Man Commits Suicide After Taking Antidepressant

Stewart Dolin, a 57-year-old Chicago lawyer, committed suicide by throwing himself in front of an oncoming train. He had started paroxetine, the generic form of Paxil, five days before his death. His wife, Wendy Dolin, sued the original manufacturer of Paxil, GlaxoSmithKline, claiming the company failed to sufficiently warn of the risks associated with the drug.

Mrs. Dolin alleged that the drug triggered a side effect called akathisia, which is a state of severe physical and psychological agitation. It is often described as feeling as if you are “jumping out of your skin.” Mrs. Dolin alleged this side effect played a role in her husband’s suicide.

Frances DeFranco, a company spokeswoman, said “The scientific evidence does not establish that paroxetine causes suicide, suicide attempts, self-harm or suicidal thinking in adult populations…Any suicide is a tragedy, and a reminder that depression and other mental illnesses can be fatal.”

In her suit, Mrs. Dolin’s produced data from early clinical trials of Paxil, which showed older adults who use antidepressants may also be at greater risk of self-harm when taking the drugs. In April, a jury awarded Mrs. Dolin $3 million in damages.

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