Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, also known as SSRIs, are antidepressant drugs. Prozac, which was released in this country in 1987, was the first medication of this type released in the US. We now have several drugs available which appear to work in this manner. An article appearing in the online journal PLoS Med (Sept, 2006) looked at the connection between SSRIs and aggression.
One drug, paroxetine, was tested and it was found that 60 of 9,219 patients (0.65%) treated with paroxetine had what was termed a “hostile” event, compared with 20 of 6,455 (0.31%) treated with placebo, for an odds ratio of 2.10 for a hostile event with paroxetine. The authors of the article looked at studies and concluded that there may be a link between SSRIs and violent behavior, and that physicians need to be aware of this possibility. The authors do concede that the possibility of violent behavior as the result of these drugs is rare.