October 26

Pittman-Zoloft Trial to begin_ Another Boy on Prozac is Charged in Father’s Slaying – AP

Pittman-Zoloft Trial to begin_ Another Boy on Prozac is Charged in Father’s Slaying – AP

Sun, 30 Jan 2005

The Associated Press reports about a homicide case (below) – this time involving a 10 year old boy who is charged with killing his father. AP reports that the child was taking Prozac at the time of the killing.

On Monday, Jan. 31, Christopher Pittman, aged 14, will be tried as an adult for killing his grandparents when he was 12 years of age. His team of lawyers and expert witnesses will argue that the antidpressant Zoloft, at the high dose prescribed for the boy (who weighed only 80 lbs at the time) affected his brain, compromised his judgement and his ability to control his angry impulses. They will argue that Zoloft triggered his violent actions.

The trial has atttracted national media attenion – in part because this 14 year old is being tried as an adult – but also because the trial comes after evidence uncovered over the last year and a half–from internal company documents–corroborate that Zoloft, and antidepressants in the SSRI class, pose potentially lethal adverse effects for a minority of patients.

Based on independent analyses of previously undisclosed evidence from clinical trials in children, the FDA twice revised the warning labels for all antidepressants – first in March 2004, and then in October when the FDA issued a Black Box warning for all antidepressants.

The FDA has yet to be held accountable for failing to warn physicians and the public when the agency learned about the suicidal / homicidal risk. Only after evidence of these hazardous effects was revealed to the public, did the FDA issue explicit warnings acknowledging that SSRI antidepressants, such as Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil (and the others) have been shown to trigger:

“the emergence of anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, mania, other unusual changes in behavior, worsening of depression… as well as the emergence of suicidality in adult and pediatric patients being treated for major depressive disorder and other indications both psychiatric an nonpsychiatric.”

The FDA-approved October 15, 2004 revised warning label acknowledging that:

“A causal role for antidepressants in inducing suicidality has been established in pediatric trials.”

Lawyers for Pittman will argue that Zoloft has been shown to trigger both violent and suicideal behavior.

The case will be broadcast on Court TV in its entirety.

The irresponsible prescribing of drugs whose chemical action alters thinking and behavior, triggering agitation, hostility, aggressiveness and impulsivity, poses a public safety hazzard greater than drugs illicitly obtained which are used by only a few individuals. A body of evidence from case reports suggests that SSRI antidepressants are turning angry, troubled children into suicidal and homicidal statistics.

What is an acceptable risk/ benefit ratio where the risk poses a threat to human lives, and the benefit accrues primarily to the drug manufacturer? How many children’s lives will be sacrificed to maintain $3.6 billion in annual US earnings for Zoloft?

Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav

Boy Charged in Father’s Slaying in Texas
The Associated Press
Updated: 10:10 a.m. ET Sept. 30, 2004

HOUSTON – A 10-year-old suspected of fatally shooting his father a month ago after watching his parents endure a bitter divorce has been charged with murder.

The boy was charged last week in the Aug. 27 death of Dr. Rick Lohstroh, lawyer David Matthews said.

The 41-year-old physician was shot outside the Katy home of his ex-wife, Deborah Geisler, after he arrived to pick up his two sons for a weekend visit following a divorce that included unproven allegations of sexual abuse of the 10-year-old by the father.

Investigators say the boy, who was taking the anti-depressant Prozac at the time of the slaying, took a pistol from the home, climbed into the back seat of his father’s sport utility vehicle and shot Lohstroh in the back.

If allegations against the 10-year-old are found to be true in juvenile court, he could be held as a youth until age 18 and then could be imprisoned for an additional 40 years, a lawyer for the boy has said.

The boy remained Thursday in the Harris County Juvenile Detention Center. His brother is with their grandparents, who were granted custody of both boys.

A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 5, said Matthews, who represents the grandparents in a lawsuit against Prozac’s manufacturer.

Matthews told the Houston Chronicle for Thursday’s editions he could not discuss anything further about the boy or the charges against him.

On Sept. 15, Juvenile Court Judge Kent Ellis imposed a gag order prohibiting the boy’s relatives and lawyers in the case from providing information to reporters. The order came at the request of attorney Brian Fischer, who was appointed to represent the child’s interests during the criminal proceedings.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This may contain copyrighted (© ) material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. It is believed that this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

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