The moment Kim Crespi of Charlotte, N.C., heard that her husband David had stabbed their 5-year-old twin daughters to death, she knew that the real culprit behind the horrific act wasn’t her spouse but a cocktail of prescription drugs, including Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, or SSRIs – a form of antidepressants.
According to Charlotte’s WBTV, David Crespi, a Charlotte-area banker, called 911 on the morning of Jan. 20, 2006 to report that he had just killed his own daughters. Mr. Crespi was arrested and ultimately took a plea bargain to avoid the death penalty. He is now serving two life sentences in prison.
But Mrs. Crespi believes her husband should not be behind bars for the crime; she says pharmaceutical companies are withholding the truth about their drugs from patients, and says medications like Prozac and Lunesta have the potential to turn a normally loving, nurturing parent like David into a homicidal psychopath.
“The pharmaceutical companies are to blame,” Mrs. Crepi told WBTV. “They know their drugs are capable of this and they’ve covered that up and that, to me is criminal,” she alleges.
Mrs. Crespi told WBTV that people don’t want to hear that explanation, but to her and others who have experienced similar tragedies, medication-induced psychosis is the only feasible explanation.
Her husband, a banker at Wachovia, had been prescribed Prozac for his depression just seven days before the homicide. Combined with Lunesta and Ambien to help him sleep and Trazodone for anxiety, the cocktail of drugs sent her husband into a psychotic state in which delusional thinking and hallucinations took over, Mrs. Crespi told WBTV.
Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strengthened the “black box warnings” on SSRIs in 2011 to warn about the possibility of increased suicidal thoughts for young adults during initial use of the drug, many, including Kim Crespi, say those warnings fail to convey all the known risks.
Consider the Canadian government’s warning on SSRIs and similar drugs:
“OTTAWA – Health Canada is advising Canadians that all newer anti-depressant prescription drugs, known as Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) or Serotonin Noradrenalin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SNRIs), now carry stronger warnings. These new warnings indicate that patients of all ages taking these drugs may experience behavioral and/or emotional changes that may put them at increased risk of self-harm or harm to others.”
Although SSRI-induced psychosis is considered rare, it’s important to remember that 10 percent of Americans use the drugs, and that millions use them in combination with other anxiety and sleeping medicines as Mr. Crespi did.
Since the FDA and drug companies fail to warn others about the dangers of SSRIs, Mrs. Crespi has made it her mission to educate others about these deadly but little known side effects. She has also formed a team of people who are working to help Mr. Crespi win his freedom back.