Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Antidepressants and suicide risk

In 2003 research found that antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviour in people under 18. In February 2005 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a 'black-box' warning on the use of all antidepressants for people under 18 and in May 2007 it extended this warning to people between 18 and 24. Many psychiatrists have criticised these warnings saying that they scare people away from getting treatment and pointing to an 8% rise in suicides among young people in 2004. The FDA have now reviewed the results of 372 clinical trials of the drugs involving nearly 100,000 people. They found that antidepressants did increase the risk of suicide among people under 25. They made no difference to suicide risk in people between 25 and 64 and lowered the risk in people aged 65 and over. Sertraline halved the risk of suicide while citalopram and escitalopram increased the risk.

You can find out more about this research at

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