Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Suicide risk does not increase when adults start using antidepressants, study finds

02.01.2006


Long-term, population-based study challenges FDA advisory



The risk of serious suicide attempts or death by suicide generally decreases in the weeks after patients start taking antidepressant medication, according to a new study led by Group Health Cooperative researchers and published in the January issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry. The study also found that the risk of suicidal behavior after starting 10 newer antidepressant medications is less than the risk posed by older medications.

These findings challenge a 2004 advisory by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which warned that suicidal behavior may emerge after treatment with the newer antidepressant drugs has begun.


"Our findings show that, fortunately, suicide attempts and death by suicide are rare following the initiation of antidepressants," says Greg Simon, MD, MPH, a Group Health psychiatrist and the lead researcher on the study. "The period right after people start taking antidepressant medication is not a period of increased risk. In fact, risk after starting medication is lower than before."

This study is the first published analysis to compare the risk of suicide attempts before treatment to the risks following treatment. It is based on computerized medical and pharmacy records for more than 65,000 patients who filled prescriptions for antidepressants from 1992 to 2003. Deaths by suicide were determined from death certificates and suicide attempts were identified from hospital discharge data.

Group Health researchers found that the number of suicide attempts fell by 60 percent in adults during the month after antidepressant treatment began, and declined further in the following five months. Among the 65,103 patients taking antidepressants, there were 31 completed suicides in the six months following the antidepressant prescription. That rate was not higher in the one month after the prescription than in subsequent months. The study also found that newer antidepressants were associated with a faster decline in rates of suicidal behavior than older drugs.

Adolescents in the study had more suicide attempts than adults. The researchers found that the rate for the first six months of antidepressant treatment was 314 attempts per 100,000 in teens and 78 attempts per 100,000 in adults. As with adults, the rate was highest in the month before treatment and declined by about 60 percent after treatment began.

Given recent public concern over a possible link between suicide and antidepressants, Simon says he fears people may mistakenly believe that suicidal behavior is common after taking antidepressant medications. That misperception could lead to fewer people with depression being treated with medications proven to be effective in battling depression, he adds.

"There may be subgroups of people who become more agitated or suicidal after taking these drugs, and those people should seek help from a doctor or therapist right away if that happens," says Simon. "But our study showed that on average, the risk of suicide actually goes down after people start taking the antidepressant."

Simon agrees with the FDA’s recommendations that doctors carefully monitor people taking antidepressants. "Keeping a close watch on patients after they begin taking these drugs is a good idea--although not because these medicines are especially risky or dangerous," he says. "Patients need to be monitored to ensure they’re getting the right medication in the amount that can help them feel better."

Joan DeClaire | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ghc.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht Urbanization to convert 300,000 km2 of prime croplands
27.12.2016 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>