Straying away from antidepressants for a while I'd like to turn my attention to Doxycycline, marketed under the brand name Vibramycin in the US. Other brand names for this particular tetracycline antibiotic include, Monodox, Microdox, Periostat, Vibra-Tabs, Oracea, Doryx, Vibrox, Adoxa, Doxyhexal, Doxylin, Doxoral, Doxy-1 and Atridox.
Maria Bradshaw, co founder of CASPER, the New Zealand suicide prevention watchdog, has recently been alerted to Doxycycline after 4 mothers contacted her through the CASPER website who's loved ones had suicided. Strangely, all but one had been taking Doxycycline at the time of their death. One had been prescribed Doxycycline but was using Isotretinoin (Accutane) at the time of his death, it was unknown if he was still using Doxycycline.
These four reports to CASPER obviously have raised a red flag as to whether or not there is a suicide link with Doxycycline.
Many suicides, as we know, have been linked with SSRi classes of medications such as Paxil, Prozac etc but we rarely hear stories of other medication, outside of psychiatric drugs, that also have a link to suicide.
Interestingly, there are many forums where Doxycycline and suicide have been discussed over the years. Common side effects seem to include depression and anxiety, both being pre-cursors to suicide.
One such story that appears to be high profile is that of 13 year old Damien McCarty. On the morning of Feb 29, 2012, he showered, ate breakfast and watched TV with his mother, Tara, before school. "He was taking a little longer than usual", writes Tara, "so as I headed to the door I yelled upstairs for him to "Come On". He responded, "Just give me a minute", and pulled the trigger of his shotgun and ended his beautiful life."
Damein had been taking Doxycycline for acne for a year.
Tara started a petition on Change.org, it grows daily and currently has 3,344 supporters. The crux of the petition is a call to the regulator, FDA, to warn children of the dangers of this drug.
Do you know anyone who has suicided whilst taking Doxycycline? If so, CASPER would like to hear from you.
It appears to me that many won't make the connection - who would think that an antibiotic could induce suicide?
Then again, they said this about SSRi's, didn't they.
If you or anyone you know has experienced suicidal thoughts or completed suicide whilst taking Doxycycline then please contact Maria Bradshaw at CASPER