Homicidal Ideation Causally Related to Therapeutic Medications

Marks, Donald H.; Breggin, Peter R.; Braslow, Derek
November 2008
Ethical Human Psychology & Psychiatry;Fall2008, Vol. 10 Issue 3, p134
Academic Journal
Five patients with hepatitis C (HCV), three of whom were treated with peginterferon alfa-2 (IFN) and two who were not treated with IFN, developed homicidal ideation (HI) during a 4-year period. Following accepted rules for determining causation, there appeared to be a causal relatedness between IFN use and the development of homicidal ideation for those patients taking IFN. None of these patients attempted a homicidal act while on treatment with IFN, nor in the follow-up period after treatment. The incidence of HI while treated with IFN in our patient population is estimated to be less than 1%. The ability of prescription medication to cause homicidal ideation is reviewed, and legal implications are discussed.


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