People taking antidepressants, tranquilizers and painkillers are all significantly more likely to kill another human being than similar people who are not taking those drugs, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Karolinsksa Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, and published in the journal World Psychiatry on June 1.
Following high-profile school shootings in the United States and Finland, commentators have wondered whether antidepressants being taken by the shooters might have played a role in their actions.
"It has been repeatedly claimed that it was the antidepressants used by the persons who committed these massacres that triggered their violent behavior," researcher Jari Tiihonen said. "It is possible that the massive publicity around the subject has already affected drug prescription practices."
Shockingly, however, the new study found that painkillers were actually the drugs most strongly linked to homicide, with non-prescription painkillers showing the strongest link.