Posted by: shoji | September 6, 2007

Drug regulation: antidepressants and suicidal behavior

Drug regulation is often a no-win situation.Here, the FDA was faced with data showing increased risk of suicidal behavior among young people taking antidepressants. Yet, depression can cause suicidal behavior itself. Is the treatment worse than the disease?

It turns out, the antidepressants reduce suicidal behavior in the aggregate, and the “black-box warning”, which reduced prescriptions for antidepressants, ended up increasing the number of suicides.

Politically, it was likely difficult for the FDA not to apply the black-box– after all, what would happen if/when other cases of suicidal behavior associated with antidepressants came to light?

clipped from

Youth Suicides Increased As Antidepressant Use Fell

Study: Warnings Coincided With Rise

Warnings from federal regulators four years ago that antidepressants were increasing the risk of suicidal behavior among young people led to a precipitous drop in the use of the drugs. Now a new study has found that the drop coincides with an unprecedented increase in the number of suicides among children.
Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, said, “We may have inadvertently created a problem by putting a ‘black box’ warning on medications that were useful.” He added, “If the drugs were doing more harm than good, then the reduction in prescription rates should mean the risk of suicide should go way down, and it hasn’t gone down at all — it has gone up.”

  blog it

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: