image: Divine Harvester / Flickr
The Navy Yard shooter may have been taking a prescription drug that can have dangerous side effects, according to Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
Trazodone is prescribed for the treatment of depression, insomnia, anxiety and schizophrenia, according to the National Institutes of Health.
“One of the medications that (Alexis) received does have a side effect that could in fact have been a problem,” Miller said to WTOP on Friday. “However, that doesn’t mean that it was, and that’s why we’re asking the VA for a little more information as to what they prescribed, why they prescribed it, how much was prescribed.”
As the National Institutes of Health note, Trazodone may cause “aggressive behavior; irritability [and] acting without thinking” among many other major side effects.
However, Miller said that it does not necessarily mean that the medication is to blame. But Miller is still calling for more disclosures from the VA, which treated Alexis in late August.
“What were the drug interactions? What were the side effects of the drugs that were prescribed by the VA? We do still have some questions that we’re asking,” Miller said.
So far, the VA has revealed that Alexis was prescribed medication “to help him sleep” and a “medication refill” during two visits to VA medical facilities in August.
Miller said that it appears that the VA followed all of the proper procedures, but he still sent a letter Wednesday to the administration instructing them to preserve all records and emails related to Alexis.
Alexis reportedly registered with the VA in 2011 after the Navy discharged him, according to The Hill.
“We want to make sure everything that could have been done was done, and that the VA does not do something to change the storyline,” Miller said.
Miller said he spoke with the Secretary of Veteran Affairs Eric Shinseki on Thursday and received a briefing on the matter with other members of the Veterans’ committees in the House and Senate.
The Hill reports that the VA has said that their records do not show that Alexis ever sought an appointment with a mental health specialist.
Furthermore, Alexis reportedly either canceled or failed to show up to all of all the primary care appointments and medical examinations at VA medical centers that are required to submit disability claims.
If Trazodone was somehow involved in the shooting, as Miller apparently believes it could be, it could lend new credence to the alleged link between anti-depressants and violent behavior.
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This article first appeared at End the Lie.