Each year, there are new incidences of suicide which the victims, or their loved ones, explicitly attribute to the lasting physical, sexual and mental health problems caused by endocrine disrupting prescription drugs and over the counter supplements. These include the lasting effects of Finasteride and Accutane. Our In Memoriam page is dedicated to the memory of those we are aware have taken their lives after suffering the too-often permanent harm these substances cause to a subset of consumers.
Each and every death is a profound tragedy and we offer our heartfelt condolences and respect to the families who have lost their loved one. The memories of those who have been so tragically lost inspires us to do what we can to change things for the better, and to work towards helping and protecting others.
The following deaths have been brought to our attention by members of the post-drug patient community and the families of those who have left us. It is our great hope that through continued patient and family-initiated organisation, we can help to achieve the long overdue research into our persistent side-effects that can offer hope to the many currently on the brink. We also work to ensure doctors will one day provide adequate warning of the dangers, and begin to seek a genuinely informed consent when considering prescription of these (often cosmetic) medications that can cause a devastating, multi-systemic and poorly understood disease.
If you are a patient struggling to cope, as well as the propeciahelp support forum, suicide prevention services are available 24/7. An international list of crisis lines is available to view by clicking here.
- Matthew Johnson, 1985 – 2018. Matt was a talented artist and gifted writer. Matt’s symptoms included skin damage, extreme insomnia, fatigue, sexual dysfunction and numerous cognitive and physical symptoms. While Post-Finasteride Syndrome is an “invisible illness” for many, Matt’s skin was particularly affected and he chronicled these progressive effects which worsened significantly after he stopped Finasteride. He expressed a desire to protect others, and he courageously shared some of his experience in a public photo gallery, which garnered over 190,000 views and many messages of support, entitled “How Finasteride destroyed my skin“. Matt was bright, funny, thoughtful and well liked, both in his life and by his fellows experiencing this syndrome. He is another significant loss to the world.
- Luke Reeves , 1996 – 2017. A popular and bright young man, Luke achieved outstanding grades at school and won an apprenticeship to become an accountant. As a teen he developed acne and began taking Accutane at age 16. After experiencing significant personality changes and suffering from long-term depression after taking the potent medication, he tragically took his own life at 21. Luke’s parents place full responsibility for his death on Accutane. His father observed that “[Luke] could not concentrate and he became obsessive and compulsive. He was still loving but he could not be affectionate. He had no motivation and lost his ability to reason.” He is survived by his brother, Justin, his sister, Megan, and his parents, Robert and Becky.
- Eric Carlos Rodriguez, 1983-2016. Eric was a 33 year-old financial analyst and member of a close-knit family of 5 children who had aspirations of having a wife and children in a home of his own some day. He was described as an intelligent man with an adventurous spirit, who enjoyed dating, dancing, working out and spending time with his friends. Eric suffered silently for 8 years from severe symptoms including cognitive problems, sexual dysfunction, genital pain, insomnia, and a feeling of “losing his humanity,” after taking Propecia to combat hair loss. He finally confided in his parents 10 months before he tragically took his life with a handgun after a brief stay in his family’s vacation home. His family firmly believes that the shame that comes with sexual side effects and depression prevents young men from seeking help and they are fighting to have Propecia removed from the market.
- Romain Mathieu, 1991-2016. Romain had suffered from a myriad of debilitating symptoms for over 3 years after ceasing treatment with finasteride. His mother, Sylviane, lamented witnessing her previously happy, healthy, intelligent son crying out in pain as he struggled to complete classes at a highly selective business school. Devastated by sexual dysfunction, extreme fatigue, depression, a failing memory, and impaired cognition, he expressed having a desire to live, rather than be left in this state to simply survive. Impotence left him unable to continue his relationship with his fiancé. On June 7, 2016, the prospective investment banker sealed himself in a tent and released carbon monoxide, ending his life. He signed his suicide note “Romain Mathieu, a victim of Propecia.” He was 25 years old.
- Michael Joshua Douglas 1995 – 2016. Michael was a gifted athlete, intelligent young man and beloved son. Losing some hair, Michael took Saw Palmetto extract which is marketed as a natural remedy for BPH and hair loss owing to its antiandrogenic and 5alpha reductase inhibiting properties. Shortly after starting Michael experienced side effects including loss of libido, testicular pain and tiredness that led him to discontinue the product. After cessation, he described a sudden increase in energy levels, libido, drive, and oily skin that led to acne. He described feeling hyperandrogenic, “a huge sense of wellbeing”. Sadly, despite believing he had “dodged a bullet”, this did not last, and he experienced the familiar crash which he described as feeling “as if his physiology had done a complete 180 degree turn”. His symptoms included “terrifying” cognitive problems he likened to dementia, a complete loss of libido, loss of motivation, anhedonia, sexual dysfunction, penile atrophy, fatigue, insomnia, joint, ligament and bone problems, and an acceleration of androgenic alopecia. He took his life after four years of struggling against his symptoms. Unfortunately after countless hormonal, pharmaceutical and alternative therapies, he could no longer cope with his deteriorating condition. Before his death, he bravely shared his story in a YouTube video to spread awareness of the situation and warn others. Michael loved his life and had everything to live for. He is missed by the community and those who knew him.
- Paul Dixon, 1984-2015. Paul, a 31 year-old resident of Newcastle, UK, obtained a second prescription for finasteride in 2014 in preparation for his upcoming wedding photographs. Within months, severe headaches led him to discontinue the drug. Two weeks after stopping, his condition deteriorated rapidly, with development of what he described as “anxiety, crippling insomnia, brain fog, testicular pain, depression, dry mouth, panic attacks, and a zombie-like state.” He informed the prescribing clinic of his horrendous adverse reaction but was dismissed. In the weeks leading up to his suicide, he recounted enduring a progressively worsening state of physical and mental suffering for the sake of his loving fiancée and parents. He described not having slept in months. His brother has stated he has no doubt that Paul’s death and the preceding change in his once fun-loving, outgoing, happy, healthy and joyful personality are due solely to one thing: finasteride.
- David Chow, 1976-2014. David was an acclaimed professional photographer, as well as a dedicated advocate for the post-Accutane patient community and the families of those whose suicides have been attributed to the drug. During the 2000s, he acted as chairman of the RoAccutane Action Group in the UK and administrated an online forum dedicated to Accutane side-effect sufferers. In December of 2014, David locked himself in a room at his parents house and stabbed himself to death after complaining of severe neck and face pain. His physician stated that he has “no doubt” that Roaccutane was responsible for David’s 21-year long battle with severe depression and agonizing physical symptoms. He was prescribed the drug as a treatment for mild acne.
- Daniel M. Stewart, 1976 – 2014. Daniel suffered from a range of debilitating and progressively worsening symptoms after taking 9 pills of finasteride including extreme anxiety, cognitive impairment, insomnia, muscle wasting, penile tissue loss and pain. A Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of North Texas-Denton, he had previously served in the US Air Force from 1994 to 1998. He was a healthy man with no pre-existing mental or sexual health problems. He died at his home in Denver, Texas, on Saturday 12th of April 2014 after telling his family “I can no longer live in this nightmare. Finasteride has destroyed my mind and body”.
- Jack Bowlby, 1997 – 2012. A talented horseman and showjumper, Jack was just 16 years old when he was found hanged in his dorm room at a prestigious British school. Soon after his dose of Accutane was increased, he complained that he was experiencing “very dark thoughts”. In the days leading up to his death Jack’s brother, Thomas, noted that he had been acting highly out of character. Concerns were raised about the sudden change in his personality by his family, including by a close family friend, Lady Anne Vesty. Mr Bowlby, Jack’s father, commented: “This drug has catastrophic consequences in a certain percentage of people who take it.”
- John Pfaff, 1973 – 2013. John was a family man and CEO of a technology company, based in San Francisco. In 2008 he was prescribed Finasteride (propecia) for hair loss. Whilst taking the medication he began experiencing drastic side effects, which progressed and worsened after he ceased using it. His wife began to notice extreme and unusual changes in both his physical state and his behavior, considered highly out of character for John. He died after being hit by a train at a local station. John was 40 years old. His wife and family believe the effects of Propecia led to his suicide. John is survived by wife and two children.
- Andy Hull, 1996 – 2012. Andy was a happy, well-adjusted high-school pupil who excelled at baseball and was being scouted by the major league teams. He’d been taking generic Accutane for a mere four months when he began to exhibit out-of-character behavior, which led Andy’s mother to become concerned. He began exhibiting memory problems, forgetting where he was whilst driving around his local area. In December 2012 he returned home from school early and committed suicide in his bedroom in the family home, in Phoenix, Arizona. Andy’s dermatologist referred his case to the FDA, reporting that his suicide was a direct result of the acne medication.
- James Silcock, 1986 – 2012. James was plagued by physical and mental health problems for over a decade after originally taking a course of Roaccutane during the summer of 2002, as a healthy, football-loving 16 year old. He’d been prescribed the drug at a hospital in Cantebury, England. In a 20 page suicide note James expressed his regret for taking the medication and the long-term side effects it had on his body. In it, he wrote “I haven’t been the same person since. I live every day in misery, helplessness, despair and regret.” James’ parents were described as heartbroken over their son’s unnecessary and tragic death.
- Danilo Terrida, 1991 – 2011. Eleven days after commencing a prescribed course of antidepressants, 20 year old Danilo Terrida committed suicide. Danilo’s case sparked a national debate about in Denmark about the side-effects of antidepressants, which resulted in changes to the country’s legislation. Danilo’s family said they were pleased the rules on prescribing antidepressants had been changed but, as his mother commented, “it doesn’t change the fact we have lost our son.”
- Jesse Jones, 1987 – 2011. Jesse had been prescribed Roaccutane and began experiencing severe side effects which did not resolve despite ceasing the drug. Described as a creative, popular and much-loved young man, he was due to start a job within the television industry. Prior to this he gained a Bachelor’s degree in Film and Literature from King’s College, London. After his death, a note referring to his health problems was found on his computer by police. Jesse’s body was found on an area of shoreline in his home town of Swanage, Dorset. He was 24 years old.
- Melissa Martin-Hughes, 1992 – 2010. A grammar school pupil who had a bright future ahead of her, Melissa had been taking a prescribed course of Roaccutane under the direction of a doctor. She experienced mental health problems and tried to take her own life along an area of shoreline in 2009. Failings were identified through the lack of care and treatment she then received, later resulting in an inquiry. Melissa’s body was found in Pittville Park in Gloucestershire, England, in April of 2010.
- Simon Charles Woods, 1976 – 2009. Following Simon’s his death, his twin brother, Tim Woods, reached out to an online support forum for people affected by Accutane. He explained that his brother had experienced worsening depression after ingesting the drug. The depression recurred in the ten years leading up to his death, leading to an episode of self-harm several months before Simon was found hanged. Accutane was highlighted in the coroner’s narrative verdict on Simon’s death, and his brother directly linked Simon’s use of the drug to his death.
- Randall Santmann, 1986 – 2008. Randy was a loving, popular young man and skilled programmer. He committed suicide after developing severe physical, mental and sexual side effects from taking Propecia. He was 22 years old. After attempting numerous forms of treatment for the unwanted effects, he found no change in his condition. He sought support and was saddened that his problems were misattributed to being psychsomatic. In a series of moving posts, Randy described a heartbreaking loss of emotions and connection to others in combination with devastating cognitive decline, loss of sexual function, metabolic changes, pain and physical damage, which progressively worsened after resumption and cessation of Finasteride. Randall’s parents were distraught by the loss of their son, commenting that “he hated all the things that the drug had done to him. He hoped his family and friends would understand why he didn’t want to live anymore.”
- Angela Lee, 1980 – 2008. Angela’s family described her as a fun-loving sports fan who bravely fought the challenges she faced. Angela stepped in front of a train in East London after leaving a suicide note explaining that she was suffering from ongoing side effects from RoAccutane, the strong anti-acne medication she’d been prescribed. Her family said that the unwanted symptoms did not resolve despite quitting the drug. Angela was 28 years old.
- Clément Thiebaud, ? – 2008. Clément was a French member of an online support group for people with Accutane-related health problems. On the 20th of November 2008 she posted a suicide note, explaining that she was going to end her life due to the unresolved side-effects she was experiencing. Clément said that she was suffering from depression and her life had become “a living hell” due to the persistent effects of the medication on her health. She vehemently urged others to stay away from the drug and suggested that those who had been affected by it should remain hopeful.
- Alex Voidey, 1990 – 2007. On Monday 2nd July 2007 Alex’s body was discovered by a person out walking their dog. Alex had set off from the family home in the early hours of the morning with a backpack, rope, a pair of gloves, and a kitchen knife. He was just 17 years old, a high-school student from Nice, France. Alex’s family were left distraught following his sudden suicide, noting that he’d undergone no detectable personality changes and no signs of depression. Alex left a final text message to his parents in which he described a range of physical symptoms, and his family believe that the effects of Accutane led to his suicide.
- Justin Zimmer, 1990 – 2006. Justin was a young man with everything to look forward to in life. As a high school student in Menasha, Wisconsin, he excelled in wrestling and was active in the baseball team, which he was highly passionate about. Justin was a straight-A student who became sophomore class president. He respected all whom he met and was looking forward to starting a career in the military after leaving school. Justin’s suicide came very suddenly whilst he was on Accutane, which he’d been taking for about a month. His mother commented: “Your life changes so quickly in a matter of an hour. You go to the grocery store and come back and you don’t have five people at home anymore. You have four.”
- Jason Spiller, 1989 – 2006. 16 year old Jason died after hanging himself from a raft in a barn in Devon, England, in April 2005. He had recently begun taking a course of anti-acne medication, Accutane. Prior to taking the medication his GP indicated that he was not clinically depressed. Toxicology tests indicated that Jason had taken around 14 pills in the time between commencing his course of the medication and his death.
- Jason Moody, 1989 – 2006. Jason was described by his family as a handsome, popular, outgoing and intelligent high-school student who had a a great deal to live for. He loved reading, hiking, running, video games, and had been made a member of the Eagle Scouts after demonstrating his leadership and outdoor skills. Less than two months after commencing a course of Accutane for moderate acne, Jason was found dead in the family home, after shooting himself with a shotgun. He was just 17 years old. Jason is survived by his family who cared deeply for him and loved him.
- Adam Long, 1984 – 2006. After taking Roaccutane for just four months, Adam suffered a severe adverse reaction and began to experience serious mental health problems. He was referred to a consultant psychiatrist for treatment, who diagnosed Adam with schizophrenia and noted that Adam had become depressed after taking Accutane. Adam’s psychiatrist told the inquest that he believed Adam’s use of the drug was relevant. He died after being hit by a train in Atherton, England. Adam’s mobile phone was found at the scene with a message on the screen which read: “I love my mum and dad”.
- David Roberts, 1984 – 2005. After just two months of taking a prescribed course of Accutane, David was found hanged near his home in Liverpool, England. He’d been issued the medication for a case of only mild acne. David’s father described him as a care-free and and happy young man, with lots of friends and an active social and family life. Noting that the change in David’s behaviour was extremely sudden, his family directly link Accutane to the cause of their son’s suicide.
- Jon Medland, 1982 – 2004. Jon’s family and friends described him as a bubbly and outgoing young man who loved Manchester United football club. He was six months away from qualifying as a doctor, having almost completed his medical degree at the University of Manchester, UK. At the age of 22 Jon was prescribed RoAccutane for mild acne and had been taking it for three and a half weeks when his behaviour suddenly changed. He was found hanged in his student accommodation after friends raised the alarm.
- Charles Bishop, 1987 – 2002. Charles Bishop is remembered by his family as a “happy, well-balanced, forward-thinking child who had a great deal to live for”. A 15 year old high school student residing in Florida, he was prescribed Accutane in April of 2001, before his life tragically came to an end in January of 2002. He began acting out of character and died after piloting a light aircraft into an office block. Charles’ family believe that Accutane was the cause of his change in behavior which led to his untimely death, noting that he was not depressed, had good grades and plans for his future.
Vivian Crane , 1985 – 2000. At 12 years old, this resident of Sydney, Australia, was prescribed a 6-month course of Accutane for a severe case of acne. Changes in her personality were immediately noticeable, but disappeared after the treatment was stopped. Soon after beginning a second course in 1998, Vivian began erupting in bouts of rage and making disturbing comments. According to her mother “She told us she had lost the ability to love any of us; she just became a different person” and she went from being “bubbly and full of life” to a “hollowed-out shell.” Her depression continued despite being prescribed the antidepressant, Zoloft, and she began making comments foreshadowing suicide in emails to her friends. Vivian recounted her struggles in one of her final emails: “I’m so tired, I can barely lift my head. How in the hell an I supposed to keep going. But … I can’t stop trying. Can’t waste my final chance. Can’t give up. Just can’t. I might have to. Is there really any other choice?” Vivian died by hanging herself with a pair of stockings. She was 15 years old.
- Bart Stupak Jr., 1983 – 2000. Six months prior to his suicide, Bart was prescribed Accutane. A popular college football player and son of then US Senator Bart Stupark, Bart Jr’s family described him as a happy young man who had a bright future ahead. He died through a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the family home, in Menominee, Michigan. Bart’s family believe believe that the prescribed medication caused his suicide. He was just 17 years old.
- Clay Jackson, 1983 – 2000. Clay died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, in the family home, Idalou, Texas. He was a well-liked and popular young man, with a keen interest in baseball, and who had been receiving enquiries from colleges about his post-high school plans. Clay’s suicide led them to contact then-Congressman Bart Stupak’s office, regarding the links between Accutane and suicide. Clay’s father, Stoney Jackson, was later invited to give evidence to a House Reform Committee in the Capitol Building, Washington D.C. He noted that he was never warned about the possible links to suicide when his son was prescribed the medication.
- Hugo Wilkinson, 1981 – 2000. Hugo was a 19 year old New Zealand man from Remuera, a much-loved son who enjoyed playing rugby. Hugo had been taking Accutane for about three months when he began to experience a rapidly deteriorating mental state. His parents noted that soon after starting the drug, he became paranoid and introverted – “[Hugo became] haunted,” said Mrs Wilkinson, Hugo’s mother.” He walked around the house like a ghost.” Hugo’s mental state concerned his parents and when he didn’t return home from a University rugby fixture one evening, they became extremely concerned and immediately set out searching for him. Tragically Hugo was found dead by his father, John Wilkinson, on an area of land where the family had spent leisure time, and where Hugo had liked to walk the family dog.
- Daniel Baumann, 1984 – 1999. Shortly after commencing Accutane therapy Daniel began to experience a range of physical symptoms including dry lips, itching, joint and muscle pain, headaches, nausea and insomnia. He began to have mood swings and on the first day of his sophomore year at high school, he began crying in the car – his mother asked him what was wrong, Daniel wasn’t able to offer an explanation, he just said he “felt weird”. He began to experience problems concentrating whilst in school. His mother received no warning about the severe mental side effects which can result from Accutane and on December 11th, 1999, Daniel committed suicide.
- David Bebby, 1980 – 1998. A sixth form pupil in Gwent, UK, David was 18 years old when he died after jumping from a multi-storey car park. He had been taking a prescribed course of Accutane. David’s case was described in a 2002 Sunday Times article discussing the links between the drug and serious adverse reactions.
- Liam Grant, 1978 – 1997. Described as a popular and academically gifted young man, Liam was in the second year of an engineering degree at University College Dublin, Ireland. He was prescribed a course of the acne medication, RoAccutane, to address a case of mild acne affecting his shoulders and neck. In the days leading up to his death Liam had been acting out of character and had become increasingly withdrawn from his friends and family. He was found hanged in the foothills of the Dublin mountains. Liam was just 19 years old.
- Olly Roberts, 1980 – 2012. Olly was a web designer and son of Heather and David Roberts. Olly completed two years of study at the prestigious Bristol University, UK, before pursuing a successful career in web-design. Olly was passionate about photography, film and technology, and combined these skills as a successful entrepreneur. He was first prescribed Roaccutane at age 21 for a case of acne. Olly was later prescribed further courses of Roaccutane, and then courses of anti-depressants. Olly developed health problems he’d never experienced before taking these medications. He experienced problems with concentrating, followed by a severe case of akathisia, in addition to self-harming and suicidal thoughts. He died age 32. Olly’s school chaplain, who led the funeral service, recounted that Olly was ‘the kindest boy he could remember in his time there’. Prior to his death, Olly started to build an arts centre at his family home, to help people who are experiencing anxiety. Today, his parents continue this work through The Olly Roberts Charitable Trust and the progress of the construction of the centre can be seen here.