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.