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The Suicide/Antidepressant Link in Adults

By Jeannine Virtue

The FDA has acknowledged the link between antidepressants and

the increased risk of suicide in children, adolescents and

adults are also at risk for suicidal thoughts and actions

while taking SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor)


In 2004 the FDA acknowledged the suicide/antidepressant link

with children and now requires "Black Box" labeling to alert

parents of the harm that can befall their child while taking

antidepressants. That warning has now spread to all age

groups. The FDA has now issued a Public Health Advisory (PHA)

calling for an update to health care providers and patients

about the recent scientific research and publications that

there is an increased risk of suicidal thought and behaviors

in adults taking antidepressant medication.

The FDA, using a similar approach that was used in the

evaluation of the risks of increased suicidal thoughts and

behaviors in their pediatric studies, requested that

manufacturers of antidepressants drugs provide doctors with

information from their drug trials.

In accordance with the 2nd FDA warning the Public Health

Advisory advises patients and health care providers be aware

of the following:

_ Close observation of adults may be especially important when

antidepressant medications are started for the first time or

when doses for the specific drugs prescribed have been


_ Adults being treated with antidepressant medicines,

particularly those being treated for depression, should be

watched closely for worsening of depression and for increased

suicidal thinking or behavior.

_ Adults whose symptoms worsen while being treated with

antidepressants, including an increase in suicidal thinking or

behavior, should be evaluated by their health care


The above recommendations are also consistent with the

existing warnings that are in the approved labeling, or

package insert, for antidepressant medications.

Antidepressants have their place but it is our belief that

other options should be exercised before resorting to the

potentially dangerous drugs. There are many options in between

the wide gap between doing nothing and taking antidepressant

medication. In dealing with depression, diet and exercise

changes are highly beneficial. Herbal and homeopathic remedies

can also offer valuable help in the battle against depression.

About The Author

Jeannine Virtue is a freelance writer who focuses on health related issues.


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