Exploring the link between antidepressant treatment & increased risk of suicide

Published: May, 2004

BOSTON , MA .-- — Depression is a serious illness that increases the risk of suicide. This March, the FDA issued a Public Health Advisory in response to a possible connection between the antidepressant paroxetine (Paxil) and thoughts of suicide or self-destructive behavior in some teens and children. The June issue of the Harvard Mental Health Letter discusses the FDA advisory and offers suggestions to people taking antidepressants.

The advisory targeted ten antidepressants in addition to Paxil and urged drug companies to add a prominent warning to their labels calling for close observation of anyone starting or changing the dose of an antidepressant. Although no suicides were reported in Britain where the connection between Paxil and suicide was first noted, the FDA decided to act conservatively while preparing to investigate the issue further.

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