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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 June, 2003, 06:33 GMT 07:33 UK
Father calls for tighter drug control
Seroxat
Seroxat is used in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders

A Shropshire man whose teenage son hanged himself while taking a controversial prescription drug has called for the government to introduce tighter controls.

Adrian Keegan, 19, from Market Drayton, was being prescribed Seroxat at the time of his death.

The government's advisors on the safety of medicines have recommended that the anti-depressant should not be given to children.

But Mr Keegan's dad, Chris Keegan, said the move is not going far enough.

Four million prescriptions

He told BBC Radio Shropshire: "It does need greater control and even monitoring correctly instead of being passed over the counter and doctors telling patients to come back in two weeks time to see how they are.

"Then when the two weeks is up, being told to keep taking the tablets if they say they are working fine."

Seroxat has been available in the UK for the past 13 years. Approximately four million prescriptions for the drug were issued in the past year.

However a recent review of the drug, launched by the Department of Health, found children taking the drug may be more likely to self-harm or partake in suicidal behaviour.

But the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has warned that adults who are on the drug should not suddenly stop taking it.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Gill Higgins
"The drug was supposed to help her depression but it made her withdrawn and suicidal"



SEE ALSO:
Drug blamed for suicide
11 May 03  |  Shropshire
Anti-depressant safety reviewed
08 Jan 03  |  Health
Glaxo denies Seroxat problems
13 Oct 02  |  Panorama


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