Study questions antidepressant-suicide link

Kerry Grens
Reuters

The Food and Drug Administration has a blanket warning on antidepressant medications stating they increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors among kids and young adults, but a new review of clinical data finds no link between suicide and at least two of the medications.

The new analysis, based in part on previously unpublished data, also concludes that treatment with antidepressants decreases the risk of suicide among adults of all ages.

“These results have to instill some additional confidence that prescribing these medications is not necessarily going to lead to suicidal thoughts or behavior,” said Robert Gibbons, a professor at the University of Chicago and lead author of the study, published in Archives of General Psychiatry.

The findings — based on data for kids and adults using fluoxetine (Prozac) and for adults on venlafaxine (Effexor) — are not enough to change everyone’s view of the risks of antidepressants, especially to kids.

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