There has been an enduring controversy over whether psychiatric medications can trigger violent actions toward others. A review of the FDA's Adverse Event Reporting System by Thomas Moore, Joseph Glenmullen and Curt Furberg, which was published by PLoS One on December 15, found that such "adverse events" are indeed associated with antidepressants and several other types of psychotropic medications.
To do their study, Moore and his collaborators extracted all serious events reports from the FDA's database from 2004 through September 2009, and then identified 484 drugs that had triggered at least 200 case reports of serious adverse events (of any type) during that 69-month period. They then investigated to see if any of these 484 drugs had a "disproportionate" association with violence. They identified 31 such drugs, out of the 484, that met this criteria.
The 31 "suspect" drugs accounted for 1527 of the 1937 case reports of violence toward others in the FDA database for that 69-month period. The drugs in that list of 31 included varenicline (an aid to smoking cessation), 11 antidepressants, 6 hypnotic/sedatives, and 3 drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Antidepressants were responsible for 572 case reports of violence toward others; the three ADHD drugs for 108; and the hypnotic/sedatives for 97.