Use the following search tool to view a summary of adverse reactions experienced by patients taking psychiatric drugs, culled from Individual Safety Reports (ISRs) submitted to the FDA's Adverse Event Reporting System (MedWatch) between January of 2004 and September of 2009.
MedWatch stores reported adverse reactions using the Medical Dictionary for Regulator Activities (MedDRA) which employs the British spelling of words. The search engine will convert an American word into its British equivalent ("fetus" > "foetus", "leukemia" > "leukaemia", etc.) so it can be found in the database.
"Like" will find reports with an adverse reaction like the entered letters. You do not need to enter a full word; in fact, a partial entry may help find related reports ("suicid" will find "suicidal" and "suicide").
"Or like" will find reports with similar adverse reactions affecting different body parts ("renal" or "kidney"), or all reports for the same condition ("somnambulism" or "sleep walking").
"Not like" will exclude reports where an adverse reaction includes the "like" word, but also includes the "not like" word (which also excludes an embedded word: like "renal" and not like "adrenal" would include "renal failure", but exclude "adrenal disorder").
Note: The query may timeout if you select a word or words that appear in a lot of the adverse reactions, such as "increase" or "decrease". If the query does not complete, rerun it by clicking on Like... again, enter the same search words and click Submit; the query should complete on its second attempt.
MedWatch is the Food and Drug Administration's Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program (AERS).
If you think you or someone in your family has experienced an adverse reaction to taking a psychiatric drug, see this page for instructions on reporting the adverse event through your doctor or directly to the FDA using an online form.
A May 2006 USA Today article states that: "Drug companies are required to file any reports they have to the FDA, but consumers and doctors report such events on a voluntary basis. Studies suggest the FDA's Adverse Events Reporting System database captures only 1% to 10% of drug-induced side effects and deaths, "maybe even less than 1%," says clinical pharmacologist Alastair J.J. Wood, an associate dean at Vanderbilt Medical School in Nashville. So the real number of cases is almost certainly much higher."