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Risk of Suicide from Antidepressants Similar Among Different Drugs: Study

  • Written by: Staff Writers
  • 4 Comments

According to a new medical study by Canadian researchers, side effects of antidepressants carry a similar risk of causing suicide in youths, regardless on the specific drug used.

The study, published online by the medical journal Pediatrics, looked at the use of Paxil, Zoloft, and Prozac and determined that all of the antidepressants carried roughly the same risk of causing a child to attempt suicide. Researchers say the findings support the FDA’s decision to place a “black box” suicide risk warning on all antidepressants on the market.

Researchers from British Columbia looked at nearly 21,000 youths between the ages of 10 and 18, and found three suicides and 266 attempted suicides among those who had taken antidepressants for a year.

That number represents five times the rate of suicide and suicide attempts among youths not taking antidepressants, but researchers said that the number remained roughly consistent regardless of what kind of antidepressant the child was prescribed. Overall, researchers estimate that the use of antidepressants raises the rate of suicidal acts among children to 27.04 per 1,000 person-years.

Antidepressants, particularly a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have come under fire in recent years over concerns that they may increase the risk suicidal tendencies.

In particular, a number of lawsuits have been filed against GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Paxil (paroxetine), for failing to adequately warn users and the medical community about the risk of suicide. The drug maker has spent an estimated $390 million to settle Paxil suicide or attempted suicide lawsuits. In December, Bloomberg News indicated that about 150 suicide death cases have settled for an average of $2 million each and another 300 attempted suicide cases resolved for about $300,000 each.

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4 comments

  1. vicke Reply

    i was in hotel , i was taking paxil,,prozac felt very sucicide lawsuits,i went to the hosptial ,and stop taking them, and felt better,that medicine will play wi th your mnd, ,and hosptil bill

  2. Kevin L Reply

    I had been taking paxil while going through puberty and it made me more sexually aroused leading to bad decesions, i later stopped taking it and had more control over my body, then tried Zoloft and it was much worse with it… this is an issue no one wants to talk about but they need to warn you because i wish i hadnt took it in the first place until I was older

  3. William Reply

    Was Zoloft ever accused of having long term pychological side effects. Such as long term effects on psychological beheavior. The only reason I ask is because ever since then I found myself making bad decisions in my life and, doing things that I would not anytime before I took this medication. I was just curious my life has turn for the worst since then

  4. Tina Reply

    I have been on most of these anttdepressants and I am 51. I have come close to commenting suicide. I do have a depression ( major ) problem. But never did I ever feel like just checking out or giving up, until I took these antidepressants. THERE IS NO AGE LIMIT! I dont wnat to drink achohol. I am now on 200 mg of Trazadone. I was always scared to tell my counselor really how I feel. Because they will hospitalize me… and thru counseling I cant kill myself ( even tho the thoughts are there on a weekly, monthly times) I battle with the constant thoughts of suicide. I ask about quiting the antidepressants but the doctor says no… I NEVER did I have these thoughts before taking all the antidepressants, never ever before … I use to drink heavy but never suicidal but since 1994 I have had alot of antidepressants… I keeping reminding myself why I should live. It is Hard constant mental block for me… My daughters see me in these break downs but they never tell the family.

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