Friday, January 9, 2009

Suicide and Antidepressants, what is the connection?

This subject has been debated over the last 10 yrs. or more, but we feel we need to keep the awareness of the effects of antidepressants alive. There have been recent suicides like that of Abraham Biggs using the Internet last November. The FDA has issued a Black box warning in 2004 for Pediatric Patients that are being treated with Antidepressant Medications. These were for prescriptions that they label as Major Depressive Disorders (MDD), although doctors can prescribe these drugs for other reasons outside of depression. The FDA black box warning is strictly for children, yet suicide thoughts have been found in adults also.

The FDA has noted, that the data does not clearly establish an association between the use of these drugs and increased suicidal thoughts or actions by pediatric patients. But it is not possible at this point to rule out that antidepressant don’t cause suicide.

Other independent studies found relative risks of suicidal behavior were highest among youths taking Luvox, Effexor and Paxil and lower risks among youths taking Celexa, Zoloft and Prozac. There are two FDA advisory panels who are considering whether the FDA should take action to include stronger warning labels on nine antidepressants linked to heightened suicidal tendencies among children.

There was an astounding study recently released in Sweden from 2006 where they found 52 percent of all suicides among women eighteen to eighty four were using antidepressants. The study of 377 women had filled a prescription for antidepressants within six months of their death. This is one of the most expansive studies regarding the span of age and suicides. We believe these numbers to be more reflective of the side effects of antidepressants. There are many desperate families at a loss to the reason they have lost their child to suicide. The focus should remain on these lethal psychotropic drugs. The more scrutiny, consternation, and attention paid to the effects of these drugs the more the truth become self evident.