June 14, 2003 -- A New Jersey
mother whose daughter mutilated herself while on the controversial
anti-depressant drug Paxil called yesterday for a ban on its use to
The call for a ban comes hot on the heels of alarming new
research released earlier this week that claims depressed children
who take the drug become more suicidal - and a warning from the Food
and Drug Administration, The Post has learned.
Lisa Van Syckel said her daughter Michelle, 18, was the victim of
a three-year nightmare after she began taking Paxil in 2000.
"Michelle repeatedly slashed her body with a razor and inflicted
over 25 wounds," according to the lawsuit which names four New
Jersey doctors and five hospitals.
Van Syckel said her daughter eventually got better after she was
taken off Paxil.
"I hope to God that by speaking out about what happened to my
daughter that I could save [a] life," she said at a press conference
organized by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) who urged the FDA to ban
The drug is not officially approved for children here but
drug-manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline has asked the FDA to approve it to
treat children who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder.
The FDA is reviewing nine studies in Britain that concluded
Paxil, which is prescribed to 30.4 million Americans - many under 18
- spurs suicidal behavior.