Antidepressants And Suicide

Do Antidepressants Increase The Risk Of Suicide?

Clinical research studies indicate a link between taking antidepressants and suicide in children, teenagers, and young adults.

For example, one study found that almost 4 percent of children and teens taking Prozac reported or exhibited suicidal thoughts or behaviors compared to 2 percent of children and teens who were not taking the medication.

In June 2003, the British drug regulatory agency officially ruled that antidepressants such as Paxil should not be prescribed for children with depression due to increased risks of aggression and suicidality.

As a result, the Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHPRA) of the United Kingdom concluded: "It has become clear that the benefits of Seroxat (Paxil) in children for the treatment of depressive illnesses do not outweigh the risks."

Then in October 2003, the United States Food And Drug Administration released an official warning regarding a possible increase in suicidality and aggression in children and teenagers using Paxil.

In March 2006, an FDA research team reviewed studies on children and suicide and concluded that the use of SSRI antidepressants increases risks for suicidal thoughts and behavior in patients under 18.

As a result, in England most antidepressants are not approved for use in children under 18 and are not prescribed for patients under the age of 24 without careful consideration.

Antidepressants And Suicide: Important Safety Tips

Contact your prescribing doctor immediately if you experience any thoughts about suicide or death while taking depression medication. In addition, notify your healthcare provider if your depressive symptoms worsen, or if you experience any symptoms that are out of the ordinary.

If you or someone you know becomes actively suicidal, take them to the nearest hospital emergency room for a safety assessment. On duty psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, counselors, and other mental health providers will ask questions to determine the severity of the situation.

If the person who expresses suicidal thoughts or actions does not go willingly to the emergency room please contact 911, or call an ambulance or call the police who can help ensure safe transport to the nearest hospital for an assessment and any necessary treatment.

If one is deemed a danger to themselves or others, they are often admitted to the hospital until they are stabilized, then released or transferred to a psych unit for further stabilization if the situation is more serious. Typically, inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment consists of medication and therapy. 

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