WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News

Questions loom over drug given to sleepless vets

WASHINGTON (AP) - Some military families are calling on Congress to investigate several deaths of soldiers and veterans who were taking a potent anti-pyschotic called Seroquel.

Thousands of soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have received the same medication over the last nine years.

It's unclear how many soldiers have died while taking Seroquel, or if the drug definitely contributed to the deaths. But the drug's potential side effects, including diabetes, weight gain and uncontrollable muscle spasms, have resulted in thousands of lawsuits.

The father of 23-year-old Marine Andrew White blames Seroquel. White's father says his son was prescribed more than 1,600 milligrams per day - more than double the maximum recommended dose. An investigation by the Veterans Affairs Department concluded that White received the proper "standard of care."

The success of AstraZeneca's second-best-selling product has been marred by allegations that the company illegally marketed the drug and minimized its risks.

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