Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New study suggests antidepressants save lives

14.06.2006
Findings show US suicide rate drops as prescriptions rise

A just published UCLA study suggests that the use of antidepressants to treat depression has saved thousands of lives, despite the concern about a possible link between suicide risk and the class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI).

The lead author of the study is Dr. Julio Licinio, the new chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. Licinio conducted the study at UCLA while he was the director of the Center for Pharmacogenomics and Clinical Pharmacology at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.

Published in the June 2006 edition of the peer-reviewed journal PLoS Medicine, the study analyzes federal data on overall suicide rates since the early 1960s and sales of the SSRI fluoxetine, or Prozac, in the United States since the antidepressant's introduction in 1988 through 2002.

The data show the U.S. suicide rate held fairly steady for 15 years prior to the introduction of fluoxetine, then dropped steadily over 14 years as sales of the antidepressant rose. The research team found the strongest effect among women.

Mathematical modeling of probable suicide rates from 1988 to 2002, based on pre-1988 data, suggests a cumulative decrease in expected suicide mortality of 33,600 people since the introduction of the antidepressant.

"Our findings certainly suggest that the introduction of SSRIs has contributed to reduction of suicide rates in the United States," Licinio said. "However, the findings do not preclude the possibility of increased risk of suicide among small populations of individuals."

The Food and Drug Administration introduced "black box warnings" on the most popular SSRIs in 2004 amid rising concerns in the United States and United Kingdom concerning the relationship between suicide and antidepressant use in children and adults.

A key unanswered question involves whether antidepressants increase suicide over and above the underlying disorder, such as major depression.

"Much of the psychiatric community fears that the absence of treatment may prove more harmful to depressed individuals than the effects of the drugs themselves," Licinio said. "Most people who commit suicide suffer from untreated depression. Our goal is to explore a possible SSRI suicide link while ensuring that effective treatment and drug development for depression is not halted without cause."

The study examined age-adjusted suicide rate data from the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Census Bureau from the early 1960s until 2002. Data show suicide rates fluctuated between 12.2 and 13.7 per 100,000 people for the entire U.S. population until 1988. Since then, suicide rates have gradually declined, with the lowest rate at 10.4 per 100,000 in 2000. The decline is significantly associated with increased numbers of fluoxetine prescriptions dispensed, from 2.47 million in 1988 to 33.32 million in 2002.

Major depressive disorder affects approximately 10 percent of American men and 20 percent of women over their lifetimes. Because the prevalence is so high and treatment lasts several months or years, antidepressant medications are the most common form of treatment. Fluoxetine is the most widely prescribed antidepressant medication in the world and the only antidepressant that is FDA-approved for treatment of depression in children.

Dan Page | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mednet.ucla.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>