LETTER: Prozac and Ecstasy: the risks

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From Mr Robin Prior

Sir: In her letter yesterday (17 November), Joanna Nakielny, the spokesperson for Lilly Industries, said that Prozac, one of her company's products, is not a "street drug". She said that it is different from street drugs such as Ecstasy because it has been subjected to "rigorous testing in clinical trials".

In fact, Prozac is the recreational drug of choice for many people, and the testing Ms Nakielny refers to was rather less than rigorous. The distinguished psychiatrist Peter Breggin, in his book Toxic Psychiatry, says of the testing of Prozac:

The Prozac scientifically controlled testing trials lasted a mere five or six weeks.

He also points out that there are a growing number of voices, particularly in the US, counselling caution towards this drug following reports of worsening depression, a number of suicides, and some violent outbursts among those taking it.

Some drugs are curative; some are fun to take; and some are both. But no agent of such potency as Prozac or Ecstasy is safe. There will always be risk, as the case of Leah Betts has tragically shown. Whatever side of the argument we might be on, let's not pretend otherwise.

Yours sincerely,

Robin Prior

London, E8

18 November