The FDA Kept This Secret from You for 70 Years

Dear Health Conscious Reader,

Here’s yet another disturbing case of the FDA dragging its feet… After 70-plus years, the FDA is finally warning doctors that a category of drugs used by millions to treat seizures, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, and migraine headaches doubles your risk of suicide.1

Of the 43,892 people aged 5 and older in the clinical trials, four patients taking these drugs committed suicide during the trials. Zero of the people taking the placebo killed themselves.

And this is nothing new. Other brain-altering drugs like antidepressants have shown evidence of increased suicide, and the FDA has failed to act.

For instance, the FDA’s chief suggested that Prozac carry a warning label when Eli Lilly first submitted it for approval back in 1985. He found evidence that its use could intensify depression symptoms in some cases. After doling out more than 300 million prescriptions, the FDA added a warning label in 2004 — nearly two decades later!1

The bottom line is that these pills mess around with your brain chemistry. In addition to having many side effects, we still don’t know a lot about their long-term impact on health. So before you accept your doctor’s prescription for one of these drugs, or any drug for that matter, here’s what I tell my patients to do.

The new FDA ruling requires these drugs to carry a warning that they may increase the risk of “suicidal thoughts and behaviors.”

  • Celontin (methsuximide)
  • Mesantoin (mephenytoin)
  • Depakene (valproic acid),
  • Depakote (divalproex)
  • Dilantin (phenytoin)
  • Felbatol (felbamate)
  • Gabitril (tiagabine)
  • Keppra (levetiracetam)
  • Klonopin (clonazepam)
  • Lamictal (lamotrigine)
  • Lyrica (pregabalin)
  • Mysoline (primidone)
  • Neurontin (gabapentin)
  • Peganone (ethotoin)
  • Tegretol (carbamazepine)
  • Topamax (topiramate)
  • Tridione (trimethadione)
  • Trileptal (oxcarbazepine)
  • Vimpat (lacosamide)
  • Zarontin (ethosuximide)
  • Zonegran (zonisamide)

1. Make sure you understand everything about the drug your doctor has prescribed. Be informed, ask questions, and know the risks involved. Here are some questions you should ask your doctor before taking any drug.

  • Why are you prescribing this drug for me?
  • How does it work?
  • Are there any side effects?
  • Does it interact with other drugs, supplements, food, etc?
  • Are there any natural alternatives to this drug?

2. Tell your doctor about any concerns you have. There are two websites that you may find helpful for providing information about side effects and reactions to drugs and treatments.

3. Make sure your doctor knows about any other medications you are taking. There can be interactions. This is true for both prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

4. If you wish to stop taking any of these types of drugs, I advise you to discuss it with your doctor first. Abruptly stopping medication can result in severe withdrawals.

5. Make sure your doctor is looking for underlying causes of your condition and not just writing a prescription. Many times a condition can be resolved once the underlying cause is treated. For example, stress, nutrient deficiencies, and thyroid disorders can all trigger seizures.

Bottom line: Make sure you cover all the bases when it comes to these types of drugs. Your life could depend on it.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

1. Mike Adams. “Chemically-Induced Suicide: 80 Percent of Suicide Victims Took Antidepressant Drugs”,, 2/28/08