I know plenty of smokers who struggle with the crankies when they're trying to quit--but this is ridiculous.
One of the most common drugs given to smokers is actually turning them into raging monsters... and could even make them homicidal.
It's Chantix, and it tops a new list that you'll never see on Letterman: The Top Ten Meds Linked to Violence.
Researchers from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices examined data on 780,169 serious adverse side effects of all kinds caused by 484 meds during a five-year period, and isolated 1,937 cases of violence.
They found just 31 drugs were responsible for the lion's share of those incidents --79 percent, or 1,527 events, including 387 homicides and 404 physical assaults.
And the ten worst--the drugs most likely to turn a once-normal patient into a violent offender--include some of the most common and overused drugs on the market today... meds you or someone you know has almost certainly taken at some point.
It starts out with Chantix, the drug often given to smokers to help them quit despite a remarkably low long-term success rate. Researchers say it's 18 times more likely to be linked to violent episodes than other meds.
Going cold turkey might not put you in the best mood... but I've never heard of it leading to violence.
Number two on the list goes to Prozac, used by 40 million people around the world despite repeated studies that question whether it even works as an antidepressant.
It may not scare the blues away, but it can help scare off your friends: The researchers found that Prozac is 10.9 times more likely to lead to violence than other meds.
Paxil is right behind its fellow antidepressant--the researchers say it's 10.3 times more likely to be linked to violence than other drugs.
And if you want to know why children seem more aggressive than ever, maybe it's those legal stimulant drugs they're given. The researcher say that, as a class, amphetamines including common ADHD meds are 9.6 times more likely to be linked to violence than other drugs.
Rounding out the rest of the list is the malaria drug Lariam, ADHD med Strattera, the benzodiazepine Halcion, the SSRI Luvox, and two more antidepressants: Effexor and Pristiq.
If there's one trend here it's in those antidepressants, which make up half the list.
That's sad, because most people never needed these drugs in the first place. There are real treatments for depression that don't involve meds--and later this week, I'll have the latest word on one you might never expect: light.