The Scary Side Effects of Prescription Drugs Taken by Infamous Mass Murderers

We’re not saying the side effects associated with several widely prescribed drugs are guaranteed to occur in all those who take them. Neither are we saying that those who do experience the associated side effects have any lasting consequences as a result. What we are saying is that whenever you take drugs — prescription or otherwise — there’s almost always a risk present.

There have been many documented cases of mass murderers who were using certain psychoactive prescription medications at the time they committed their crimes and whether or not their actions occurred as a result of taking those drugs is constantly up for debate.

In any case, we wanted to look into the issue and put together the following list of some of these drugs, along with what they’re typically prescribed for, as well as some of the possible serious side effects. All the following information on side effects was found on the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s, unless otherwise stated.

The Scary Side Effects of Prescription Drugs

Ambien
Used to treat: insomnia

Possible Side Effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Anxiety, depression, nervousness, unusual behavior, or thoughts of hurting yourself
  • Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • Severe confusion, drowsiness, muscle weakness

Celexa
Used to treat: depression

Possible Side Effects

  • Anxiety, restlessness, fever, sweating, muscle spasms, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seeing or hearing things that are not there
  • Confusion, weakness, and muscle twitching
  • Chest pain, trouble breathing
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Feeling more excited or energetic than usual, trouble sleeping, racing thoughts
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself or others, unusual behavior
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising

Effexor
Used to treat: depression. Effexor XR® also treats panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.

Possible Side Effects

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Anxiety, restlessness, fever, sweating, muscle spasms, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seeing or hearing things that are not there
  • Chest pain, cough, trouble breathing
  • Confusion, weakness, and muscle twitching
  • Fast or pounding heartbeat
  • Feeling more excited or energetic than usual
  • Headache, trouble concentrating, memory problems, unsteadiness
  • Seizures
  • Trouble sleeping, unusual dreams
  • Unusual behavior, thoughts of hurting yourself or others
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising

Luvox
Used to treat: major depression, Obssesive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), panic disorder, depressive disorder

Possible Side Effects

  • Seizure (convulsions)
  • Unusual thoughts or behavior
  • Anxiety, restlessness, memory problems, trouble concentrating, hallucinations, feeling like you might pass out
  • High fever, chills or goose bumps, loss of coordination, overactive reflexes, stiff muscles
  • Confusion, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats, and rapid breathing

Source: rxlist.com

Paxil
Used to treat: depression, OCD, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD),  Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Possible Side Effects

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Anxiety, restlessness, fast heartbeat, fever, sweating, muscle spasms, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seeing or hearing things that are not there
  • Changes in behavior, thoughts of hurting yourself or others
  • Confusion, weakness, and muscle twitching
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Seizures or tremors
  • Trouble keeping still, feeling restless and agitated
  • Trouble sleeping or unusual dreams
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising

Prozac
Used to treat: depression, OCD, eating disorders, panic disorders

Possible Side Effects

  • Severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash
  • Very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, overactive reflexes
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, feeling unsteady, loss of coordination
  • Headache, trouble concentrating, memory problems, weakness, confusion, hallucinations, fainting, seizure, shallow breathing or breathing that stops

Ritalin
Used to treat: Deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Narcolepsy (sudden attacks of uncontrollable sleepiness).

Possible Side Effects

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Chest pain that may spread to your arms, jaw, back, or neck, trouble breathing, nausea, unusual sweating
  • Erection of the penis that is painful or lasts longer than 4 hours
  • Extreme energy, mood or mental changes, confusion, agitation, restlessness, trouble sleeping, unusual thoughts or behavior
  • Fast, slow, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, drowsiness, or fainting
  • Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • Seizures
  • Severe headache, trouble seeing, blurred vision
  • Sores, coldness, numbness, or color changes on your fingers or toes

Xanax
Used to treat: anxiety, panic disorder, insomnia, anxiety caused by depression

Possible Side Effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Confusion, problems with coordination or memory
  • Extreme tiredness or weakness, slow heartbeat, trouble breathing or speaking
  • Seizure

Zoloft
Used to treat: Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), OCD, PTSD, PMDD, Social Anxiety Disorder, panic disorder

Possible Side Effects

  • Allergic reactions: itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Anxiety, restlessness, fast heartbeat, fever, sweating, muscle spasms, twitching, nausea, seeing or hearing things that are not there
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Confusion, weakness, and muscle twitching
  • Feeling more excited or energetic than usual
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself or others, unusual behavior
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
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