There are a few things that you can do to bring light to the issue of drug companies/FDA not fully warning the public of ALL possible deadly side effects of antidepressants.

First, if you, or someone you know, have experienced adverse side effects from antidepressant drugs, you should report it immediately to the FDA. This is very important for it will demonstrate to the FDA the need to pressure the drug companies to fully disclose the adverse side effects of the SSRI class of drugs. You can report your side effects using the FDA’s medwatch form http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/index.html. In addition, you should also report the side effects to your doctor. However, do NOT rely on your doctor to submit the medwatch form to the FDA.

Secondly, you should contact your Congressional delegation in Washington DC. Right now, the House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy and Commerce is conducting an investigation into the FDA and pharmaceutical industry to seek information on the antidepressants/suicide link. This is the committee that oversees the FDA, investigates a variety of issues (e.g. Enron, Imclone scandals), and determines if a formal congressional hearing is warranted.

Read the Committee on Energy and Commerce investigation overview.

In addition, the Senate’s Finance Committee is now looking into what the FDA knew about the link between antidepressants and suicide. Read the overview on the Senate’s Finance committee letter requesting information from the FDA.

Who are the representatives sitting on this committee? (includes links to their offices)

Who are the senators sitting on this committee?

It is imperative that pressure be put on this committee to ensure it moves forward with a formal congressional hearing. The FDA and pharmaceutical companies have long been aware of the link between antidepressants and suicide. They have failed to fully warn the public on the potential dangers of these drugs since the Prozac suicide hearings back in 1991.

We want the manufacturers of the SSRIs to adequately warn of the true dangers associated with their drugs. We need to continue to put pressure on the officials to make sure the drug companies fully warn consumers of ALL possible deadly side effects.

Lastly, don’t forget the power of word of mouth. There are many people who have had horrible personal experiences with these drugs. But many do not share their stories because of the social stigma associated with taking antidepressants or because they believe they had real mental issues. Once you start telling your story, more and more people will feel comfortable sharing their experiences and you’ll quickly realize you aren’t alone.