Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Bipolar disorder, antiepileptics and suicide risk

People with bipolar disorder are sometimes treated with antiepileptic drugs but there have been worries that these can increase people's suicide risk. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago studied 47,918 people with bipolar disorder, 13,385 of whom were taking antiepileptics. They found that those taking the antiepileptic drugs had similar rates of suicide attempts as those taking lithium or those people who were taking no medication at all. In fact after people started taking the antiepileptic drugs they had a significantly lower rate of suicide attempts than before they had started taking them. Relative to taking no medication at all taking antiepileptic medication led to a fivefold decrease in risk.

You can find out more about this research at


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