Study Calls Into Question FDA Black Box Warning about Suicide Risk in Youth Taking Antidepressants

May 18, 2012 · Posted in Peer-Reviewed Published Data, Risk Factors 

Teens

In 2004, the Federal Drug Administration issued a “black box warning” about increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children and adolescents taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).¬† See here for an overview from the National Institute of Mental Health.

An article published in the Archives of General Psychiatry earlier this year analyzed data from studies of fluoxetine and venlafaxine in youth, adults, and geriatric patients to determine if antidepressant use is linked to suicide. The drugs decreased both depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts and behavior  in adults and the geriatric population. They seemed to have no effect on suicidal thoughts or behavior in the youth.

For youths, no significant effects of treatment on suicidal thoughts and behavior were found, although depression responded to treatment. No evidence of increased suicide risk was observed in youths receiving active medication.

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