National Vice President
(203) 966-8419, Fax (203) 253-0329
Vice President State of Pennsylvania
Attention: Committee Members of Oversight and Investigations:
Antidepressant Use in Children
Last week Ablechild contacted the Committee Members of Oversight & Investigations to make notification that another child has died as the result of antidepressants not FDA approved for use in children. Ablechild Vice President of Pennsylvania, Mrs. Vicky Dunkle, met with the family of this latest victim, a 16 year-old girl on Friday, September 17, 2004. At the age of 14, their daughter started taking Wellbutrin. Two years later, their daughter hung herself, just 14 days after stopping Wellbutrin.
Mrs. Vicky Dunkle provided them information about the on-going Congressional investigation and the recent FDA warning. The family was unaware of the FDA warnings, and on-going investigations into this antidepressant crisis. This clearly highlights the overall public health crisis and lack of management to provide warnings and detoxification procedures. Having psychiatrists come on television to do damage control for the drug companies is not proper public health management. As this committee investigates this national health crisis, there must be a public health plan established to ensure that the public is fully aware of the investigation and the impact of withdrawal. This does not mean encouraging children to stay on antidepressants or focusing on the dangers associated with not seeking “drug” treatment. Non-drug approaches to depression and other behavioral issues should be encouraged and considered prior to prescribing off-label antidepressants.
This latest victim of drug suicide has left a family very willing to speak out. They were never told of the subjective nature of the diagnosis itself, or the dangers associated with the recommended “drug” treatment. Their daughter hung herself in her bedroom. Mrs. Vicky Dunkle’s help to the family comes with a keen sense of understanding, as her own 11-year-old daughter, Shaina Dunkle, died due to toxic levels of an antidepressant prescribed her that was not FDA approved for use in children.
Mrs. Dunkle has been featured on the Montel Williams Show, as well as other National television and radio programs. She is eager to speak out to protect American children and their basic human and constitutional rights. She has asked the family to report their child’s death to the FDA as soon as possible and contact the members of this Committee.
For more information on the recent FDA hearings regarding antidepressants and suicide in children please visit our website at www.ablechild.org