicines' regulator bans Seroxat and other SSRIs (except Prozac) for use in under-18s after clinical trials results link them with increase in self harm.
  • December 2004
    Government Expert Working Group recommends careful monitoring for suicide in 18-30 year olds on SSRIs.
  • August 2005
    Norwegian study links Seroxat to increased risk of suicide attempts in adults.
  • May 2006
    GSK's own review of clinical trial data reveals increase in suicide attempts in 18-30 year olds taking Seroxat.
  • September 2006
    Study suggests possible links between SSRIs and violent behaviour.



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