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Under 25′s Face Highest Antidepressant Suicide Risk

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A new Food & Drug Administration (FDA) analysis has found that the risk of suicidal event associated with antidepressants is highest for young people.

This new FDA analysis, which was published on the British Medical Journal website, involved a review of 372 trials involving nearly 100,000 people who took antidepressants. Of the patients included in the review, eight committed suicide, 134 attempted suicide and 10 made preparations without actually trying to kill themselves.  Another 378 patients said that they had thought about committing suicide but had not acted.

According to a U.S. News and World Report article, the analysis found that the drugs increase the risk for suicide in people younger than 25, have no effect in those 25 to 64 and reduce risk in those 65 and older.  In the youngest group, the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors among those on antidepressants were up to 2.3 times more common than those who were given a placebo.

As we’ve reported previously, in 2005 the FDA mandated that all selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Zoloft, Celexa and Prozac bear Black Box warnings – its strongest safety notice – regarding the association between the drugs and suicidal events in children and adolescents.   A year later the warning was expanded to include young adults. According to a Reuters report, researchers said the findings support the agency’s strong warnings on antidepressant drug labeling for people under 25.

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